My Picks for President

Time to get political. Rich McLellan and Mike Bell have been telling us that for years.

Well, we are 13 months away from the election.

For animal people, Clinton and Obama are no-nos and Biden a possibility

Biden has taken some strong pro animal stands, such as against canned hunting. Of course, that might be because Cheney shot a friend on one of these "hunts."


WASHINGTON, DC – A key U.S. Senate panel gave its stamp of approval today to a bill that would ban the unsportsmanlike practice of hunting and killing exotic animals in fenced-in enclosures. The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s (D-DE) Captive Exotic Animal Protection Act which seeks to prevent cruel and inhumane "canned hunts" by making it illegal to kill an exotic animal within the confines of a specified enclosure for trophy or sport.


Barack Obama like most Illinois politicians has a cozy relationship with unionbuster
McDonald's which he has praised. His wife is a spokesperson for vivisection as a VP
of Univ of Chicago Hospitals.


Hillary Clinton helped make Don Tyson the nation's biggest butcher of cows, pigs and chickens. She invested in cattle futures. She has publicly endorsed the brutal
Heifer Int'l projects in which baby animals are shipped alone overseas to slavery and death. Clinton served on the animal abusing WalMart board. She has voted for vivisector money.

My own favorite candidate is Dennis Kucinich. We were both in politics at the same time in Cleveland. He became mayor and I became sane and left Cleveland.


"As a member of Congress, I have cosponsored every piece of major animal protection legislation. In addition, I hold the distinction of being the only vegan in Congress.

I made this lifestyle change many years ago, because I consider all life on our Earth to be sacred. As a vegan, I choose not to eat any animals or animal products. I strive to live my life in accordance with my convictions, and any other choice of diet would defy my ideals and, in my judgment, be hypocritical."


Well, if you want to waste your time volunteering, do so for Dennis or Biden. Both are at about 2%. Maybe you should support Biden because he looks like Jerry Brown, who is Vegan. (Joke). Then again, if a Dem becomes pres, Brown, as California's Attorney General may have a chance at becoming the nation's attorney general.

My point is that it is important to get political. Because we haven't been, we got Hahn/Stuckey and Villaraigosa/Boks. Nobody pays much attention to the LA animal Community except Boks and Bickhart. Everyone tells us to play it cool and don't piss off the mayor. If we were cool, he would be afraid of pissing us off. But we are not and he isn't.

ABC-TV Story Pans Boks; Boks now says LAAS #5 in the Country

According to Marie Atake, several city officials including herself, told ABC-TV what a screwup Boks is and that Blackman has ignored all the complaints about Boks, leaving the Mayor sitting over a volcano of discontent. I hope it blows its top shortly.

Interestingly she stated in a Daily News opinion piece, Boks has changed his story and now says Los Angeles is now #5 in the country. #5 what, I do not know.

Atake's piece:

We are getting close to the time where we need to find a successor for Boks. If we let the Mayor do it, we will likely get another Bozo just as bad or worse. Hahn appointed Stuckey almost out of spite and because Stuckey apparently delivered a good line. Stuckey had absolutely no animal experience. He did not even own any.

I suggest the Mayor appoint me as GM of LAAS. I have absolutely no shelter experience, very little management experience, no ability or intent to go into the shelters and witness the misery and death; AND I have never headed the #1 adoption agency in the country.

If not me, who then?

We can't let Villaraigosa and Blackman screw this up.

But be warned, my personal choice to choose or replace Boks is Nathan Winograd. However, Nathan said he'd have little time to devote to LA after January 1 of next year as he has a big consult contract that will take his time. When I asked him in the past whether he knew anybody he could recommend, he said no. In fact, his whole relationship with LAAS and our problems with them has been half-hearted.

Philly, which is making great progress (maybe a 60% save rate at the end of this year compared to a 90% kill rate four years ago.), had Nathan's undivided attention for a few months at least. LA is much larger, and he won't even have that time to devote to LA.

There is no unified voice that Council or Tony will listen to; Blackman does not care and Bickhart supports Boks. So we better get our act together NOW in order to figure out what to do.

I think a bunch of us ought to get together and hash this out. We need to call people around the country to ask what they suggest, people like Carl Friedman in San Francisco. I think the generally recognized leaders in the no-kill movement, like Ed Sayers would be worse than no one.

Besides, as someone who heads a large municipal shelter system told me, the GM salary in LA is pretty low given the department's budget and range of responsibilities.

The guy Boks was having trouble with in Phoenix was enticed to the SF area where he purportedly makes $250,000. Will Villariagosa and Council give the GM an $80,000 raise? Would it make any difference as to the quality of applicants? Do we want someone with a million years of failed shelter experience, or someone who is a skilled manager and corporate turn-around specialist.

I wish Richard Riordan would take the job, because although a Republican, he actually was a great mayor, even if he and Wardlow stole my ideas about establishing neighborhood councils and never gave me credit, but it would be six steps down economically and socially. Maybe we could get one of the truckload of generals who have been jumping from Bush's ship for the last two years.

