Animal Services RFP for Spay Neuter Vets

Animal Services has put out a Request for Proposals (RFP) for vet contractors to run spay/neuter clinics at each shelter other than South LA where Eric Jones has his cushy set up. However, unlike with Jones, the City gets much more for its money this time.

The URL with all the request documents:

The main document outlining the request:

The interesting one: all about the Money. This is the one Porter Pet Hospital's Natalie might be most interested in, all about the money:

On the LAAS website it says:

"RFP to Operate one or more of the Department’s Spay/ Neuter Clinics.

"Animal Services is seeking veterinarians and/or other animal care professionals to operate, under contract, its spay/neuter clinics built into each of its Animal Care Centers. The RFP below provides information about the clinics, the scope of services, and instructions on how to submit a proposal."

In one of the other documents it says Eric Jones, who had everything supplied to him, made $330,000 under guaranteed contract last year at South LA.

However, the new guy is warned he can’t make over $500,000 from his shelter location. Oh dear.

These are the payment rules:

"If surgical exploration is needed to determine if an animal has already been spayed, surgery shall be deemed performed and the same fee shall apply as if the spay surgery was performed."

Hmmm. Bring any two cats you might think of to mind?

This sounds like a reward for incompetence. I think dropping this clause might prevent a lot of unneeded painful surgeries.

Further the RFP says:

"The Contractor shall provide appropriate medical treatment to animals in the event of medical emergencies for animals in the care and control of the Contractor. The Contractor will stabilize the animal in the event he or she needs to be transported to another private veterinary hospital, which will be at no additional cost to the City or the pet owner if the emergency is determined to be related to or caused by the sterilization surgery."

"All animals shall be released to pet owners or adopters with post-operative instructions, including emergency telephone numbers. Should complications occur, the Contractor shall retain responsibility and care for the animal until the complication is abated."

Could it be that Porter's current agreement with Animal Services does not have such a clause? Could it be if anything goes wrong, it is up to the owner to pay for it? The invoice I have from them said the amoxi had to be paid for, and before Mason's intervention, they wanted an additonal $42 for bandaging Simba.

Optional Services and Additional Fees to the Public:

"The Contractor may offer to the public additional services, provided that the written approval is received from the pet owner and the procedure is performed in conjunction with the surgical sterilization of the pet. Pricing of the services, and amounts of additional fees listed below, shall be at the Contractor’s discretion:

Price of Spay/ Neuter Surgeries

"Prices to be paid by Department to Contractor for spay/neuter surgeries on Care Center animals and animals adopted from the Care Centers are:

Male cat
Female cat
Pregnant cat
Male dog under 50 lbs.

So, if Porter plays under the same rules as this contract, they got $136 for the surgeries on Foxy and Simba.


Wouldn't that make a doctor a little more careful and not open two cats with apparent hysterectomy scars? There is no clause in the RFP for letting a fecund cat or dog not be speutered. That is, there is no downside on being too cautious and not perform a speuter.

Would this have prevented Foxy's and Simba's recent surgeries? I don't know. But whatever protocol Porter plays by, both Simba and Foxy now have two hysterectomy scars.

This is a long post. It tells a tale of incredible incompetence or neglect bordering on animal cruelty by West Valley shelter and one of its outsourced private vets, Porter Pet Hospital.

This story just keeps getting better and better so hang in to the end.

Two of Ron Mason’s impounded cats, Simba and Foxy, were adopted on March 2. So far so good.

LAAS requires all animal leaving the shelter to have been neutered before coming in or before being adopted out. Apparently many if not all spay/neuters from the West Valley shelter are done by referred vet, such as Noreda or Porter Pet Hospital. (Noreda is excellent.)

Simba and Foxy had been spayed, one about a year ago and one about five years ago at Holiday Humane.

On March 2, Ron was at the shelter with the adopter, and told everyone at the shelter that Foxy and Simba had already been spayed. Mason had been telling personnel (unnamed) at West Valley which cats had been speutered (spay/neuter) ever since he had been allowed to see them after the informal hearing on his non-case on January 16, after his informal hearing with the Hearing Officer at the City Attorney’s office.

Apparently no vet or tech had ever checked the cats to see if they had been speutered despite the fact they had been in cages in their facilities for FIVE MONTHS!!

They didn’t check. This is pure negligence or incompetence. They either didn’t check or they checked and failed to see hysterectomy scar! Or…

How could Dr. Rao, who is the West Valley vet, and who is scheduled to perform 3,000 spay/neuter surgeries a year not know the cats had already been spayed even while those cats had been under his care for five months? Why did he not spay them any time during the five months? Did he figure they’d never Make it out alive?

If the vet staff could not determine whether the cats were spayed, how could Boks so self-assuredly tell the media and post on the LAAS website about all the un-sterilized cats found on Mason’s property?

