No Kill will only NOT work is if there are not enough homes to rehome impounded animals.
Many assume that there are fewer homes than animals; that is, the demand for new pets is fixed.
As Mike Arms and Winograd both say, it is a matter of marketing. A good salesman can sell snow to an Eskimo.
I think I heard an estimate that there are 300,000 dogs in LA City and 400,000 cats. Assuming a lifespan of 12 years, that means each year the death rate creates 25,000 openings for dogs and 33,000 for cats. That is 63,000 animals that could be placed. In addition, the population of LA is growing by 100,000 a year. This is another 3%.
What presents them all from being adopted? Old age, illness, behavior prolems.
A good salesman could raise that 63,000 to 75,000 or better. Of the 45,000 animals impounded each year, 10%, or about 5,000 cannot be places due to disease, injury, old age, or behavior, leaving 40,000 adoptable.
If “sales” could be made easier through “retail” non-shelter storefront locations, better employee attitude, behaviors on the part of employees, and marketing, I see no reason that 100% of the treatable animals, theoretically, cannot be adopted. To assume that it cannot work because it has not worked is not a valid argument against no kill, but only a voicing of convinced opponents.
Even if all proponents of no kill are liars, sociopaths and charlatans, that does not mean no kill cannot work.
What is stopping no kill from working are three things: lack of resources, poor management, and the attitude that no kill cannot work. A lot of people who leaves comments on this site believe the latter. They have been disappointed by the failure of gurus, therefore they attack any and all who think no kill possible.
Beside adoptions, the return to owner category can be greatly improved through chipping and licensing.
Regarding Stray Cat Alliance, of the 40 live cats rescued, one died in treatment, or 2.5%. Already 16 have been adopted and 24 are with fosters. Knowing Cristi, these will not be killed. A save and placement rate of 2.5% means no kill is achievable, 4 X better than Nathan’s definition of no-kill—at least for cats. These are not cherry-picked cats; they are hoarder rescues with limited resources.
San Francisco SPCA claims a 94% save rate and between the muni shelter run by Carl Friedman, and the SPCA, there is a combined 87% save rate. The doubters save this is not possible and they are lying. Maybe, maybe not; but the doubters have done no homework to prove them liars as we did with Boks.
It takes a lot of research to find statistics wrong—a lot. The Naysayers need to make the case rather than us proving their case. They are so convince of no kills failure they do not allow evidence to the contrary impact them.
Winograd is the prophet; we are looking for local Messiahs.
Given good management, adequate resources, I see no kill as an easy goal. Prove me wrong. Offer a bit of proof it is not possible. Don’t lerave it ot me to prove the naysays are right. The burden of proof is on them.
What is the difference between Ron Mason and Paris Hilton except maybe a couple of hundred million—and, Ron takes care of his animals, and, Ron gets arrested and charged with felony animal neglect.
All the below was sent to me by anonymous email, with info taken from various gossip sites and one mainstream media site.
Paris Hilton went on Ellen De Generes' show on 2.08.08 and admitted that she has 17 dogs in her Beverly Hills home.
One of the gossip websites (http://www.eonline.com) said that she would often put tiny Chi dogs in the closet to keep them from making "messies" and leave them there. They died and weren't discovered until the maid was cleaning and found a dead dog in the closet. (One website said this happened on more than one occasion.) On another occasion she "forgot" her Tinkerbell chi at I think her brothers' house.
Worse yet is the fact that a New Hope partner (Kris Kelly Foundation from TMZ.com) gave an unneutered cat to Paris. All New Hope animals must be neutered before they are adopted. Then Paris left the cat at the vet and didn't pick it up so they called the Kris Kelley who took it. Kelley is a personal friend of Ed Boks.
February 16, 2008 -- THE Los Angeles Dept. of Animal Services is finally paying attention to the plight of pets who have the misfortune to be purchased by Paris Hilton.
The celebretard brought the authorities down on herself when she appeared Wednesday on Ellen DeGeneres' TV show and confessed she had 17 dogs. The ex-con obviously didn't know it's illegal in LA to own more than three dogs unless you're a licensed breeder. The animal control squad paid a visit the next day to Hilton's house in Beverly Hills, Page Six has confirmed. But when they arrived, they found the house vacant and undergoing renovations. All the dogs, cats, birds, ferrets and even a monkey had been placed with "handlers at a ranch" - possibly permanently, said
SPCA spokesman Jeff Blodgett, who added that they gave Hilton a card, asking her to get in touch. (Paris has a history of de-acquisitioning her pets).
What a moron.
Nathan's website says he will be moving to SF by the end of March.
Since he told me he didn't want to move to LA because it was too expensive two years ago, I can only infer he is making a lot of money now, or he is setting up to replace arch enemy Carl Friedman when Carl retires in June.
The SF Muni shelter is almost already No Kill by Nathan's definition.
I wish Carl would come down to LA. He runs the Muni shelter in SF and has an 82% live save rate (79% the way Boks used to define live saves. Who knows how Boks is defining live saves now.) Carl's shelter along with the private SF/SPCA has a combined live save rate, according to Nathan, of 87%, and the SF/SPCA claims a live save rate of 94%.
Both Boks and Winograd bad-mouth Carl, Carl laughs at Boks, and has nothing but animosity for Nathan.
Protest at Carson Shelter, Saturday, March 1 from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM.
"Out of 73,962 cats and dogs handled by the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control during the 12 months ending March 2007 only 8% were returned to owners. Most (60%) were killed while some were adopted and even fewer were saved by rescue groups. So if your pet ever ends up in a Los Angeles County shelter, do you and your family really want to risk never seeing them again?
"Spay and neuter, license and microchip your pets and demand that the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control abide by California State Laws that help protect our pets."
How is this? "New Hope" rescues 4% compared to LAAS 14%!!
County Euthanasia compared with Boks' figures for LAAS of 34%. Real kill rate for LAAS? Who knows, but probably around 39%.
County Returned to Owner, 8%, with LAAS at 9%.
I think the protesters pointed at the wrong number. With rescues less than 1/3 LAAS and killing about 50% more, I would point to the latter.
Live save rate for County: 37%;
Live save for LAAS: 53% (real as opposed to Boks' figures), or about 50% better than County.
AND, we consider LAAS as a failure. How much worse does that make County?
Is it just me or are others troubled by the Obama phenomenon?
The people I talk to (The highly articulate, intellectual, an educated Starbucks crowd.) say they are troubled too. They don’t get why everyone is wild about Obama, and, like me, they feel something is wrong with this guy, but like me, cannot put their fingers on the reason.
I have listened to several of his pre-campaign and campaign speeches. They are summarized as follows:
“Dream, dream, hope, dream, change, hope, can do, change dream, bring us together.”
This reminds me 100% of Schwartzenner, who fooled everyone by promising to make an end business as usual in Sacramento, and to make sweeping changes (remember the broom he carried to events?). He never said what the change would be. Even rational people voted for him hoping he’d be better, and, because he was wealthy, they thought he could not be bought off by corruption. (This is stupidthink.)