However, lacking that, I resubmit that I am as unequipped to handle the job as any of the previous GMs and don't even want the job; therefore I am the perfect choice.

Really, we need to get our act together now about finding a replacement, and not start thinking about it after Ed leaves.

Please email me ideas or leave a comment.

Boks says there is nothing in writing about County numbers; everything was by phone

Previously I said Ed would not be able to produce the four sets of numbers supposedly supplied from County, the first three of which showed LAAS ahead of County, until a fourth set was received with an extra 6,000 animals placed. Boks supposedly "quickly dismissed" these numbers as having no basis in fact.

Marcia Mayeda says there was no correspondence. Boks now says there was no correspondence, just County numbers from an unidentified County employee over the phone.

How convenient. Four sets of numbers over three years? Mayeda gave three years of numbers and County came out ahead in each.

Thiis LAAS's reply to Brad Jensen's request for records:


A response was received by LA City on Friday, September 21, 2007. Whether your announcement that LA County had responded to your request the day before had anything to do with it is up for interpretation.

The City responds by saying there is no written correspondence between City and County Animal Services regarding this issue; however the City had several phone conversations with the custodian of records on staff at County.

So apparently, neither agency is going to give up any documented proof that four sets of adoption numbers were ever provided to the City without someone specifically asking for what may or may not exist. Could be just some numbers scribbled on a sticky note for all anyone knows.

So... Lacking any credible documentation to substantiate the City's claim that four sets of increasing adoption numbers were provided by County I feel the City's claims should be dismissed as quickly as Boks has dismissed County claims they place more animals than City.

-Brad Jensen

The next step is to identify the County's Custodian of Records for Animal Services to hear his denial of any such conversations. As you will note, Boks did not identify the mysterious employee who is the Custodian since Bollinger left.

Who is the Biggest of them all?

Today is the tenth day since Brad Jensen submitted a request for public records regarding the alleged four sets of numbers County gave Boks regarding the “adoption” of animals, and WHEN County gave these numbers to him.

Marcia Mayeda said no one in LAAS ever contacted County about animal disposition numbers. That is, Ed is a liar—unless he has those emails between LAAS and the County, dated, as well as the four sets of numbers. So, which do you think he fears most, being found that he was wrong, or publicly outed as a liar?

I think we all know there never was any contact or communication. Ed said there was, Mayeda said not.


In his September 17 blog post he said:

Ed Boks has never claimed to be the biggest or the best, but he does like to boast about the employees, volunteers and rescue partners of LA Animal Services.

However, in his bio on the main LAAS website he says:

"Maricopa County Animal Care & Control in Phoenix, Arizona became the largest pet adoption agency in the United States, under Ed’s leadership, adopting 22,000 pets into loving homes every year, and Ed established the first municipal no-kill shelter in the United States." Hmm, no mention of volunteers or employees here.

In his “About me” section on his blog, after Mayeda said the mayor was wrong, Ed edited it slightly saying:

"Maricopa County became one of the largest pet adoption agencies in the United States adopting nearly 22,000 pets into loving homes every year. Ed also established the first municipal no-kill shelter in the United States while in AZ."

So, Maricopa went from being the largest, to one of the largest.

Also from his blog, in “about me” he says:

"Ed Boks was executive director of both Maricopa County and New York City Animal Care & Control, the two largest animal care and control programs in the United States each rescuing over 50,000 lost pets, exotic, and wild animals annually."

Here we go again about him being head of the two "largest," yet he knows County is at 80,000 animals and counting.

Despite this, he now says LAAS is the largest adoption agency in the country because he says County is lying about its numbers. So which is the largest: Ed Boks’ New York shelter system? Maricopa shelter system? Los Angeles Animal Services, or LA County Animal services?

Wouldn't it be a shocker if Ed actually did have emails from the County and could provide those fours sets of numbers? Well, if he doesn't come through, soon all of Council, the City Attorney, Dov Lessel and maybe a few attorneys will know there were no emails and no mysterious numbers from County.

Who says Ed doesn’t like bragging about being number 1?

By the way, did you notice, NYC and Maricopa "rescued" over 50,000 animals, but only 22,000 were adopted. Well, doesn't that mean 28,000 "rescued" animals died? That is some pretty crappy rescuing..

Mayeda Says County Never Sent Boks any County Shelter Statistics Contrary to What He Claimed

Boks claimed LAAS was the number one pet adoption agency in the country, and Villaraigosa repeated and affirmed his claim at a press conference.

A couple of days later, Marcia Mayeda put out a press release that said the Mayor was wrong and that LA County was the number one adoption agency.

Ed shot back in his blog that LAAS had done their homework and that County gave him four different sets of adoption numbers, and in each, the adoption numbers increased. Then, he said, they received a fourth set from the County after Villaraigosa announced the City was number one. He said in that last set, 6,000 additional animals "mysteriously" appeared, which he dismissed as a lie. Actually, he "quickly dismissed them."