Another rescuer told me a similar story. He/she writes:

”This almost happened to me too at West Valley. Fortunately Ron was there and he told them so they looked. If I'd gone by myself I would have had to take their word for it, as by that point the cats were in the back somewhere where I couldn't look and see. The ACO was pretty nice and knows Ron. But in their records they had entered the info incorrectly, and it never occurred to anyone to lift his tail and see.”

”The other thing is, for this bust to proceed as originally planned, which was as a PR arrest of a felony animal-neglector, it would hardly have been in their interest for their official records to reflect that all the seized cats had in fact been spayed/neutered. My guess is they were going to "disappear" Ron's records, then the only data would be their records, which would "indisputably" show that none of these cats had been spay/neutered. This supports my theory that this was all for the benefit of the rescue community, as the general public isn't going to be outraged that the cats were allegedly unaltered -- seeing as how it's not illegal to not alter your cat. Only a rescuer is going to think not spay/neutering constitutes neglect.”

Anyway, this is just the beginning.

The adopter was told by unnamed male staffer (remaining unnamed for the present) that the two cats needed to be spayed at Porter Pet Hospital. After Ron told him they had been spayed, the staffer then said they had to be “checked” at Porter to see if they had been spayed or not. Apparently Dr. Rao or a tech could not be bothered to check the cats then and there to see whether they had been spayed before they went to Porter Monday morning.

The adopter was told that if Simba and Foxy had been spayed, she/he would get $28 back each. He/she was also told that they would be entitled to a free examination within the first 7 days.

When these spayed cats were picked up from Porter Pet Hospital on March 3, they found both cats had been operated on again--for spaying!

The office manager at Porter, Natalie, a nasty woman whose every fourth word was “money,” “office charge,” or “bill,” told me later:
“As you know, it is sometimes hard to tell whether a female cat has been spayed or not. We always do a thorough pre-surgery evaluation, but you can’t always tell.”

(Really? I didn’t know that. After you shave the cats and see the abdominal scars, you can’t tell?)

Natalie made no excuses. She said they were just following orders from the West Valley Shelter and it was all on them, if I had anything to say, call them. Natalie said it had nothing to do with any mistake by Porter.

Hmmm. Animal Services "ordered" the surgery versus sending them for a "check"?

Porter Hospital personnel also could not tell they had been spayed before they opened the cats up again? This sounds like tales from a Third World hospital, or the worst kind of hospital screw up we read about in the LA Times happening at Harbor or other County facility.

When the cats were picked up, he/she was told the cats had to be brought back to Porter for an office exam and shots in two weeks for an extra $45! A nice money-making service for the vet.

Five days after the unnecessary surgery, one of the cats, Simba, developed a golf ball sized swelling at the incision site. Simba was taken back to Porter where she was taken to the back room and a pressure bandage was applied. The adopted was given a bottle of amoxi. The adopter was told to leave Simba’s sutures in for two full weeks instead of ten days as for Foxy.


The doctor was never seen face to face even though the "adjusted" March 27 invoice said there was an “Exam-Consultation.”

The adopter asked about the free examination that the cats were supposed to get. Natalie told the adopter that offer only applied for the first seven days. The adopter said, “That’s tomorrow.” Natalie said, “We are booked up today and tomorrow. We can make an appointment for next week, but there will be a $45 charge for an office visit.

Can you believe this?

Because the adopter works 10 hours a day, six days a week in Pasadena, Ron Mason offered to transport the cats back and forth between the Porter Pet Hospital and the adopter’s home.

Ron will do the same for any of the five remaining cats at West Valley if necessary. I will too.

On the 13th Ron went back to Porter with Foxy to have the stitches taken out. Natalie greeted him/her and said, “There is a note here that no stitches are to be taken out until the adopter pays the $64.50 bill.”

Stunned, Ron said, “What $64.50 bill?”

Natalie said it was for the office visit when Simba was treated for an infection (?) following their unnecessary surgery, wrapping the bandage ($25.00) around the cat, the cost of the bandage itself ($17.00) and the amoxi ($22.50).

Since you can get the “pressure” bandage material at any hospital pharmacy for less than two bucks a yard, that’s not an overcharge is it?

Mason’s statement to Natalie was, “Do you mean that the adopter had to pay $56 for two unnecessary surgeries, which caused an infection, which was then treated by you for a fee, which had to be paid before the stitches were removed? Does that mean the stitches are not going to be removed forever? Did I hear you right.”

This is where Natalie changed her story about knowing whether the cats had been spayed prior to Porter doing it again.

Mason said “Didn’t you see the spay scars before you operated?
Natalie answered, “Well, we thought she (Simba) might have had hernia surgery, and we had to open her up to make sure there was no uterus.”

Mason responded, “You thought both cats had identical hernia surgeries?”

Natalie said nothing.

In any event, after a bit of a heated discussion, Natalie comped the vet fees and Ron paid the $22.50 for the amoxi. Mason paid for the amoxi. Then the adjusted March 27 invoice given to him, showing the comped infection/hernia treatment, and also claiming a comped exam-consult on March 3, the day of the surgery, even though no vet was ever seen for the "consult."