Look what we got: For a couple of years, the worst Republican governor imaginable until the liberal Left finally exposed his vanity and greed. Not only was he bought off by corruption all up and down California, he already was the corruption. He was the moral cancer people feared coming in "sheeps' clothing."
Some are seeing Obama in the same “promise of change” light. I feel the same trepidation now as I felt then, but even more. I see Arnie as a clever buffoon, I don’t see Obama as a buffoon, but he may be a fraont for a lot of people we don't like. Why did the power brokers settle on him a year ago? What is going on?
According to the HSUS scorecard, Obama scored 40% in 2006 and 60% in 2007. Hillary scored 100+% both years. This is based on voting on five specific bills.
Hillary dumped her cat when she left the Whitehouse and is buddies with Tyson Foods. Obama has promised his daughter to get a dog after the election.
Personally I would like to see her as president because I don’t trust him. She says where she stands (rather, where she wants people to think where she stands); he stands on “hope.” I wouldn’t be surprised that Obama turns out to be a worst-case Republican. There are even large groups of crossover Republicans backing Obama because they think he can be bi-partisan. In my opinion, after eight years of extremely right-wing Republican partisanism, we need at least eight years loaded to the left.
In the meantime, we can all cross our fingers. However, I am going to renew my passport.
The most telling commment is that Mason is Everyone: What can happen to him can happen to anyone. We cannot just rely on Mr. Cocek to not press charges and protect the public from Boks' police powers:
"The funny part to me is that out of the giant debacle that was the Mason setup/raid, Boks' one beef is the TV aspect.
"How about:The fact that his people lied to Dana Bartholomew.
"The ACTF hung a cat by his neck.Boks lied and said Muffin was on top of a dead cat, when Muffin was in fact very obviously next to a mirror.
"Boks, as well as various City personnel on City time slandered Ron and made unfounded, unsubstantiated allegations regarding his mental health.
"The ENORMOUS appearance of impropriety in arresting someone whose vet is days away from starting a job with LAAS- meaning if she had been called to testify she would have had a considerable conflict of interest at best, and an incentive to lie at worst.
"Bringing a County inspector on the raid, even though Ron's house wasn't within this inspector's jurisdiction.
"Either incompetently or deliberately mis-diagnosing the original six kittens, killing them, THEN "discovering" they were never sick (allegedly even before the raid took place).
"Uh - NOT READING RON HIS RIGHTS...Not giving Ron an inventory of seized property and cats at the scene.Sending an incomplete inventory later.Not informing Ron of his RIGHT to a post-seizure hearing.Playing musical chairs with which charges they were going to bring.Keeping property stolen from Ron at the raid. (For me to refer to it as "seized" they would have had to properly inventory it, then return it when they promised. At this point, with the case over, it's stolen.)
"Allowing an incompetent, ill-trained, and mentally erratic desk clerk at West Valley to further place Ron's cats in jeopardy by impeding his attempts to get them adopted out.
"And these are just the issues I can think of before I've had my coffee.As for why we still care about Ron Mason, there are two reasons.1. Ron is a nice guy who tried to help, feed & spay/neuter a lot of cats. Like it or not, we are in favor of that here.2. Because if it happened to Ron it could happen to any one of us. He tried to work with LAAS, he tried to play by the rules, except that he couldn't leave pregnant cats, newborn kittens, or injured/hungry cats to fend for themselves, which is an admirable thing.
"Boks, along with his LAAS and LAPD flunkies, used governmental power to abuse someone, deprive him of his rights, and libel and slander him. If you can't see why we think that's a big deal, then you must have something to gain by siding with the abusers."
On February 18, I published a post by Lori Tyler, the director of the Tompkins County SPCA just before Winograd took over.
Basically she said she took TC to the verge of No-Kill before Nathan came, so it was no big deal what he accomplished. She then stated No Kill was failing because the SPCA was asking for more money from the County. She also said that she now kills in her own nearby county shelter because she couldn’t make No-Kill work there.
”At my shelter in a neighboring county, we have been lured into "trying to keep up with the Jones'" attitude. We tried to change our euthanasia policy to be similar, but we didn't have the programs to keep the animals moving, and we ended up with a warehouse situation and we couldn't care for the number of cats in our care.
”We now have more stringent euthanasia guidelines- including euthanizing for issues such as dental disease and poor socialability. "No-Kill" is a euphemism for "limited admission". Animals aren't truly safe if they are being dumped on animal control or left in the street.”
My book Redemption has received very positive reviews in or from the Dog Writers Association of America, Sacramento Bee, the San Francisco Chronicle’s SF Gate, Midwest Book Reviews, Library Journal, The Bark, Pet Connection, Air America, and more.
The only negative reviews have, not surprisingly, come from groups like PETA, which I am highly critical of in the book for their anti-No Kill policies, and from minor blogs who are run by those who are either part of kill-oriented shelters, kill-supporting national organizations, or killers of dogs and cats themselves.
There is an old saying “follow the money.” In this case, the more apt saying is “follow the sodium pentobarbital,” the drug used to kill animals in shelters. Where there is a lot of usage of this lethal poison, you can expect a negative review even, as is true in the vast majority of cases, it is clear they have not read it (they make statements about things which are not in the book!)
That is why it is not surprising that PETA did not like the book. Not only was the book highly critical of PETA’s pro-kill policy towards shelter animals, especially feral cats and Pit Bulls, but PETA killed 97% of all dogs and cats at its “shelter” last year and is the subject of a petition to the Virginia Department of Agriculture seeking to reclassify PETA as a “slaughterhouse.” PETA, in short, uses a lot of sodium pentobarbital.
But the latest salvo from the “catch and kill” crowd is the most interesting of all because it comes from a former shelter manager of the Tompkins County shelter I oversaw (she left before my arrival). In her attacks, now as the director of a neighboring kill shelter, she claims I essentially inherited the “No Kill” programs in Tompkins County. She also goes on to claim that she tried those programs at her new shelter, failed, and that this failure proves (along with recent news about animal control funding from Tompkins County) that No Kill itself is not sustainable. She never once considers the possibility that it failed in her shelter because of her own mismanagement.
In fact, I am not surprised that the effort failed in her current shelter, based on what I found at the Tompkins County shelter she left me. In a memorandum to the Board of Directors, I documented what I found on arrival to Tompkins County from this manager and others associated with her. What she left was a shelter where:
sick animals in the infirmary had no food and were found languishing over empty water bowls; animals were being labeled as "unadoptable" to tell the Board of Directors they weren't killing "adoptable" animals when that is exactly what they were doing; puppies were mislabeled and killed as “vicious;” all feral cats were killed; and, kittens were killed after foster parents fed them around the clock and then brought them back after they were old enough for adoption, because they had policies like killing cats to open up cages in anticipation of needing those cages if new cats came in. (The foster program was then abruptly terminated because of this.)
In fact, on only my second day at the shelter, I was told by staff to pick animals to kill because we were "out of room" and that is the way "we always did it." I did no such thing and found not only homes for the animals, but new staff members as well.
There was no No Kill policy in effect before I arrived. In 1999, the Board stated they wanted to go No Kill, and most of the managers were either encouraged or asked to leave or fired because of their failures to achieve it, bad press, a loss of donor support, and a subsequent volunteer revolt.