Brad Jensen and I were both interested in those emails and numbers and made identical requests for public records to Boks and Mayeda:

Information Requested:

Copies of any and all correspondence between LA City and LA County regarding this issue, including the four sets of increasing adoption numbers provided by County. Date and time should be provided for each correspondence item provided.


Dear Mr. Muzika:

This email is in response to your public records request of 9/13/07. You requested “Copies of any and all correspondence between LA City and LA County regarding this issue, including the four sets of increasing adoption numbers provided by County.”

There was no correspondence between LA City and LA County regarding this issue. Therefore, we have no records responsive to this request.


Marcia Mayeda, CAWA

Director Animal Services, County of Los Angeles

A So True Comment on Boks Incredible Lies

Boks has a new post on his blog, claiming fewer animals are dying in his shelters than last year. He says animals but he only mentions the numbers for cats and dogs. He does not mention the 600 other animals that died in August, who are not dogs and cats. They are sentient beings just as deserving of life.

Then he said a whopper:

"Ed Boks has never claimed to be the biggest or the best, but he does like to boast about the employees, volunteers and rescue partners of LA Animal Services."

It was really difficult to pick my jaw off the ground after I read that he never claimed to be the biggest or best. He was caught last month saying LAAS was the biggest pet adoption agency in the country, and even got a big smile and pat on the butt from Villaraigosa until the demented Mayeda claimed she was the biggest.

So, a conversation I had:

How can anyone rebut a liar if no one cares? We have torn apart every assertion he has made during the last 6 months, and his whoppers just get bigger and bigger and more complex every month. No one believes anything Boks says, including Blackman and Bickhart; but for now are doing nothing. Unless Council hears it often enough, nothing will happen.

Reply: Boks could say he turned dog shit into gold and the Mayor would go "bravo!" and have a press conference. This is frustrating. I understand where the ALF get their motivation for direct action. You do your research to show that he's not doing a good job, send it to the right people and nothing happens. In fact, the worse Boks does, the more praise he gets.

By the way, I keep getting comments from Naysayer on almost a daily basis claiming she is not Irene Ponce. But hon, if you are not she, why are you protesting so much? I had let the whole subject drop. You haven't.

LAAS is Like a Private Shelter, Picking and Choosing Intakes

Boks likes to say that LA Animal Services is an open admittance shelter that takes in all animals.It's not. They are now like private shelters. They only take in what they want to take in. They don't take in animals that would be euthanized. Boks is doing this to manipulate the numbers so it looks like he's improving when he's not. Refusing animals is not progress. Any of his predecessors could have done that.

Drop in Killing Almost Totally Due to Refusing Kittens

LAAS began refusing neonates during late April. When the May numbers came out, we were all in shock; euth had fallen by almost 500. This is when Boks surprised me at the Town Hall meeting when I was standing next to him on camera and he pointed to the 12 month kill numbers for June-May: 18,100.

I just about peed my pants because the kill number for calendar 2006 was well over 19,000 and we knew there was no real improvement in performance at LAAS, except for Ed's ever increasing ability to hide the truth.

We struggled for a while to find how this radical change was taking place. Ed wasn't publishing neonate kitten numbers after May, but he did publish the neonate puppies. Guess he figured no one important looking at the numbers, for example, Blackman, would be able to subtract.

To get kittens, you just had to subtract puppies from the total. I could do that.

Finally, Ed has published the neonate kitten numbers. The numbers prove that almost all the drop in killing was from failure to do his job: Finding homes for animals. He just refused their intake.

Here are the numbers:

May -473 euth May -231 intake

June -470 euth June -429 intake

July -565 euth July -519 intake

Aug -606 euth Aug -576 intake

The decreased kitten impounds explain 90% of the drop in euthanasia.

On top of that, the number of kittens dying in the shelter doubled. Instead of being officially killed, they unofficially died.

On top of that, LAAS stopped taking in ferals, but since he does not keep feral numbers, we don't know how many cats that means.

Brad Jensen analyzed LA County stats and they did have figures for ferals. They were 23% of total cat intake.

With 20,000 cat being impounded, that means over 4,000 would be feral. Since he was refusing both kittens and ferals, it is a wonder any cat was killed. That there were still so many killed means that this was an extraordinarily large increase in kitten births, and by kitten, I mean those over 2 months old who statistically become cats.

There was no real improvement

Boks vs. Mayeda; who is the bigger liar?

Two identical requests for public records have been sent to Ed Boks and Marcia Mayeda. Brad Jensen made the request to the City and I to County. The request is posted below.

Ed claimed LAAS was the number one pet adoption agency in the country, and Villaraigosa repeated and affirmed his claim at a press conference.

A couple of days later, Marcia Mayeda put out a press release that said Villaraigosa was wrong and that LA County was the number one adoption agency. Naturally, she could not let the supervisors find out she was not doing a better job than Boks, who, of course, is always 100% accurate with all of his claims of being number one in everything.