During the 4 visits to Porter by neither the adopter or Mason ever saw the vet.

This whole situation raises many questions.

Why did these cats have to suffer unnecessary surgeries? Is there more here than just gross incompetence by Animal Services and Porter? Was this as the rescuer suggested above, part of a cover up because Boks had claimed the Mason cats had not been speutered, and doing the surgery at Porter would prove they had not been spayed?

Is this situation unique with Ron as a cover up, or is this routine either at Porter or elsewhere? Is anyone at Animal Services quality checking on the work Porter and other vets do for Animal Services? What is Porter’s reputation?

Is there even a slightest possibility that these unnecessary surgeries happen often because Animal Services boosts it’s spay/neuter numbers with every surgery performed, unnecessary or not, and Porter makes a few bucks every time a surgery is done, unnecessary or not?

Animal Services and Porter have no reason to look too closely; surgery, unnecessary or not, is a win-win for them, but a huge and sometimes life-threatening loss for the animals and the public who pays for them.

Mr. Boks, I ask you to very closely look into this relationship you have with your contract vets and find out what is going on. Is there just incompetence on both sides, or is there something more?

By the way, Simba and Foxy had signs on their cages that they could not be handled. The adopter had no difficulty handling the cats after the surgery, and Porter staff had no problem removing the cats from their cages when brought in to have their stitches removed.

I saw Simba when she was recovering with her pressure bandage on. There was nothing feral about her. The photo of Simba was taken just after she got home from the vet.

This whole situation is unconscionable.

This is animal cruelty and I am going to file a complaint against Porter with the State Veterinary Board.

Call Natalie and ask her some questions and offer your opinions and recommendations.

Natalie at Porter Pet Hospital:

(818) 349-8387


The services section of the website says there is a pain management injection given while the animal is waking up. But, I guess Animal Services animals don't get it. It was not on their bill.

By the way, the adopter asked Natalie at Porter to send her/him a note that said the cats had been spayed prior to surgery. West Valley said the money would be refunded after receipt of the note. Instead, Natalie sent the adopter a letter said, "In my professional opinion, the following animal is incapable of breeding--Simba," signed by Ronald Newman, D.V.M.

Dr. Newman, would that be because of the spay operation she had before you operated, or the as a result of your second spay operation?

Now we will see whether West Valley accepts that and refunds the money which will be donated to fee Mason's cats.

Look Damn it, Please Help the Mason Cats Still in Jail, Will You?

Hey you guys, Ron Mason’s cats need your help.

They were snatched and removed from Ron’s loving home—and he did love them, poked, prodded and then ignored and now lived in small cramped cages in the isolated Evidence Room at West Valley, with no socialization or enrichment environment supplied. They are going crazy. Animal Services doesn’t care, they didn’t even check to see if they were spay/neutered.

These guys need your help. Many now are marked with signs they cannot be handled. This is a lie so they can kill them. Simba and Foxy, so marked, become docile and friendly once in a home environment such as Ron provided.

They all have their shots and all were given physical exams and had blood tests within a few days of impounding.

Almost all were spay/neutered although it appears Animal Services doesn’t have a clue which is which. They didn’t even know the sex of a male cat that was adopted until the adopter lifted his (the cat’s) tail. I have a big story about their incompetence re Mason’s cats coming very soon, so stay tuned.

The adoption fee is $17 each, $55 if not. I will spring for $27 for each whether spay/neutered or not. We can arrange for immediate re-adoption with a rescue who has agreed—within three days or so.

Help them. Best Friends from Utah has volunteered to help in any way they can.

There are offers for help from around the country but the problem is the actual adoption and relocation.

Come on, email me at:

I Think I Stand Corrected--Ammended

Letter from a Western University professor:

Subject: Western University College of Vet Med and Reverence for Life

You need to know some things about our college.

Reverence for Life is one of our college's three founding principles. There is NO WAY EVER that any of us would be involved in selecting animals for euthanasia – or in any way, shape or form encouraging that any animal ever be harmed or killed for our
teaching programs.

We believe in it! We are committed to it!

Whatever emotion you all may feel in hearing this rumor is MILD compared to the outrage and uproar that would occur in both our faculty and student body if there was ever to be an attempt to deviate from this cornerstone of our philosophy – and one of
our greatest points of pride. This college would explode!

We take great pride in the fact that our commitment to graduating veterinarians with excellent anatomy and surgical skills without ever harming a living animal.

Because our college has taken this principled stance other veterinary colleges are being pressured to end their terminal surgery programs, and soon that practice will be history.

Our commitment to Reverence for Life is integral and ongoing. The faculty meet regularly to continue to review everything we do and to continue to try to improve both the quality of the education we provide and the ethical processes and decisions about how we accomplish that. This is not something we signed on to and put in a drawer. We live and breathe it every single day.
We have a Willed Body program that is modeled after the human cadaver program for our College of Osteopathy. Pet guardians have the option, after their loved pets have passed on, of donating their cadavers to our college. There are strict rules and
procedures about how we and the donors have those discussions to insure that even on an individual basis there is no chance that the donation to our program plays any role in decisions they make about their pets while alive.