These failures included having kittens getting sick and/or dying in droves out of poor care and poor protocols, and lack of appropriate follow-up.
To say that Tompkins is not sustainable is also ludicrous. They have saved over 90% of all impounded dogs for roughly seven years. This is raw data, not filtered through this former shelter manager’s self-serving definitions of “adoptable” vs. "unadoptable.” Except for 2007 when the save rate for cats was 88% (which is largely best in the country last year), they've saved over 90% of the cats for as long. That is powerful proof of sustainability.
Ignoring this, they claim No Kill is not sustainable because new leadership at the Tompkins County SPCA has told municipalities that they need a contract increase for animal control to keep pace with increasing costs and to come up to industry standards, so that they no longer have to subsidize it. What Tompkins is arguing for this year is for municipalities to pay $4 per capita for animal control funding instead of the $1.75 they have been paying for years.
By contrast, the Humane Society of the United States recommends $5 to $7 per capita. Even though they are offering No Kill animal control, TC SPCA leadership is still asking for below the HSUS recommendation for a kill shelter, and receives far less than most shelters do across the country for animal control services.
If this was any other shelter, PETA, HSUS, and all the other voices of defeatism who keep chanting the "we must kill, blame someone else" mantra would support it. But because it is a symbol for No Kill, it is attacked as “unsustainable.” In fact, if this was any other shelter, they would be supporting the budget increase, not rooting for it to fail as they tragically and obscenely do.
Why the double standard? Why do groups like HSUS and PETA argue that shelters must be paid $5-$7 per capita for animal control, but Tompkins County should not get it, and because they seek it, they must be failing because of No Kill? Even the former shelter manager’s shelter likely gets more per capita for animal control funding, and she kills with it. And therein lies the rub. Follow the sodium pentobarbital.
Leadership at kill shelters and their national allies like HSUS and PETA must find a scapegoat for their own failures. Because Tompkins' success put pressure on surrounding communities to do better, one way to ease that pressure is to smear the success.
Another way is to try to assassinate my character because I am a strong voice for No Kill. In both these cases, it's a cheap shot. But it is no longer surprising to me.
And at the end of the day, how can I be held responsible for what happens at an agency that I left four years ago with a budget surplus, programs that saved over 90% of the animals, and infrastructure which was the envy of the nation?
Since my departure now nearly four years ago, they have gone through three Executive Directors and a complete turnover in staff and as many Board members. Really, it's stretching reality and causation to the breaking point to hold me responsible for what occurs there. And given that they are still saving nine out of ten dogs and cats at $1.75 per capita for animal control—and have been doing it for the better part of a decade—there is no blame to be had: they should be lauded instead.
In fact, in 2007, Tompkins County was the safest community in the U.S. for cats and the second safest community in the U.S. for dogs (91% compared to 92% for Washoe County, NV.)
Winograd has a point here. We cannot hold him responsible for what happens years after he leaves. We cannot evenconclude that his gains are not sustainable, although Nathan has ignored the Winograd phenomenon---when he is there, they will come, meaning donors and volunteers.
The other complaint made against Nathan's no kill style is that it has only worked at three smaller shelters, (and San Francisco, although Carl Friedman says Nathan had nothing to do with success there) operations where the director can have immediate and direct control of most operations.
In Reno, the humane side run by Bonnie has a public counterpart that kills most of the cats. We are talking about two organizations and a partnership. To make this work requires good management skills and vision by both partners.
There are lots of unanswered questions with regard to no kill. Boks has addressed none of them, but has recently made some mild headway after two years. Nathan has three proven successes, but only in small shelters. Tara Derby has not yet countered Nathan's criticism or addressed the problems unique to Philly. Carl Friedman says look at what SF has accomplished and maintained, yet Nathan says SF is losing its way.
We really need a conference where these issues get explored, or at least a "trialogue" with these various parties through some venue. I wish these no kill guys were open to dialogue instead of monologue. Ed's crashing a Winograd no kill event hardly constitutes an attempt at dialogue.
By the way, Lori Tyler has her own website:
Her resume certainly seems lightweight. Email her and ask her for more of her side of the story.
Three U.S. agencies aim to end animal testing
By Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY
An ambitious program announced Thursday by a coalition of government agencies could lead to the end of animal testing to evaluate the safety for humans of new chemicals and drugs.
Three agencies — the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Toxicology Program and the National Institutes of Health — have signed a "Memorandum of Understanding" to develop and implement the new methods. The collaboration is described in today's edition of the journal Science.
The agreement is a "milestone" says Martin Stephens of the Humane Society of the United States. "We believe this is the beginning of the end for animal testing. We think the (conversion) process will take about 10 years."
The agencies acknowledge that full implementation of the shift in toxicity testing could take years because it will require scientific validation of the new approaches.
The Humane Society and other activist groups have long protested the use of animals to test the safety of chemicals, particularly those used in cosmetics and other personal products. The agencies noted that the public's "unease" with animal testing, in addition to a growing number of new chemicals and high testing costs, fueled the new collaboration.
Although there are no actual figures, Stephens says his "best guess" would be that about 10 million animals a year are used in toxicity testing, mostly mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and then lesser numbers of dogs, monkeys and other species.
Historically, toxicity has been identified by injecting chemicals into animals and seeing whether they were harmed.
"It was expensive, time-consuming, used animals in large numbers, and it didn't always work," says Francis Collins, director of the NIH's National Human Genome Research Institute.
The new systems the agencies hope to use rely on human cells grown in test tubes and computer-driven testing machines. They allow the scientists to examine potentially toxic compounds in the lab rather than injecting them into animals.
The EPA has begun evaluating 300 chemicals using the new methods.
The first phase should be finished this year, says Robert Kavlok, director of the National Center for Computational Toxicology.
Thousands of chemicals can be tested at one time under a method that uses a 3-by-5-inch glass tray with 1,536 tiny wells, each a fraction of a millimeter across, says Christopher Austin, director of NIH's Chemical Genomics Center.
A few hundred human cells grown in a test tube go into each well. Then, guided by a computer, the testing machine drips a different chemical into each well. After a while, the machine shines a laser through each well to see how many cells remain. A computer analyzes the toxicity of each compound based on how the cells react.
By comparison, it's taken the EPA 30 years to rigorously test 2,500 potentially toxic compounds, says Elias Zerhouni, director of the NIH.
All the data produced will be put into a public database.
"We think it is very important for the entire public worldwide to have access to these very precious experimental results," Kavlock says.
The agencies' agreement is the fruit of work begun in 2005 by the EPA and the National Toxicological Program to speed up toxicological testing. That resulted in a report by the National Research Council last year laying out how quicker testing might be done.
The federal agencies will start their efforts with compounds previously tested on animals to confirm that the cell-based tests are accurate, Collins says.
Animal testing won't disappear overnight, but the agencies' work signals the beginning of the end, Zerhouni says.
The testing shift began to take shape when scientists realized the same methods drug companies used to test compounds for therapeutic purposes could also be used to see whether they harmed cells.