Ed shot back in his blog that Mayeda kept giving him different sets of adoption numbers, and then sent him a fourth set of numbers after Villaraigosa announced the City was number one.

Boks said that in Mayeda's last set of numbers included 6,000 additional animals "mysteriously" appearing, which he dismissed as lies.Of course he didn't use the work "lie," and instead that the numbers were dismissed because they were not transparent, as were his.

Brad Jensen and I are both interested in those emails and numbers and made the identical requests. Since neither side will know what the other will give us, there is a good chance we will get all the emails and can give you the results.

So, with the same request sent to both parties, we'll see who lied better or best. I want Villararigosa to know that Mayeda is not an acceptable replacement for Boks when he leaves.

By the way, you just have to visit Jensen's website. It is filled with numbers presenting the atrocities of the various shelters. It is Brad's numbers that let me in on Boks Hayden violations, which he denied, as he put it, because more detailed investigation of individual cases and how they were classified, turned them into immediatly killable animals, such as neonates, or killer cats who maim and kill any and all handlers.

Winograd says there is no reason to kill any feral cat; it is not as if the cat were going to stalk childred and postal workers on the steets. Ed, at least wants a City-wide policy of TNR. Not getting that, he is just turning them away creating another generation of ferals.

This request is being made subject to the California Public Records Act: Government Code د6250-6268. Under this statute you have 10 calendar days from the date of receipt of this request to respond as to whether you will release the records requested as detailed below. It is preferred your response be made electronically to the email address provided below.


On August 27, 2007 Rick Orlov of the LA Daily News reported a disagreement between LA City and LA County resulting from a recent announcement that LA Animal Services is the number one public adoption agency in the nation. Supposedly, the City was provided four sets of increasing adoption numbers by County with the latest number claiming an increase of over 6,000 adoptions.

Information Requested:

Copies of any and all correspondence between LA City and LA County regarding this issue, including the four sets of increasing adoption numbers provided by County. Date and time should be provided for each correspondence item provided.

Fees:I am willing to pay reasonable copying fees, as defined under law, not to exceed $25.00. Should fees run higher, please contact me.

Died in Shelter Rate up 600% for August!

Sent to me. An affirmation of my previous analysis.

Ed Boks loves to say he's the "biggest" or the "best" even though it's never true. Finally, Boks has indeed set a record. In August 2007 more animals died in the shelter from illness and injury than during any other month in the history of Animal Services. The previous August, 130 animals died in their cages, but this year a whopping 812 died in their cage. Six times as many died from illness and injury under the "care" of Ed Boks.

In the category of other animals, 670 died in August of this year compared to 65 last year, also under Boks. The year before Boks, in August, 36 died.

In 2005 before Boks arrived the total dying in the shelter was only 1,150. During Boks' first year 2006 the number dying doubled to 2,075. In the last 12 months 3,059 animals died in their cages. The number of animals dying in their cage has now tripled under his mismanagement. The number dying had been going down for years as intake was going down.

Intake is down this year, yet total animals dying has increased three fold! This is animal cruelty and neglect.

Why are more animals dying? One reason is overcrowding. Boks is putting more animals in each cage so he doesn't have to euthanize them. He puts three pit bulls in one kennel and only has to euthanize one because the one pitbull killed the other two. The Animal Cruelty Task Force busts people for dog fighting. Maybe they just take a look in the shelters. There are more dog fights in the shelter than in the rest of the City.

Euthanasia in the shelter in 2006 did not go down. Very recently it has gone down a little. Some of this is attributed to the increase in animals dying, but most is due to Boks refusing to take in the animals most likely to be euthanized.

Let's take a look at the live release numbers. In the past 12 months there was no decrease in the number of animals leaving the shelter dead. Fewer leaving alive, just about the same number leaving dead. This is the first time ever there has been no improvement, yet Boks is telling the world he's the "biggest" and the "best" shelter in the Nation.

Boks keeps claiming that Animal People ranked LA City number five in the nation in euthanasia per 1,000 citizens. He keeps saying "The City of LA is among the top five communities in the United States with the lowest, and fastest declining, euthanasia rate."

He repeated this false claim at the press conference with the Mayor. This is completely untrue. LA City was not even included in the list! Only LA County was included in the list. Note, there is no ranking in the list and there is no mention of any shelter being the "fastest declining euthanasia rate." The list does not even include all shelters in the nation. Boks completely fabricated his own version of the report here.

Here is the actual list and article. It's a large pdf file, article is on page 18 and 19.

Only LA County was included in the list. Note, there is no ranking in the list and there is no mention of any shelter being the "fastest declining euthanasia rate." The list does not even include all shelters in the nation. Boks completely fabricated his own version of the report here.

Why is the City allowing Ed Boks to fabricate numbers, "rankings" and articles? Why is the City allowing Ed Boks to torture animals to death with illness and injury? Why is the Mayor backing this guy? He's going to look like a total fool when everyone realizes that he hasn't improved things at all.