I myself have donated two of my most beloved companions to this program. I did so because I knew about how respectfully they would be treated and what a contribution to the future well being of the many,many animals these future veterinarians would save (including my own).

Each year we have a memorial service for these pets and their donors often attend. Once the pets have completed their service to our college they are cremated, and if desired, returned to their guardians.

It is possible that we will open up this program to one or more shelters to donate a few cadavers a year. That idea is under consideration, but is not yet resolved. It is not possible that we will ever be involved in any action anywhere that would generate any incentives to select or rush the end of an animal's life for our programs.

All the best,

Gini Barrett

Associate Professor in Biomedical Ethics and Public Policy
Western University of Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine

(909)469-5524 office phone

This is a comment recently posted. I too and many others have seen the original report which was quite clear that WU staff and LAAS vet staff would pick ahead of time which selected animal would be taken back to WU.

Many people read the announcement as did I, including the head of DAWS and the ADL. Now, it may be that the corpses are selected AFTER they have been killed and Boks calls Barrett at WU and says we have a 15 year old cat with an adeno carcinoma in the sinuses, do you want it? Be here in a few hours will you before the cat starts to stink.

So how does that jive with Boks statement that the corpses will be selected by both staffs based on some criteria? I wish the process was more carefully explained so that everyone is still not left wondering how much involvement will WU have in selecting the animals to be dissected? Do they wait until and animal is dead, or do they select before the animal is dead knowing euthanasia is about to take place?

Comment left:

AS much as I appreciate Ms Barrett's letter, she needs to read the initial report that was posted on the LAAS website. It stated that the WU staff would be involved in selecting animals for "euthanasia." There was no implying, no "jumping on bandwagons." If these were just rumors, why did Ed have to revise his report? I have a copy of the original report. I read it over and over again. It truly says the staff would be part of selecting the likely candidates for euthanasia so they could take the corpses.

I think the willed body approach is good for private vets, but not for public shelters. It's one thing to will the body of an animal whose person fought to save it. It's another when an animal is killed at a shelter. Any which way you look at it, WU is banking on the killing of animals. For them to say they revere life and they aren't doing the killing is ridiculous. They may not be physically present, but they may as well be.

Also, what message does this give society that already sees animals as disposable? Is it okay to dump them because their death benefits future vets? Hey, don't worry that you just sent your animal to a certain death, you're really doing a great service allowing him to be dissected.

Oh, the memorial is a nice touch. But really, dead is dead and the animals won't be coming back to thank them for being burned versus boiled. Given the option, my guess is the animal would rather just stay alive.

Winogrard's King County Report

Below is the link to every aspect of the Winograd consult of the King County shelter.

There is a 147 page PDF file, a powerpoint presentation and a video. There are also responses.

Nathan's consults are catalysts for change:

"It is unacceptable for this county, which models itself on innovative and cutting edge performance, to have an agency in such deplorable condition," said Councilmember Jane Hague.

“It’s critical for the council to act with urgency on the issues raised in this report about conditions in King County’s animal shelters,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips. “These are matters of life and death to the vulnerable animals dependent on our care. They are voiceless, so we must speak loudly on their behalf.”

“The lack of improvements to our animal control system, in spite of months of warnings and promises, is a clear indicator that King County staff’s oversight of facilities, operations and customer service is entirely inadequate,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “This scathing report should serve as a catalyst for reorganization of the service delivery system, and perhaps even a charter amendment providing the Council a role in holding department heads accountable, so that we can prevent this kind of failure from occurring again in the future.”

“The inadequacy of care at animal shelters is an embarrassment,” said Councilmember Bob Ferguson. “Today’s scathing report shows the County still has not reformed its efforts to provide humane care to animals under its control.”

The Council retained Winograd to evaluate the leadership of Animal Services and its structural capacity to become a model no-kill program. Winograd will deliver his final written report to the Council within a week.

Five volunteers serving on the Citizens Advisory Committee sent the Council a letter earlier this month suspending their work, based on a lack of cooperation from Animal Services staff and other issues. After hearing testimony from one volunteer, Councilmembers today accepted a recommendation to suspend the committee’s work pending removal of “roadblocks to its effectiveness.” The citizens committee report in September described conditions at the shelters as “deplorable.”

In May 2007, the Council adopted comprehensive reforms for animal care and prevention of cruelty. The legislation sponsored by Councilmember Patterson called for transformation of King County Animal Care and Control into a model animal services program, with low euthanasia rates, high live-release rates and safe, sanitary, healthy and humane conditions.

The 2008 King County Budget adopted by the Council includes funding for the most critical upgrades to the County’s animal shelter facilities and improvements to the provision of medical care, nutrition and socialization, while the Council considers the business decision of whether to continue or discontinue the provision of animal sheltering services.