It's a wonderful example of what scientists always hope for, Collins says. "You develop a technology for one purpose, and you realize, 'Goodness! We can use it for something else!' "
He likened it to the evolution of the military's data transmission projects of the 1970s, asking, "Who would have thought that would result in the Internet and the Web?"
Find this article at: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2008-02-14-animal-tests_N.htm
Lori Golden of Pet Press received a letter from Ed Boks regarding her editorial from the previous issue. Ed’s response basically was that the Mason raid had nothing to do with the upcoming filming of Animal Precinct in LA.
But before I post his letter, I’d like readers to look at my January 7, 2008 post. In it is my request for public records regarding the Mason raid and Animal Precinct:
Dear Mr. Boks,
This request is being made subject to the California Public Records Act: Government Code §6250-6268.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.
In your General Manager’s September/October Report to the Animal Services Commission, you stated, “The Department has recently had conversations with the producers of the Animal Planet show “Animal Precinct” about putting together a five-show pilot that would feature the Department’s animal care centers and staff.”
As I believe there may be a relationship between the negotiations you conducted with producers of Animal Planet and Animal Precinct, and recent raids conducted by LA Animal Services, the Animal Cruelty Task Force, the LAPD and City TV, on residences and businesses during October and November of 2007, I request:
Any and all correspondence including memos and emails between Ed Boks and: The producers of Animal Planet; the producers of Animal Precinct; any staff of City TV 35; any members of the ACTF, Jim Bickhart and Jim Blackman regarding the above stated intent of having Animal Services and the ACTF being featured or viewed on any Animal Planet network show, but especially as noted in the Commission notes, LAAS being featured on one or more Animal Precinct shows.
Such emails should contain the type of activities or events that Animal Precinct would be filming, e.g., dogfighting rings, animal hoarders, per store anaimal neglect or abuses.I am especially interested in, but not limited to, correspondence or memos or email between Mr. Boks and any staff member of City TV 35 regarding taping of the raid on the home of Ron Mason on October 11, 2007. The raid has already aired and thus is in the public domain.
Linda Barth’s response data one day later, on January 8 stated:
Your request of January 7, 2008, regarding information related to correspondence between the Department'; General Manager and producers of the Animal Planet television series has been received by the custodian of records. The Department believes that additional time, in excess of the 10 days called for under the Public Records Act, will be necessary to research, collect and review all of the records requested. The Department is therefore advising you that an additional 14 days to respond to your request is necessary.
Well folks, 47 days have passed since that request; I have received nothing.
Here is Boks’ response to Lori’s editorial in the current issue of Pet Press, page 6:
“I just read your editorial on the Ron Mason case. There is one key point you bring up that needs clarification.
“No aspect of that case, from the long buildup, to the investigation, to the raid, to the videotaping, to the troubled aftermath, had ANYTHING to do with the animal planet interest in eventually doing a program on the work of the Los Angeles Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACTF). The videotaping was done by the LA’s CityView at the request of LAPD, specifically for “inside the LAPD,” the local show you reference with no prior knowledge by animal services management.
“Animal planet began talking to the city of Los Angeles (which is to say, the LAPD, LAAS and the city attorney, accompanied by the mayor’s office and council member Tony Cárdenas) about doing a show on a ACTF in the summer of 2007. They met with the City Hall officers and the ACTF, toured facilities, went on calls with the ACTF and came to their own conclusions about the viability of the concept.
“In fact, the England-based producers of “Animal Precinct” made their decision, that a preliminary green light from Animal Planet and met with Los Angeles officials to communicate that they expected to base a future “Animal Cops” or “Animal Precinct” show in Los Angeles before the Mason raid took place in November 2007. At that meeting they made it abundantly clear that they, not the city, would handle all production related activities for any program they did and they did not need or want to see any “samples” submitted by the city of Los Angeles for any reason.
“The erroneous and, I dare say, irresponsible rumor that the Mason rate was staged and taped specifically as some kind of audition for animal planet appears to have been propagated by the author of a local blog based on a dearth of hard evidence, and a lot of wild extrapolation. Unfortunately it has led to unwarranted comments by others who had no more real information on this situation to base it on than did the person who started the rumor.
"The Mason case has provided a number of important “lessons learned” for all involved on the City’s part. Perhaps it can do the same for those who write about these issues."
Lori's response, which you can read for yourself in the current issue of Pet Press, was basically, “Where is the beef?” She stated, “And despite my asking Mr. Boks if the whereabouts of Mr. Mason’s cats, records and traps were “part of the important lessons learned for all involved on the City’s part,” I have received no reply." (By the way, for some of you who are humor challenged, this is sarcasm.)
Your contention the the CityView taping of the Mason raid was made at the request of the ACTF and LAPD with no prior knowledge by Animal Services management is kinda hard to believe, don't you think, as lots of dept ACOs, a dept vet and Lt. Boswell-- all department employees--were there.
They did this without your prior knowledge? They did it behind your back? Were you out applying for another job that week?
Didn't you also outline on your truth vs. rumor defense of the raid that having CityView TV at the raid part of the department's "openness"?
Concerning the irresponsible rumor about the context of the Mason raid “propagated by an author of a local blog based on a dearth of hard evidence and wild extrapolation, which has led to unwarranted comments by others who had no more real information on this situation and did the person who started the rumor” (that would be me), my response would be:
Mr. Boks, I requested the hard evidence and real information from you on January 7. The next day you refused to give me that information until after 10 plus 14 days, or 24 days. Six weeks have gone by, double the time you asked for, and I have received none of that “hard evidence” or “real information.”
One of the ways you could have avoided any irresponsible rumor propagated by me, or unwarranted comments by others, would have been to have complied with my request for any and all “hard evidence and real information” made on January 7. Your failure to respond has led many of us to speculate about your actions and those of the ACTF in the Mason case. I still await your providing me with the hard evidence and real information in this case.
I did not just make up my allegation. Information from a credible source was passed to me that Animal Precinct was taping the show and I had to stop it before other raids, and killing like what happened to Ron Mason, took place. It was a plea for help to me to stop you from doing more of what you did to Mr. Mason.
Even in your letter to Lori Golden, I note that the timeline you refer to still makes me suspect as false your allegation that all decisions made by animal precinct, including that they “made it abundantly clear that they did not need or want to see any samples submitted by the city of Los Angeles for any reason.”
In your letter to Lori Golden you state that the Mason raid took place in November of 2007, and if anyone should know, you should, that the raid took place on October 11, two days after your General Manager’s report to the commission mentioned that you and the producers of animal precinct were recently having conversaions.
In that October 7 report you stated, “The Department has recently had conversations with the producers of the Animal Planet show “Animal Precinct” about putting together a five-show pilot that would feature the Department’s animal care centers and staff.” Well, doesn't "recently" then mean September, well after you contend everyting was a done deal during the summer, and a month before the Mason raid?
In your letter to Lori, you basically stated that everything was a done deal during the summer of 2007, when in your October General Managers report you stated that you recently had conversations with the producers of Animal Pplanet's show Animal Precinct.
