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 (http://www.laanimalservices.blogspot.com/
) 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.