A Money Making Suggestion for Animal Services

I think I have a new, untapped revenue source for Animal Services: responding to requests for public records.

Ross Pool sent me supposedly 270 pages of reviewed documents, about 1/2 of which I requested, for a lousy 10 cents each.

I can imagine that between Brad Jensen, half dozen other activists, and I, Ross could reasonably respond with four to five hundred pages a week.

If they raised their fees to $1/page, they'd be able subsidize one half-time position.

There are a lot of docs so it will take some time.

It appears that the animals they did not kill right away, and that was 2/3 of them, they tested and treated well. Blood was sent to Antech, the firm all vets use.

Blood tests included thyroid, viruses, complete chem panel. When I worked as a vet tech many years ago this set of tests cost the vet $37. I don't know how much Animal Services pays, but the money adds up.

I'll tell you more when I dig deeper.

South Bay was especially good with testing and treatment. West Valley was good, except that was where most of the animals were killed. Those that were killed had no testing, except for the first six kittens taken two days before the raid, and no photos. Why that is, I don't know.

Food-Flation: Good for Farm Animals

One of the very good things to happen as a result of grain prices going up, is the cost of meat has gone up faster.

Beef cuts go as high as $12/lb while some lamb cuts are higher.

Milk and eggs are both up.

I think mild has doubled in price during the last 18 months; ditto eggs.

PETA once suggested taxing meat as a way to price it out of public consumption budgets.

A pound of bread is 1/2 to 1/4 the cost of a pound of meat. Soy has not gone up that much in comparison, so that meat substitutes have hardly risen at all and soy milk is competitive to cows milk.

If you shop carefully at non-supermarket sources or the small chains, such as Vallarta, you can get vegetables 50% or more cheaper than the chains.

As long as grain prices remain high, grain-fed meats will go higher, as will milk and eggs.

Viva la foodflation!

Don't look at this unless you are stronger than I am:

Check Out the County Animal Watchblog

Mayeda is quite a piece isn't she?

Lots of photos too, some disturbing. I don't quite follow, but some of the photos may be from the LAAS shelters. Maybe. Boks is pictured and the kennels look different. However, these photos are followed by more County photos.

Hey you guys, how about showing some cat neglect photos. So far your site seems to be devoted just to dog neglect. There are a lot of us cat people out here too.

Mason Cat Records Coming Soon

Ross Pool sent me a package of 270 pages regarding the official 57 cats impounded on October 9 and 11.

Apparently the Post Office screwed up as the package was misdirected and spent four days in San Bernadine, one day in Colton, two days downtown and one day in the City of Industry.

Soon it will be here.

Soon I can compare the impound records from the shelter with the the health and well being of the cats rescued from the shelter as well as those still there.

Come on guys. Help get these cats out.

Some of them had signs on their cages that they could not be handled.

Of the ten that have been rescued, placed or waiting to be placed, not one is feral.

After five months in small cages many have withdrawn Ron says, but those who have been taken away and placed in a calmer environment, have returned to their normal domesticated selves.

It appears that in their eagerness to bust Mason, Animal Services also impounded 4-5 of the neighbor's cats. Ron says they don't care, they'll just get new ones.

It appears Animal Services made no attempt to contact neighbors who maye have been looking for their cats either. Can you imagine busting a cat feeder and not expect neighborhood cats to be their also?

Imagine, the neighbors made no attempt to locate these cats.

Winograd Blasts King County Shelter

One thing about Winograd, he knows how to get things moving; just what we need in LA. UNLESS someone has a well-articulated and very specific alternative.

Although Nathan is controversial and tends to attack everyone who lives and breathes, in the King County case, they deserve to be attacked. Where ever Nathan goes, movement, good or bad, happens. LA is stuck.

Report rips King County animal shelters


Cats and dogs are locked in filthy cages without food or water in King County animal shelters, and nothing short of a thorough overhaul of the county's apathetic animal-control operation can turn it into the model program the County Council wants it to be, a consultant told the council Monday.

Council members reacted angrily to the report they commissioned from Nathan Winograd, a former operations director at the San Francisco SPCA and a national advocate for reducing animal euthanasia. Kathy Lambert, R-Woodinville, called it "shocking;" Reagan Dunn, R-Bellevue, said it was "a damning report -- without a doubt."

Julia Patterson, D-SeaTac, said, "The government of King County has failed." And Bob Ferguson, D-Seattle, said, "I've had it. ... My patience is at an end."

Ferguson said that if County Executive Ron Sims, a fellow Seattle Democrat, doesn't clean up the mess in animal control in a month, then Ferguson is prepared to work with the council to take "draconian" action.

After the meeting, he said he would meet with council lawyers to determine how much control the council could wrest from Sims to reform animal control services, which is part of the executive Department of Records, Elections and Licensing Services. If the agency's problems can't be fixed, Ferguson said, it might be best for the county to get out of the animal control business and hire a private contractor to do the job.