Until you provide me with the hard evidence I requested, especially specific contracts, and emails to and from the City Attorney, I’ll stand by my speculation that the Mason raid was associated with Animal Planet filming in LA.
By the way Ed, as Lori mentioned, where are the records regarding Mason’s cats Brad Jensen asked for on October 30, and subsequently requested by me twice?
It is kind of hard for us to say anything about anything, Ed, when you withhold any evidence about anything, and your timeline about the Mason case and Animal Planet is so vague.
I think you are not to be trusted Mr. Boks.
I know everyone at the City will hate this idea, but it has been done in many, many cities across the country.
Can we disband the department and turn operations over to private groups?
In these other cities, they send out requests for proposals for defined services at a fixed budget.
Performance levels can be fixed and if the private group cannot meet their charged goals, they would lose the contract.
It could be done in any number of ways. One way is to have each shelter run by a different private group or cooperative of groups. Each shelter would have a separate budget determined by the usage and types and conditions of animal brought in.
All groups could be separate or there can be an oversight central command structure.
Since the dept would be disbanded, employees would be shifted to other departments, such as public relations or to the mayoral staff. Good employees would be rehired by the shelters.
Just an idea. I don't know if or how it could be implemented.
On January 25 I got a notice from Cristi Metropole saying that Stray Cat Alliance had rescued 40 live cats from a "hoarder" a few days before. The cats belonged to a very ill 80-year old woman in Northride, the same area as Ron Mason, and apparently they had not eaten in days and had no water. Some cats were desperately ill.
Remember, according to Lt. Boswell, Ron's cats had been eating well, had water, shelter, and they had verified records of medical attention with vet visits; so their medical condition could not have been worse than Cristi's rescues.
On January 25, I said we have a real opportunity to compare the live save rates of a private rescue group and Animal Services. LAAS killed 65% of Ron's (57 to 63) animals within a day or two because they were ill, or in Boks' words, irremediably suffering.
A kill rate of half, 33%, would be 100% better than Animal Services, 16% would be 400% better, and 8% would be 800% better, etc.
So, what was the Stray Cat Alliance live save rate 25 days after the rescue?
ONE cat died durng treatment at the vet; 39 out of 40 survived! All the others were successfully treated.
What was the Stray Cat Alliance's live save rate?
I am starting a new blog soon called “No Kill Nation” which will investigate all aspects of the No-Kill movement. I will solicit comments for a dialogue. Unfortunately, many criticisms will be about definitions and wording, not about the need for no kill or how to attain it.
However, I’d like to offer some preliminary thoughts now.
Nathan Winograd is at the heart and soul of the No-Kill movement. He is the rally point as well as the lightening rod for criticism.
No-Kill is a revolution and we need a revolutionary leader. Winograd is our Lenin.
I will get 20 angry comments about this statement, but I stick to it.
Like Lenin, Nathan is no longer running any commune or shelter system. (Actually, Lenin isn't doing anything now. He has retired.) He is a very vocal advocate. There may be a dozen shelter managers better than he ever was.
He has a plan, but the plan, the recommendations are like those for founding a Kibbutz or commune. Whether the plan works or not is almost irrelevant; the concept of the Kibbutz or No-Kill shelter is everything.
Besides the plan published on his website and in his book, are only the slimist skeleton of a plan. If you look at his detailed analyses and recommendations for specific shelters, you find enormous depth and detail from someone with practical experience.
However, Nathan’s methods so far have a fatal flaw: How to implement his recommendations and how to sustain a no kill shelter system after the war is won.
We know with absolute certainty that no kill cannot sustain without adequate resources: money; volunteers; good and enough employees; an adequate shelter facility.
Where Nathan’s and other no kill shelters are failing is lack of resources.
Attaining no kill is like a war. It motivates energy and resources from volunteers, donors, the media, etc. But after the war is won, there is the occupation and the resources needed to sustain the occupation.
Volunteers burn out and donors disappear, or can disappear after two or three years of occupation unless the volunteer sources are supplanted or even replaced by paid employees, which means more money and sustained good management.
Winograd really doesn’t tell us how to sustain the momentum or how to get sustained government support.
Philly is having a hard time due to lack of resources and an attempted hostile takeover by the Philly SPCA. Winograd blames the failure on his chosen successors.
This can be a fatal flaw in his strategy. Rather than ask help for Philly, or to come back and help Philly, he just walks away from what could be a perceived failure of the viability of no kill. One time he actually told me he only consulted with Rancho (or Philly, I don't remeber which. I'll have to look for that email.) for a few months therefore he was not responsible for what was happening presently.
Ithaca is having trouble because local governments want services on the cheap, forcing Tompkins County shelter to eat their own resources to keep no kill alive. I can’t believe the county cannot spring for $40,000 for the entire county, or local government double their paltry support.
No kill sheltering needs a lobbyist above and beyond donations.
It is the occupation that becomes the critical factor after no kill is attained.
As long as the revolutionary leader is present, the resources will be there. But when he or she leaves, volunteer efforts and donations will disappear too. Revolutionary management needs to be replaced by good lobbyists, managers and financial guys. Nathan does not show how to maintain the gains.
He also does not address what is purportedly the biggest obstacle to attaining the original success: dealing with unions and civil service. This may be only a straw man obstacle used by Bickhart and others to explain why Boks has not achieved a substantial improvement in live save rates.
Carl Friedman says this excuse is bull; good management can surmount even these obstacles. He says he has to deal with all kinds of layers of civil service as well as seven unions, and that LA has enormous resources compared to San Francisco.
The revolution is not faltering at this point, it is just beginning. Local failures are not yet a significant point. The significant point is to create the will and hope for a no-kill nation and Nathan is doing that well despite several shelter heads literally calling him an asshole and a liar. It seems the no kill movement is filled with assholes and liars, but the same might have been said of any revolutionary leader and may be true or not.
My greatest criticism of Nathan is that he attacks shelter management with whom he has consulted and who fail to attain instant success, such as in Philadelphia. Why did he not say that Philly needs more resources? His vitriol should be directed towards real enemies of no kill, not those who have tried and failed. His attacks make him appear petty and small and we need a leader larger than that.
Of course there are other criticisms of Nathan, such that he allegedly plagerizes authors who are expert in areas of animal care where he is not, and his alleged propensity to threaten lawsuit at the drop of the hat. These are character flaws from my viewpoint, but not critical flaws with regard to his leadership of the no kill movement.
I do wish the various no kill leaders would engage in overt dialogue as opposed to covert attacks on each other. All aspects of no kill sheletring need to be examined in the light of public debate. I certainly would like Carl Friedman, Boks and Winogard in a series of debates or written dialogue siunce they all seem to have contempt for each other.
Just my opinion.
I had promised to back off from the Mason case if he were allowed to get his cats back and place them himself, or at least choose what organizations could adopt out his cats. Cocek sent a memo to this effect to Dov Lesel.
Ron said Boswell told him he could choose who could adopt the cats.
Then Ron was told at the front desk of the West Valley shelter that he could only adopt the cats to New Hope partners. He asked for a list, but the woman there refused to give him one. How the hell can you beat that logic?
I went ballistic.