Boks only claim to fame here in LA is being known as the "number one animal killer in Los Angeles." Single handedly with his overcrowding "program" he has killed an extra 2,000 animals in the past 12 months alone. In the almost two years that he's been here he's killed an extra 3,000 animals with illness and injury. What type of "NoKill" shelter manager manages to kill MORE animals? This killing has got to stop!

Preliminary August Statistics

As per usual, Boks spinned the August stats in a way that made him and the department look like they were the greatest thing since St. Francis.

Below is my unspin of his numbers.

The trend down in killing cats and dogs continues. However, almost all can be explained by refusing to impound neonates and feral cats.

Ed still does not publish neonatal cat stats and has not since May. Therefore, the casual reader would only see the drop in stats of 2,050 of unweaned kittens and puppies during August, which would fool simpletons like Blackman and the mayor who does not give a shit, into believing real progress has been made, although, by this time they must realize Boks’ number have as little credibility as a non-aggression pact with Hitler.

Though neonatal killing is down by 2,050, impounds are down by 1,800, explaining almost all.

However, more are dying in the shelter than last year. New Hope is down 70% by about 100, while foster are up by about 100. They roughly cancel each other out.

So, like usual, the numbers in and out for neonatals is off by 200. Since they don’t survive long in the shelter, why there is the discrepancy is never explained. They are just unaccounted for.

Unbelievably, for Other Animals, during August, the number that died in the shelter shot up from 65 to 670, or a 1,000% increase! Of course, the fewer that die in the shelter subtracts from the 650 that would have been euthed anyway over the next few months. But why did ten times as many die in August?

In fact, the combined DIS and Euth numbers are larger than the impounds, and so instead of a live release of 44% or so, the live release for August for Other Animals actually went negative. The live release for them was -14%!! That is, of every 100 live that came in, 114 did not leave live again.

Tell our jerky mayor that euth is way down because impounds are way down. LAAS is just not doing its job. As I said before, I approve of not impounding because they will not be killed. A good percentage will be killed by the person who would have surrendered them or would be abandoned by some roadside. Not a good way to go. Many of the others will become feral cats causing more problems next year. But in the meantime, Ed's numbers are down and the press and the mayor love it.


MY Allegations Against Mayeda


Dear Supervisors Antonovich and Yaroslavski, and Mr. Fujioka,

I wish to clarify what appears to be a misinterpretation of my allegations of fraud on the part of Marcia Mayeda.

I do not claim she is falsifying shelter kill/adoption statistics. It is Ed Boks, General Manager of Los Angeles Animal Services that says she does.

He claims Marcia found a mysterious new 6,000 adoptions only after Mayor Villaraigosa announced that LAAS was the #1 adoption agency in the country. From the LAAS ( website, Ed Boks says regarding Marcia Mayeda’s shelter statistics as referred to in Rick Orlov’s article about the disagreement between Mayeda and Villaraigosa:

"The "snit" was the result of LA County animal control providing the City four sets of ever increasing adoption numbers while we conducted our due diligence.

"Their latest number mysteriously claimed an increase in their adoption numbers by over 6,000. This number was not released until the day after the City’s announcement that LA Animal Services is the number one pet adoption agency in the nation.

"Lacking any credible documentation to substantiate the County's claim, it was quickly dismissed.

Therefore, it was the LAAS General Manager who claimed Mayeda’s number changed four times in a few days, and each time claimed ever higher adoption rates, and which he dismissed as untruthful.

My claim of Mayeda’s fraud is different. I stated:

“According to page 47 of the County’s 2004-2005 annual report, Marcia Mayeda claims for Animal Control:

Major Accomplishments 2003-2004

• Placed 91% of adoptable dogs and 89.6% of adoptable cats into new homes.

“As you can see from the pie charts immediately below, this is fraud. How can killing 28,100 cats and 18,500 dogs be considered as having adopted 90% of these animals? Who can believe that 80% of the cats are too injured, too young or too aggressive to live? This is nonsense and totally incompatible with the kill and save rate of other and better large municipal shelters.

For cats, the actual adoption rate is 15% Claimed adoption is 89.6%

For dogs, the actual adoption rate is 31% Claimed adoption is 91%

The fraud I am pointing to is her claim to success based on a fraudulent definition of “adoptable” and that she is forced legally to kill all non-adoptable animals, leading to a “justified” killing (or letting them die in the shelter) of 83% of all cats. Fraudulent in the sense that she has the highest kill rate if any large shelter system in the country, yet is claiming an adoption rate of almost 90%.

Then she said she legally can only adopt out "adoptable" animals. She said she must euthanize the rest legally. She said kittens/puppies under 8 weeks old are not adoptable, neither are ill or injured animals, neither are "dangerous" animals that don't pass their temperament test. That means she legally can kill 83% of cats and 46% of dogs. This makes her job easier. This is a blatant lie to deceive you from recognizing her incompetence after five years on the job.

In comparison, Los Angeles Animal Services, whose performance is a little better than average for large municipal shelters, has a euthanasia rate for cats of 57% and for dogs 27%, 20% lower in each category.