The county currently operates shelters in Bellevue and Kent and provides services in unincorporated King County and most suburban cities. Seattle runs a separate animal control operation.
Chuck Stempler, board chair for the Seattle Humane Society, said in a statement Monday that "we are distressed by what the report revealed today and we stand ready to help King County address these problems as much as we can."

Representatives from The Seattle Humane Society and other private nonprofit animal-welfare agencies in the Puget Sound region said they are hard at work to ensure that no adoptable companion animal is euthanized.

"Our heart gets broken when you hear about animals hurting," said Rosanne Nichols, the society's vice president of development and external affairs. "Our goal is to get them adopted and get people into the shelters to see them."

Winograd presented the council with a summary of his findings, in advance of a full report later this month. Sims aide Jim Lopez told the council that the administration would withhold a detailed response until it receives the complete report.

"The executive remains committed to working closely with the council and making improvements to our animal care and control services," he told the council.

But the executive's near-complete failure to respond to long-standing complaints and problems represented a major theme of Winograd's presentation. His report is the second to slam the animal control program in the last six months: In September, a citizens advisory committee, finding shelter conditions "deplorable" and the agency's adoption outreach effort "paltry at best," put forth 47 recommendations for reform.

Al Dams, the county's director of animal control, said his agency has either already carried out or is working to put into effect about two-thirds of the committee's recommendations. Among the reforms, Dams said, are expanded veterinary care and volunteer activity, improved record keeping, upgraded procedures, more frequent cleaning of shelters and better maintenance of kennels. And the agency's euthanasia rate so far this year is below the target of 20 percent set by the council, he said.

Dams said the euthanasia rate for cats and dogs during that period was 18 percent -- down from 32 percent during that same period in 2007.

Winograd said the county did little to respond to the findings of a 1992 advisory committee, nor to a 1998 complaint from a veterinarian. The problem, he said, isn't a shortage of money: For at least the last five years, he said, the council has approved Sims' appropriation requests for animal control in full -- and the agency has never spent more than $500,000 in donations it has received to improve animal care.

What's lacking, he said, is accountability, oversight, training and supervision, to the extent the agency can't even provide the basics of care. Without fundamental change, the agency can't become a national leader, he said, and spending more money on it would be a waste.

On his visits to shelters, he said, he found animals penned in feces-strewn cages without food or water for a day or more, as well as animal food piled on wet, waste-contaminated floors and other unsanitary conditions. Record keeping is shoddy and policies are often ignored, he said.

Dams said a specific claim that cats were without food and water for extended periods "is not true."

Some people who stopped by the King County Animal Care and Control Center in Kent on Monday were surprised to hear such a scathing report.

"I've been in here many times, and I don't believe that the staff doesn't feed the animals," said Darrin Brown, who was trying to pick up his dog, a part-black lab named Precious. "I don't think it's a very good facility, but I don't think the cages are filthy. You can tell the staff really love the animals."

You know here in LA, everybody complains. They don't like Boks, they don't like Winograd. No Kill will never happen. Employees are slackers. Rescuers are idiots and don't understand. The public causes all the problems. AND, I see nothing being done.

I see Boks clawing his way to very slow gains over two years and no prospect of no kill within three years. But the Naysays say no one can do it, or they offer very general solutions with no way to implement them.

If you bitch, at least offer an alternative--a specific alternative.

I think a cooperative approach has worked in San Francisco, but it didn't happen until enough people got fed up and put non-bitching energy into mobilizing for change. Change is not going to happen unless there is a strong will to change and do what is necessary to attain a 90% save rate.

Nobody seems to be fed up in LA except a few hundred activists. The rest post here with complaints and no SPECIFIC solutions. I don't see the animal community getting behind any local to lead a charge to change.

The will to change has to happen at the top with the full support of Council. I think Council will get behind any reasonable solution, they show much more respect for the animal community and maybe animals than Villaraigosa. But with public and media outrage, the will from the top will happen.

What real alternative do any of you offer than the proven change maker, Winograd. I will agree he is likely a jerk, probably a liar, a plagiarist, and for all I know, an axe murderer and Muslim at that. But so what? If he can get the ball rolling, what more can we ask? If he can get the ball rolling for $50,000, what more can you ask? One ACO with benefits and retirement makes more than that in a year.

Boks makes $165,000 and with bennies, maybe $200K, that's almost $17,000 a month. Money is not the issue; the issue is movement and will.

It is not about us, it is about the animals.

Western University Body Snatchers

Remember when Boks was telling the media that Western University vets and students were going to come to Animal Services to provide help?

Nothing ever happened.

Therefore, because of their generosity, Boks has decided they can come and choose a couple of hundred animals a year from the shelters, kill them and take them home for dissection for the education of their students.

Boks will present this to the Commission on Monday:


SUBJECT: Use of Deceased Animals for Veterinary Medical Education by Western University of Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine


That the Board approve conveyance of deceased animals to Western University of Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, for veterinary education purposes, not to exceed 200 deceased animals per calendar year.