However--I am trying to find this out--this may have been the decision of that single employee to refuse Mason disposition of the cats, not Boswell, not Boks, and ceratinly not Cocek. I have dealt with this individual before, and she is one of the least helpful people I ever met and certainly should not be at the front desk of any shelter. I am not the first to notice this because she wears her I.D. badge on her back, not in front so that people can read her name.
I'll find out more tomorrow.
If it turns out it was not Boswell's or Boks' decision to deny Ron Mason final disposition of the cats, I will shut up and I will also apologize repeatedly.
Nine people have emailed me this story.
Anonymous has explained to me what this is all about:
"When you adopt, redeem, rescue, drop off an animal from the shelter they copy your drivers license.
If you are a rescuer or volunteer they ask for your social security number and drivers license. Rescuers must also provide tax returns, tax ID numbers, home addresses, microchip information.
All of these paper documents were stored at the shelter. When they moved out of the old shelters into the new ones, they left all these confidential documents behind where anyone could go through them. There was credit card information in the files when people adopted or bought a license. Checking account information was in the files. Medical records from people bitten by dogs were in there. Complaints about barking dogs were in there.
Someone wasn't paying attention when they moved. People's identities could be stolen, checking accounts drained, credit cards maxed out. This is a major violation."
Video of this story:
Obviously this is what you get with a non-hands on general manager who leaves operational details to who knows whom.
But the story has little to do with the welfare of the animals in Ed's charge. The real story would be was Animal Services as inattentive of the animals as the records?
LA Leaves Residents' Private Information In Abandoned Lot
LOS ANGELES - A KNBC investigation revealed how the city of Los Angeles might have put thousands of people at risk of having their identities stolen. Investigative Reporter Joel Grover was tipped off that the city left outside, for anyone to take, boxes and boxes of confidential files on its citizens.
KNBC found private information on thousands of people sitting outside of an abandoned lot in LA -- everything you'd need to steal someone's identity, Grover reported.
"I don't want to go through it again," said Laura Weir. "Once was enough." Weir had her identity stolen once before, with thieves charging thousands of dollars in her name.
The records KNBC found contain names, driver's license numbers, dates of birth, checking account information and Social Security numbers.
"I couldn't believe it, that it was just sitting there," Weir said.
KNBC found the confidential files sitting outside two abandoned city animal shelters, one in West Los Angeles and one in Van Nuys, which the city closed nine months ago.
The city took the animals but left behind investigative files that contained sensitive information about pet owners and about people who complained about their neighbors' pets. The city also left the medical records of people bitten by animals.
"When they're through with them, they should shred them," Weir said.
In fact, the files were supposed to be destroyed, Grover reported. Now, it appears thieves have gone through the building and the boxes of documents.
"Somebody is in deep trouble," said Jay Foley, who runs the Identity Theft Resource Center. "There is a photocopy of this gentleman's driver's license, as well as his Social Security card. That's all I need to steal his identity."
Foley examined the files KNBC found, like that of Shawn Aghdassi, a pet owner and small businessman who has also had his identity stolen twice.
Aghdassi said he expected the city would be more careful with his private information. "You're supposed to trust the government," Aghdassi said.
So how does the city explain leaving this confidential information just lying around?
Ed Boks, the head of animal service, refused to talk to KNBC. But in an e-mail he said that when the city was moving to a shelter "our complete focus rested on the animals." And, as a result, paper records were not properly disposed of. He promised it would "not happen again."
"The city needs to take a very strong look at the way they're handling things, the way they're doing things, to make sure this doesn't happen again," Foley said.
Nathan Winograd launched his career by taking Tompkins County to No-Kill.
One critic said she brought Tompkins County almost to no-kill before Nathan came.
Then there was the very recent article that No-Kill may fail in Tompkins County due to lack of funding from a very stingy County that ought to be ashamed of itself. If No-Kill is a failure there, it is largely the County and other contractor's fault.
Yet the question whether No-Kill is sustainable or not remains unanswered. Nathan rarely addresses the subject of sustainablity after No-Kill is achieved.
Things are fine at no-kill shelters as long as Nathan is there because of his No-Kill guru status. However, the successes do not appear to sustain after he leaves for more than a year or so. The number of agencies he has consulted with is small and we do not know whether his blueprints will work in a broader range of municipal and private shelters, and if they do not attain or sustain, why?
Donors fade into the background after the electricity of attaining No-Kill passes. Employees and volunteers burn out. Lack of Nathan's continued inspiration and presence seems to be a large part of the failures.
When No-Kill begins to fail, Nathan has historically disavowed himself from the failure by blaming the shelter for not following his recommendations, as he did with Philadelphia and Rancho Cucaminga.
Charlottesville N.C., which he was touting last year as a great success has refused to send me more detailed statistics than those posted on their website, leading me to speculate they are not doing as well this year.
This raises the question not whether No-Kill is possible, but is it sustainable without Nathan's constant presence and his guru status ability to attract volunteers and funding?
He has distanced himself from his pride and joy of 2006, Philadelphia. Will he distance himself from Charlottesville if they fall below a 90% save rate?
Nathan has yet to address issues of implementation given budget limitations, unions and civil service, and susatinability after he leaves.
Nathan is absolutely brilliant at analyzing shelter operations and how to attain optimal functioning within the constraints of budget and personnel.
Ed Boks has never seen the inside of his shelters unless Villaraigosa or the press was there. He has left it to his employees to attain No-Kill for each shelter without providing direction or plan.
Perhaps he could just refer emplpoyees to Nathan's very long and very thorough analysis and recommendations for Philadelphia to give them an idea of what has to be done and how to do it.
Nathan is unsurpassed at bringing in money and volunteers because of his no-kill guru status. But how to sustain?
Changes in SPCA funding may end no-kill policy
By Samantha Allen Staff Writer October 25th, 2007
Low funding for the Tompkins County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) for its animal control services could force the county to hire a municipal shelter that will not practice the association’s “no-kill” policy.
Abigail Smith, executive director of the Tompkins County SPCA, said the county pays $1.76 per capita per year for its services under its contract — less than half of the national average of $4.00 to $6.00. Smith said the SPCA is demanding the board increase its payment for its services from $21,700 a year to $41,400 a year.
“Five years ago, the SPCA had funds in its reserves, and, considering the humane treatment of all animals in its mission, we covered the gap,” Smith said, “But I discovered that luxury doesn’t exist. The reserves are gone.”
Since 1987, the SPCA has provided animal control services for the 10 municipalities within Tompkins County under its no-kill policy, which has served as a model for other anti-euthanization SPCAs like those in San Francisco and Philadelphia, Smith said.
If funding demands are not met, Smith said, the SPCA’s contract will be dropped and it will no longer provide animal control services to Tompkins County.
Ithaca College sophomore Callie Tresser, a cat socializer at the SPCA, said dropping the contracts would be a mistake. As it stands now, Tresser says there aren’t enough funds to provide food and resources to all the cats with which she works.
“The fact that [the board isn’t] giving more money [to the cause] is awful and it’s not right,” Tresser said.