Adoptions include direct adoptions to the public and release to rescue groups called New Hope Partners.

For cats, the actual adoption rate is 50% Claimed adoption is 50%

For dogs, the actual adoption rate is 64% Claimed adoption is 64%

Are more than twice as many LA County cats too young, vicious or unadoptable compared to LA City cats? This appears to be what Mayeda is saying with her statistics and her claim that 90% of the adoptable animals are saved. This is a flat out lie.

This fraud is based solely on how the Mayeda determines an animal is not adoptable. The bases for determining whether an animal is unadoptable are: unweaned kittens and puppies, ill or injured, or behavioral problems. She provides no statistics for these categories. In other words, she is saying trust me.

The presence of behavioral problems is determined by “temperament testing.” If an animal is deemed unadoptable for any reason, including behavior, it can be killed and it would not be counted in when measuring the adoption rate. That is how she can say 90% of adoptable animals were adopted. One can make temperament testing to be extremely difficult to pass.

She quotes County Counsel regarding the use of temperament testing to euthanize cats and dogs according to how she framed the question to them:

“You are on solid ground in enforcing your policy of requiring a behavioral assessment of stray dogs and cats to determine the suitability of an animal for placement, and in not permitting the adoption of animals with aggressive behavior.”

Yet there is no temperament test for cats, not one. All of the temperament tests, including the most common, the Weiss Safer test, are strictly limited to dogs. The same with the other three standardized tests, they apply only to dogs.

Therefore, how can she find nearly 80% of all cats unadoptable? She is just incompetent but pleads she is forced to kill these animals because of public safety issues, which is a lie. No other major agency has such a high kill rate.

Indeed, a sizable segment of unweaned kittens and puppies, ill and injured animals are already cared for by LAAS, Philadelphia AC&C, San Francisco AC&C, and are adopted to the public or to rescue groups. Mayeda said she cannot even transfer most animals to rescuers, because they might pose a danger. How can a six week old kitten be a danger? She is using a dangerous dog argument to justify killing a kitten and she thinks no one can see through her argument.

I urge you not accept the fraud being perpetrated against you and the voters by Marcia Mayeda. The public thinks the County is doing well by the animals. What will happen when they find out this is not true?


Edward Muzika, Ph.D.

The Selling of Animal Services II

A comment to my previous post deserves posting all by itself. Some of the items mentioned I already knew about. There are new allegations which would be easy enough to prove or disprove.

One thing though, how many ex-girlfriends does Ed have? 1,000, 2,000? Who dumps whom?

The comment:

Boks has a history of cronyism. He likes to have his friends in select job positions so they will support him. Here is a short list.

He fired an experienced shelter worker to hire his buddy Richard Gentles. Richard had a felony conviction and was fired from a NYC job. Gary Kaskel Boks best friend told Boks about the guy's history but he didn't care. Now there's a lawsuit.

Boks dated Sara Hobel who was on the Commission that oversaw him in New York. She's also a friend of Gentles. Boks lived at her house. It's in the deposition papers for the above lawsuit.

Boks dated then hired Pia Salk to do the Humane LA consulting program.

Boks suggested to the Mayor's office that Irene Ponce should be the commissioner. Irene is the new "Animal Lover." She attacks people online and calls them a "terrorist" if they disagree with Boks. Boks encourages her behavior.

In the Department website he advertises his friends' books for sale. In the Department website he advertised cartoonist Piraro and linked to his website until an employee said that his website was offensive. It was ultimately removed. In the Department website he advertised Irene Ponce's blood drive. Nothing wrong with a blood drive but he took away the spay and neuter button to put the blood drive button. This drive was not to raise money or anything for the shelters. It was only to help the blood bank which takes this free blood and sells it to people at exorbitant prices.

Years ago the shelter had this issue on the agenda. They have to let everyone advertise, not just select people. This had to do with flyers and papers like Pet Press in the shelters.

The Selling of Animal Services

Just in line with the obvious selling of Commission seats to friends and donors, there is more about Boks using his friends to get favorable press in the LA Times. Boks also uses the City LAAS website to promote and sell his friends’ books, one of whom is Matthew Scully, a Washington columnist, who wanted $5,000 to write a favorable article about him in the LA Times. Boks then solicited friends for the $5,000. At least this is what Boks wrote to me or told me and others.

It is one thing to get the media to write something good about you, it is another thing for the subject to pay a “journalist” to do it. Actually, Scully is a great friend to animals, but still a Republican at heart; he sells his services to his friends.

Scully was living in Phoenix at the same time Boks was there and highly supported Ed in stories/editorials. This is how Boks got his start. Now Scully lives in LA.

Ed has been paying him back by advertising Scully’s books on the LAAS website:

Ed also told people that ALL of the authors listed in the above site link to recommended reading were his friends.

Ed was told “It might not look good for you putting your friends’ books online." His response was, “Let's see if anyone does anything about it." He promoted his friends’ events. He promoted a music event that had nothing to do with animals at all. He told his webmaster to put it on the LAAS start page.