Western University of Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, has requested participation of the Department in their program to train new veterinarians. Specifically, Western University will request at least 50, but no more than 200 per calendar year, of selected deceased animals to use for veterinary education purposes.

Selection criteria will be very specific and based on the medical rationale used in their being selected for euthanasia. Western University staff will consult with Department medical staff in making those selections.

These specimens will be used exclusively for learning purposes at Western University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Respect for the inherent value of the animals will require special care in handling the remains. All animal remains will ultimately be cremated and a memorial service provided. This program is designed to help provide a greater quality of education to future generations of veterinarians committed to helping animals.


There is no fiscal impact to Animal Services. Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine will provide all transportation and specimen preparation costs.

Hey, why not? The wonderful staff and students decided not to come here and help out, but instead will send their body snatchers to choose and kill the animals that best suit their needs. Far out!!

Look Western University, you have a lot of animals out in San Bernadino to kill. Don't come here. Where were you when there was a vet shortage here?

In theory it is a fair idea. But the animals chosen should be those the staff chooses to kill based on fatal illness or injury; that is, animals that really should be euthanized.

Boks may actually claim this is what they will do, but don't believe him. They still will set the criteria out of sight.

Look you guys. Help get the rest of the Mason cats out of West Valley. Staff will release them to whomever. The cost is $27 if they are spay/neutered, $55 if not. I will spring for half the fee. Leave a comment and we'll arrange a visit with Ron Mason to select the ones to go. They are still in the evidence room.

Another County Horry Story--Help This Guy

Another horry story from another County shelter. Call Steve and talk to him about what can be done.

I have a Black Lab mix (Lexi) and a Pit Bull mix (Prince), both adopted from Animal Control Facilities.

In over 1500 days my dogs got out from my back yard 3-4 times, never attacking another animal or human. The last time they got out, my neighbor, who happens to be a police officer, shot Prince several times, because Prince was barking at his dogs, who were in his backyard behind a fence...not because Prince was attacking him.

In mid November, after my neighbor got other neighbors to write letters to animal control, thus making it appear my dogs were always out terrorizing the neighborhood Major Case Unit of Animal Control came to my house under a court order and took my dogs. They took my dogs to the Castaic Animal Shelter, locking them in a 3x10 cage. In over 5 months that my dogs have been held, they have not been let out of their cage even one time. No exercise in over 5 months. They have not been bathed in over 5 months. The food they give the dogs is meant only to be fed to a dog for 2 weeks, as it lacks proper nutrition.

My dogs went from being able to run around in a 38,000 square foot lot and 3500 square foot house, to being confined to a small cage. They went from eating Iambs canned food mixed with dry food and sleeping on a soft bed, to eating dry food and sleeping on a cement floor.

When my dogs first arrived at the shelter there was a very loving white pit named Mia. Mia had been at the Castaic shelter for over 1 year, never being let out of her cage even once. One day I went to visit my dogs and Mia was gone. I was told that they had to put her down, do to orders from the Major Case Unit. One year of solitary confinement followed by death. Mia deserved better!

The officer in charge of the case is Ana Soueidan, an extremely dishonest and manipulative person. Numerous times I have requested to pay to privately board my Dogs. Numerous times I have requested that I be given supervised visits in a bigger fenced area, so I can give my dogs proper attention and allow them to get proper exercise. The reason I was given as to why they won't allow my dogs out of their small cage for exercise, "If your dogs were to escape, you would sue us!" There decision to be cruel to my dogs is based on fear of being sued. The reason I can't have my dogs privately housed is that I may take them.

My dogs have been charged with no crime, yet they are being punished. Why? I have been told that they're being held because they are aggressive. Several times I have requested to have my friend Caesar Milan (Dog Whisperer) to examine and test my dogs for aggression. They have never tested my dogs aggression, yet still they hold them.

They charged me with two misdemeanor charges, endangering children and being a nuisance to my neighbors. At most they should have cited me for an off leash citation.

When I went to court, the DA appeared shocked that they locked my dogs up, without ever letting them out of their cage for exercise. The DA said that things were out of his hands and that he was going along with whatever MCU wanted to do. He told me, that I would never get Prince back and it was doubtful I'd ever get Lexi back. Lexi is in no part of the complaint and not feared by any neighbors, yet they still want to put her down for being guilty of association.

This is a case of people being prejudice of pit bulls. People are scared of them. People see one in their neighborhood, they panic. I can't blame them. It is almost like a big thugish looking black man walking down Rodeo Drive talking loud, people feeling scared call the police. The police come and lock this man up and execute him a year later, just because of the way he looks.

If a person is detained, you have to charge them with a crime within 72 hours or release them. WIth animals, there is no time line and there is no bail. They could keep an animal locked up in a small cage for years and if the case ever gets lost, that's where the animal will remain. What happened to Animal RIghts? Does MCU realize that they're being cruel to animals? I definitely told them. It appears that there only concern is to prevent being sued. Well, being sued I think is exactly what's needed.
Do you believe that there is a case to sue MCU for cruelty to animals? Every person working at Animal Control in Castaic detests MCU. I have letters from an Aide and a Veterinary Technician stating that my dogs have been friendly and shown no aggression and still they want to put them down.