Smith said the SPCA’s national mission is the prevention of cruelty to animals. The organization’s objectives include ending overpopulation and providing humane education for the public. Smith said even if the contracts with the county are dropped, the SPCA, which currently takes in about 752 cats and 400 to 500 dogs each year, will continue to serve these primary functions.
Smith said if the municipalities, including Ithaca, Lansing and Dryden, do not comply with the SPCA’s proposed budget, a new vendor will have to provide the animal control function for Tompkins County. This could mean euthanizing the animals after a standard holding period of five to 30 days. There are few alternatives for the county that will provide animal control services under a no-kill policy, Smith said.
“If the county decides to drop the contracts, they would be eliminating that no-kill policy [that protects these strays],” Smith said. “I can’t imagine [the community wanting that].”
Cathy Valentino, town supervisor of Ithaca, said she thinks if the board decides not to continue the contract with the SPCA, other vendors would work similarly to the SPCA model.
“I think some of the [animal control vendors] that I know are very conscientious about working very hard … for the pets,” Valentino said.
Ithaca College senior Elise Huston, who interned at the SPCA last summer, said she is concerned opening a contract with a new shelter would infringe upon animal rights.
“This could have an … effect on the [entire] community,” Huston said. “I hope that [students] would come forward and speak up for the animals.”
Valentino, who currently works on a subcommittee of the Tompkins County Council of Governments, which represents the municipalities, dedicated to resolving the issue, said the SPCA’s funding increase would lead to a 2.5 percent rise in city property taxes, which she said might be too high for taxpayers.
William Burbank, a town board member, said the board could cover the costs easily with its fund balance, which is set aside for emergencies like these. He said it would not dramatically alter taxes.
“The [2.5 percent figure] doesn’t make sense,” Burbank said. “If we had to raise taxes, it would be a 1.9 percent increase in property tax … [but] we could raise it from other sources.”
The board’s budget has to be finalized by Nov. 20. Valentino said the committee has proposed a six-month extension to the SPCA but the organization has not complied. Burbank is “confident” that the budget will be configured appropriately before the deadline.
Valentino, who has received letters from community members in support of the SPCA, said the board wants to stick with the SPCA’s services, but it is the board’s responsibility to research other options.
“[We want to try to stay with the SPCA] because of the quality they give us and the reputation they have throughout the nation,” Valentino said regarding the esteemed no-kill policy. “They are an important part of the fabric of our community.”
Though Smith said she is optimistic the issue will be resolved by the start of the new year, she said she is still trying to make community members aware of the animal rights at risk if the SPCA animal control contract is dropped.
“I want [the community members] to know that [the SPCA] did everything we could to try and maintain these contracts and to continue to provide these services,” she said. “I want everyone in the community to have the opportunity to tell their town governments what they want and how they feel.”
No Kill Doesn't work in Tompkins Co. NY
by Lori TylerMonday Feb 18th, 2008 4:25 PM
As a previous shelter manager of a shelter Nathan Winograd "saved" and a board member of an SPCA in a neighboring community, I absolutely believe that the "No Kill" movement has failed us in Tompkins Co.- once touted as the "safest place in the US for animals"
I was the manager at the Ithaca SPCA two years before Nathan was hired. Under my management, the euthanasia rate for all animals (not just those deemed adoptable) decreased by about 50%. We were developing programs to achieve "no-kill" before he came along. In fact, the board resolved to stop euthanizing BEFORE Nathan was even working at the shelter.
What he did do was raise money and he built a new shelter (which we had already been planning and had already bought the property for). However, this shelter is not sustainable for the shelter. They cannot afford the operate it- its too big.
Now that Nathan has gone away, the donors have dwindled and they are in a danger of losing their animal control contracts as they have had to ask for large increases in money from the towns and city.
At my shelter in a neighboring county, we have been lured into "trying to keep up with the Jones'" attitude. We tried to change our euthanasia policy to be similar, but we didn't have the programs to keep the animals moving, and we ended up with a warehouse situation and we couldn't care for the number of cats in our care.
We now have more stringent euthanasia guidelines- including euthanizing for issues such as dental disease and poor socialability. "No-Kill" is a euphemism for "limited admission". Animals aren't truly safe if they are being dumped on animal control or left in the street.
I personally want to be part of an organization that accepts all homeless animals in the community and tried to help them- even if that means some will be euthanized. There are worse things in this world than euthanasia- I have seen them. I choose to euthanize over leaving an animal to suffer in a cage, starve on the street, or suffer from a treatable- yet un-affordable to care for disease.
You can limit the number of animals being euthanised in your shelter by creating programs to increase adoptions and reduce the number of animals coming in. It is not, IMO, a front-loaded proclamation- it the the result of sustainable programs within the shelter and in the community.
Once the population is stable and the community sees your results- the money will come to help you help more animals be adoptable. We are far from this in Chemung Co. It is far easier to get a cat from your neighbor than the shelter and far easier to just leave your cat to breed recklessly than get her spayed. This is where we need to work- not making sweeping proclamations about not killing animals.
I would have let up on the Mason case had Boswell listened to Cocek who suggested to Dov Lesel that Mason should direct who got his cats. It did not happen. Ron was told he would never have anything to do with those cats again.
Mason got three back and recues took another five. About twelve remain at the West Valley shelter. Ron signed them over to Animal Services because they would not let him do anything with them and they had been jailed in small cages for over three months. For some of them, it is now over four months.
Ron says there are about 12 there now. Two are up front and the rest in the evidence room with a yellow dot on their cages with an impound date of October 11.
The two up front are Hildy (renamed Henrey once his true sex was revealed) and the other Tia.
Some of the others have reverted to a semi-feral state due to being held in cages for four months. Sergio and some others at the shelter are working at resocializing them.
PLEASE ADOPT THEM, EITHER FOR YOURSELF, OR AS A FOSTER TO MAKE SURE THEY GET GOOD HOMES.
Ron has medical records on most of them. None are more than four years old.
Ron's phone number for more info:
PS: Ron feels sorry that Boswell is taking the brunt of criticism for the raid. He said they had a couple of years working with each other and they had almost a friendship. He blames the cops that were there: Lt. Ortega, Lt. Diamico and "Jenney." He thinks Troy was just there directing Animal Sevices and is now the scapegoat.
It appears that Troy Boswell is no longer head of the Animal Cruelty Task Force.
Hopefully this was the result of the Mason case fiasco.
Now he is in charge of the Spay/Neuter Task Force and permits.
God help any 503 that Boks or Boswell does not like.
One of my favorite readers left the comment below. It reflects what I feel about the Mason case, Boks, Boswell and Bartholomew. (The Three Bs). Actually Dana and I get along well. I just disagree with him 100% about what happened to Mason.
By the way, this is day 9 of my third Request for Public Records regarding all information, medical records, lab results, photographs and euthanasia information of all the cats seized fron Mason and killed that same day. These were evidence animals and required a judge's order to be destroyed.
I have to check with Brad Jensen whether he received the requested info by snail mail, but I doubt it. I'll bet they have NOTHING in terms of medical records, lab tests, photos or reasons for killing the cats. They just did it without a second thought.