I rediscovered all this when going through my emails written during June of last year:

In a message dated 6/3/2006 6:48:14 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

The New Yorker is asking about doing a story on me but they said it could take weeks or even months. Matthew Scully said he'd do an article but that he needs to get his regular fee as a Washington columnist. $5K. Bit out of the question I think. Maybe I'll approach him again.

A volunteer offered to write an oped piece about him, to which he replied:

In a message dated 6/4/2006 9:25:14 AM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

My concern is "who" the article comes from. Someone like a Matthew Scully can easily get 1500 words in the LA Times. I'm scheduled to talk to him on Monday. If he is willing to edit and submit it under his name.

Now, this announcement came out today. Ed is going to hire two people to:

Communication from the Mayor, dated September 4, 2007, relative to the approval for the designation of two (2) exempt Director of Field Operations positions for the Department of animal Services, pursuant to Charter 1001 (b), for the employment of persons "to provide management services or render professional, scientific or expert services of an exceptional character."

Now which of Ed's many friends will be hired to provide scientific or expert services of an exceptional character? Pia? Ed Muzika? Brad Jensen? Marcia Mayeda? Marie Atake? Mary Cummins? (A lot of you don't get my humor, but this is sarcasm.) No, the positions will go to, as usual, Ed Boks' friends.

ABC-TV Piece on Atake/Boks

ABC TV today Commissioner Quits, Highlighting Animal Services Conflict
Claims Mayor's Office Pressured Her to Keep Quiet

By John North

Los Angeles Animal Services has always been a magnet for criticism. One of the city's Animal Services commissioners has resigned in protest. A current commissioner agrees with her. And at least one city councilmember has problems with the agency.

On August 21, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Los Angeles as the number one public animal adoption agency in the United States. Animal rights groups in Los Angeles County came up with their own statistics and loudly disagreed, saying the mayor was wrong.

Ten days after the mayor's news conference, one of his five appointed Animal Services commissioners resigned with harsh criticism of the department.

I talked with Atake by phone. She told me, "They (the mayor's office) pressured me to be quiet. And Jimmy Blackmun (the mayor's deputy chief of staff) ordered me to be quiet."

"I don't believe that for a moment. ... We're doing a great job," said Mayor Villaraigosa. "She's resigned, and she's given reasons for it, but we're going in the right direction. I'm very proud of the efforts."

Current Commissioner Archie Quincey won't go on camera but he did talk to me on the telephone regarding Atake's resignation letter.

"It was the truth (in Atake's letter)," said Quincey. "I agree with everything." Another current commissioner who does not want to be named, agrees with both Quincey and Atake and says most of the blame is on current Animal Services General Manager Ed Boks.

L.A. City Councilman Dennis Zine doesn't have a problem with being quoted regarding Animal Services. He told me, "I've had serious issues and concerns about Mr. Boks and his running of the department."

Villaraigosa Sells Commission Seat to Campaign Contributor

Villaraigosa wasted no time in replacing Marie Atake. He sold the seat to longtime LAAS Volunteer Irene Ponce who bought her seat in September of 2004 with a $500 contribution to Villaraigosa’s mayoral campaign.

Ponce is no friend of ADL, but she is a close friend of Ed Boks and Pia Salk—another close and alleged ex-girlfriend of Boks, who Ed gave a $20,000 contract for a trivial study. This $20,000 bought Ed access to Big Money and a shot at celebrity-hood in Southern California. Villaraigosa and Boks both belong to the Tammany Hall school of the spoils system.

Irene is Boks' lap dog although he describes her as his pitbull.

She says about ADL and an article written by Ann Angelino:

This article is totally misleading! If these ADLLA folks who wrote this article would help stage adoption events or help to pass legislation in the best interest of animals that would be great! But all they do is make inflammatory remarks! They are just home-land terrorists! ADLLA does not lift a finger to really help the animals in the shelters. It would help if they staged spay/neuter events, rather write these stories that are full of lies.

Well Irene, hope when you get to know Ed better you can see through his charm and that the ADL is doing exactly what has to be done to save animals—getting rid of Boks.

Irene Ponce Los Angeles, CA 90032
Antonio Villaraigosa 1267602 - Villaraigosa for Mayor 2005
A - Monetary Contribution Received (IND - Individual) [Period:
01/01/04-09/30/04] $500.00

I Am Changing Course

It has been called to my attention that concentration on the horrendous conditions at the County shelters detracts from critical efforts to reform LAAS and find a replacement for Boks that we can all accept and support.

After the Boks situation has been resolved, I will return to Mayeda and the County shelters.

In the meantime, I have taken several posts down regarding the County, which will go up again when County becomes the target.

Marcia, I will not forget you.

What Will We Do After Boks Goes?

It is obvious Boks will not be here for another year. I hope he has been looking for a new job and will leave on his own. Of course, he will be leaving with a lot more baggage than when he left Maricopa or New York, making getting a new shelter management job more difficult.

Maybe it is time for Ed to start a new career. He has such a great need to be a celebrity that maybe he should get into politics, such as running for mayor. Everyone in the animal community would support his campaign as a way to get rid of him. And, we know he will not interfere with any future GM running LAAS, and will spend all of his time as far from animals as possible.

Any suggestions concerning potential candidates for a new GM?

Three years ago I was part of a committee trying to find a replacement for Greenwalt. I called big deal animal honchos all over the country. One name kept coming up over and over: Nathan Winograd. Nobody else wanted the job. Even Nathan turned the job down when it was offered and even declined to consult with the City.

Recently Nathan told me he would not have much time even to consult with the City after January 1 of next year. Since, I predict, Ed will be leaving about March, we are apparently out of luck using the Nathan/protege model he has been using successfully for the past 2 years.

Laura Beth Heisen's name keeps coming up. People say she is extremely hard working, knows everything and everyone connected with the LA animal community and is liked/respected by all. Of course she has a history to overcome, and probably couldn't become GM without the entire LA animal community behind her.

Susan Cosby has left Philadelphia to go to another shelter system, so she is out of the picture, but Nathan's proteges at other shelter systems may be available.

Carl Friedman, director of SFAC&Csaid he wouldn't come here--ever. He has an 80% save rate and a fraction of LAAS's budget.

Perhaps Blackman can find another well-known failure to appoint head of LAAS, like Ed Sayers. He must not appoint Marcia Mayeda who I plan to put out of business at the County. Of course, since she is terrified of the ADL, she'd probably not come here anyway.

In any event, whoever steps in will inherit a department that is much better functioning than when Stuckey left. There have been a lot of positive changes that make staff more accountable, such as creating an employee manual, written Standard Operation Policies (SOP), much better finacial management by Linda Barth, and now we have four vets and more in the wings. Of course we also have Eric Jones, the grossly over-paid and grossly under-productive head of the spay/neuter clinic at SLA.

So what to do now???

Please send comments on search methods or specific recommendations for a new GM.

The Beginning of a Deluge of Resignations?

Honorable Mayor Villaraigosa

It was with great dismay that I read about the resignation of one of the best Commissioners we have had in recent memory in the City of Los Angeles. Marie Atake has dedicated the past two years of her life to enact policies that would improve the Department of Animal Services and help achieve better care for animals in this city.

Her appointment indicated your administration’s commitment to real positive change for a troubled Department. Her resignation comes on the heels of stymied attempts to wrench accountability from a General Manager who will not take direction and who has trouble working cooperatively with anyone whom he fears might take the spotlight off himself.

Having worked with a succession of General Managers beginning with Dan Knapp to improve LAAS policies, particularly for the rabbits, I too cannot begin to express my disappointment that this administration does not see and act on the obvious: The current General Manager is not competent to do the job. His disregard for the authority of the City Council, the Board of Animal Services Commissioners, and the Rule of Law has been demonstrated repeatedly with the implementation of policies that have not yet been approved or are plainly illegal.

The history of my attempts to work with Mr. Boks is as follows. In March of 2006, based on my prominent position in the rabbit welfare community and proven record of achieving a high adoption rate and dramatically improved shelter conditions for the rabbits in one City animal shelter over the course of more han six years as a LAAS Volunteer, Ed Boks sent a directive to senior staff, “Heidi Huebner and I are putting volunteer Michelle Kelly in charge of the LAAS Rabbit Rescue and Adoption Program effective as of now. Michelle will issue appropriate policies and procedures for our rabbits and all staff are expected to support Michelle fully. It is my expectation that we will make our rabbit rescue and adoption program second to none under Michelle's leadership and with your full support!”

When he did this, I expressed concern that without an official, paid position and consistent support from the administration such that the staff understood they were expected to follow my recommendations, I could not effectively fulfill his expectations. He insisted that I would have his full support, yet at the first indication of conflict he chose to side with the staff and to sacrifice the lives of untold numbers of rabbits.

The outpouring of support from members of the animal welfare community —including caring LAAS staff with whom I have worked closely over the years--notwithstanding, Mr. Boks allowed staff and a paid contractor to harass me and undermine my efforts to improve the rabbit adoption program.

The ways in which LAAS’s rabbit program has suffered because of Ed Boks’s refusal to work cooperatively with me include, but are not limited to: rabbits live outdoors in the new, multimillion-dollar facilities in dangerously high temperatures, rather than indoors in an air-conditioned environment as recommended; rabbit cages are not locked, resulting in theft of rabbits for unknown purposes; rabbits are adopted without proper advice on their care; rabbits have been adopted unsterilized and improperly sexed; rabbits are not consistently cleaned or cared for in the LAAS facilities.

I no longer wish to volunteer for an organization whose administration so consistently puts politics before the animals that the animals pay with their lives. Therefore, I am resigning my position as Volunteer for LAAS. Enclosed please find my volunteer identification card, cut in half.

Michelle Kelly