Preliminary Chameleon info shows only one cat to have been irremediably suffering, not 25 as Boks alleged. Maybe that is why Boks took down his libelous post about Mason almost a month after he was cleared, because it stated 25 cats were killed because they were irremediably suffering.
It appears Boks is going to tough it out and just refuse to respond. He just killed the cats for no reason that first day and maybe a total of 40. Boks/Boswell never gave Mason the legally required (PC 597.1) Postseizure Hearing where the case for seizure is made along with a mechanism to get his property--the cats--back, or at least deciding their disposition.
Boks basically has said to all of us and Mason, "Fuck you. I can do anything I want because the Mayor backs me, Bickhart defends me and Mason does not have a lawyer." The Daily News does not appear to care either.
Remember, Ron Mason is Everyman; he represents all of us in the animal community who are at risk of repraisal if we do anything that displeases Boks, Boswell, the ACTF, etc. They can say anything they want and the media will dutifully repeat the City's libelous claims.
Thanks for the Mason story.
Sure doesn't rise to the level of what Dana Bartholomew promised, which was to "write a story" once the case was decided one way or the other. This isn't a followup, and it doesn't address the myriad of civil rights violations Boks perpetrated against Ron Mason, including lying about him on an offical city website.
This is just CYA on the part of the Daily News, and completely lame at that. Dana and his bosses better hope Mason doesn't get a lawyer.The one thing I hope WE take away from this is that this whole incident was a blatant attempt by Boks to curry favor and rehab his irretrievably lost reputation with the rescue community.
He deliberately went after a white man (not what he thinks WE will perceive as a victim), he overtly states that Ron was breeding cats, which he knew was false because he had all Ron's spay/neuter paperwork. He charges a felony (and don't give me "the City Attorney brings the charges -- look at the videotape and see what Boswell says), even though since LAAS has had a relationship with Ron for years.
If he HAD been perpetrating felony abuse they would have been negligent in not getting him sooner.He kills a bunch of cats he knew weren't sick, including the original six kittens who were the bogus premise for the bust.And when the City Attorney won't go along with this baseles pile of garbage "case," he continues to twist the knife in Ron to the bitter end, in violation of his agreement with Ed M., and for NO other reason than to vent his spite because oops! it turned out Ron wasn't the friendless patsy Boks thought he was.
Let's remember just who we're dealing with. Let's remember that he's no better than Mayeda, he just has a smaller playing field. But he kills cats for spite.
ANOTHER READER JUST LEFT ANOTHER COMMENT THAT NEEDS POSTING
FTR I posted the Mason "follow up" story.
I didn't see it in the paper. I had to pay for the article in the archives.
It was a small part of the "around the valley" section where they had five tiny stories strung together. It was buried in the paper. Mason has not been exonerated.
Poster one, who is policing the police, exactly. There was an article in the Times last week about LAPD. They investigate themselves when there are excessive force complaints. Guess what? In every investigation, they get rid of evidence, change what witnesses said and they find no excessive force. Amazing. Our government is so effed up.
There is no such thing as investigative reporting regarding any City/County department unless one offical, such as the Mayor or Supervisor, decides to criticize a department or another city official as Villaraigosa did with the Delgadillo in order to divert press attention from his love life.
The town's newspapers, from the Times to the Daily News to the various Breezes ALWAYS take the side of the official explanations. They may mention "animal activist" groups claim... But they almost never do any investigative reporting. They just report what each side says and you'll find the official government side has about three times as much copy as the "activist" complaints. The reporter never investigates for him or herself. They may interview a few other sources--rarely--to fill out a story, but when it comes to LAAS or County, they never request public records to investigate allegations for themselves. If they do, they are not telling us about it.
One of the few exceptions to this rule is CityBeat when it comes to LAAS. They began nailing Boks within months after he started. I wish I knew then what I know now.
The other newspapers owe their access to city hall's good graces, which disappears if a reporter criticizes a city or county operation without the Mayor or Supervisor taking the lead. AND, the mayor and supervisor will without fail stand behind the "findings" of their pretend investigations, led by their own staffers, replete with altered records.
They will not endanger their city contacts, even when they know they are lying, because they are media whores. As someone I knew in Santa Monica government said, staffers lie from top to bottom as easily as they breathe air, not because they have to, so much as it is part of the culture. It is a culture of lying just as in LA and County.
There is no such thing as reporter integrity in this town when it comes to city hall or the county, and there certainly is no investigative reporting.
The same holds true with TV news. One reporter wanted to air a story of his findings of animal neglect and overcrowding in LA's shelters. ABC management cancelled the project.
The closest you get to investiagtive reporting re LA animal issues are the blogs and some of the animal newspapers.. We may get it wrong sometimes, but that is because no one in government is sharing information. City hall and the BOS are black boxes. The only information to come out are half truths, spins and lies. Once in a while you have a whistleblower that makes change happen by providing evidence of incompetence or downright fraud.
Jim Bickhart often says get your facts straight or no one will belive you. But Jim, who is going to give us the stright facts? You; Boks chief apologist?
Look at the Mason case. He was skewered by Dana Bartholomew as well as City TV and the LAAS website. Dana claims to have written a "short" followup, but no one mentions that Mason was arrested, his cats and cages seized, 65% of the cats killed based on fraudulent evidence, and no charges ever were brought against him because there was no case. No one has told the truth about Mason. True, as a viewer claims, I never saw Dana's alleged followup either.
Again, the Blogger spellchecker is not working.
A 10-month-old puppy who died at Los Angeles County's animal shelter in Carson did not freeze to death, as animal rights activists have claimed, but died from complications from an upper respiratory infection, county officials claim in a report that will be discussed by the Board of Supervisors today.
But county officials conceded that a staffing shortage at the shelter likely prevented the puppy from receiving all of the antibiotics it needed.
Responding to a request by the Board of Supervisors for an investigation, Mayeda and county CEO William Fujioka prepared a report denying the charge that Zephyr died from pneumonia caused by exposure to the cold.
"The charge was false, but unduly alarmed a number of well-meaning people," according to the report.
The report notes, however, that a staffing shortage caused Zephyr to miss "a couple" doses of antibiotics while she was being treated a second time for an upper respiratory infection. She did not respond to treatment, her condition worsened and she died, according to the report.
According to the report, the staffing shortage had been fixed, with two new registered veterinary technicians hired at Carson.
The report recommends that the county spend $313,000 to refurbish the Carson Animal Shelter as well implement a several procedural improvements, some of which have already been put in place.
Most notably, the Department of Animal Care and Control reviewed its policy of allowing volunteers to "hold" an animal -- preventing the animal from being euthanized with the understanding that it will be soon be adopted.
Zephyr, who died after five weeks at the Carson shelter, had been on hold for a full month.
"The Department has corrected this abuse of the system by insisting the animals be removed in a timely manner," that is, within several days, according to the report.
This is a crock as we all know. Zephyr missed " a couple of doses of anitbiotics" and died? I'd like to see her medical records before they altered them.
Now Mayeda blames rescuers too, and, as they allege, she is punishing them. Now more animals will be killed because they cannot be put on hold for mnore than a week. Was Zephyr on hold for a month?