Thank you,

Steve Eid
661.297.7246 home
661.645.4545 cell

This is the contact information for the animal control officer. I have to warn you, she is extremely deceptive and has no interest in protecting an animals rights.

Ana Soueidan
Major Case Unit
11258 S. Garfield Ave
Downey, Ca. 90242
(562) 658-2000
Fax (562)861-1259

Is there any Animal Rights groups that might be interested in hearing my story? Mia's story? Do you know any groups that might be able to help?

Mason on Hockman

I know I have been critical of Cynthia Hockman, Ron Mason's vet before she went from Holiday Humane to LA Animal Services. But this was only my opinion as an outsider.

Despite all that has happened to him, Ron still likes her.

He we, "We had a good relationship. I think she is a really good vet. She did a LOT for me when she was taking care of my cats." Ron said it was only after he was busted did her attitude change.

I have got to say I only met her once. She told me (and Ron) she took the AS job because she could help a lot more animals. I believe this was her motivation and she will do very well by them.

Even though I have not begun to go through all the impound records I got from my Request for Documents, I can see the ones that were not killed immediately were tested and treated. Apparently Johnny was treated for a week or so and even had an IV line put in for hydration before he was euthanized. This was even before I began making a bog fuss.

So Cynthia, I apologize for making you out to be a demon.

Ron also told me that before he left, Holiday Humane always treated him well, and were not price gougers like Porter Pet Hospital which LAAS outsources spay/neuters.

How Is This For Stupidity and Greed? Don't Show this to Paris

How much is the kitty in the window? $22,000

Costly crossbreed felines are the latest designer hybrid to hit the catwalk
Jessica Dickler, staff writer

NEW YORK - Goodbye Goldendoodle. Designer dogs are so last season. Now animal lovers are clamoring for cat crossbreeds - and they are sparing no expense on the latest "it" pet.

Now mixed-breed cats, with their beauty and stature, are causing a craze for those with a fondness for felines.

And for some, no price is too high for a designer kitten.

"For our customers, money is no object," said breeder Simon Brodie.

Brodie used a "secret recipe" to mix an African serval and Asian leopard cat with a domestic cat, to create the world's most expensive feline hybrid.

The Ashera, an exclusive product of Brodie's firm, Lifestyle Pets, resembles a little leopard and can weigh up to 30 pounds. But it's more suited for lounging than stalking prey.

"They are very friendly, very affectionate," Brodie said.

Although an Ashera costs $22,000 (plus $6,000 for the premium placement option, which will expedite kitten delivery by about six months) Lifestyle Pets has already sold several cats to customers around the world since the pricey pet was unveiled last May.

Once an order is placed, the Ashera is hand delivered (the cost of delivery is approximately $1,500 within the United States) by a representative who remains on hand for a few days to answer questions and facilitate the transition. Asheras come fully vaccinated with a microchip identifier, a supply of kitty food and cat toys, access to an animal behaviorist, and a year of veterinary insurance included.

There's even a certificate of authenticity that includes an image of each kitten's DNA "fingerprint." But what else would one expect for a cat that costs as much as a car?

Brodie says that his company will keep the supply small, developing less than 50 cats each year to uphold its unique appeal - and high price.

Although the Ashera may be the most expensive mixed-breed offering to hit the market recently, it's certainly not the only one.

Other popular hybrids include the Bengal (part Asian leopard mixed with a house cat), Savannah (part African serval, part house cat) and Chausie (part jungle cat, part house cat).

Holly Hummel, who has been breeding hybrids for 20 years, says demand for exotic blends is growing, and the pricier the pet, the more sought after it seems.

"The more expensive ones move faster than the less expensive ones," Hummel said.

Even though her top-of-the-line Habari-breed cats range in price from $10,000 to $12,000, "most of our kittens are spoken for by about two weeks of age," she said.

But does coughing up that kind of dough guarantee a perfect pet?

With any designer hybrid, "there are things to watch out for, as far as genetic defaults go," cautioned a spokeswoman from the International Cat Association.

But, generally, emerging exotic breeds are well monitored, she said. "We're very careful that there is no genetic downside."

That means pet owners can rest assured that their investment in a designer cat will not disappoint - that is until the next hot mix hits the horizon.


Why Mason did not Waive HIs 4th Amendment Rights

The woman who asked Ron if they could look inside his house was Mary Grady, the smarm-fest LAPD Public Information Director.

Unless City TV is a wholly owned subsidiary of LAPD (which wouldn't surprise me) she had no right to ask or assume permission on their behalf. How is Ron supposed to know who everybody was? How was he supposed to know the camera crew wasn't LAPD personnel?

Add to that the fact that you ask anybody to consent to ANYTHING while they're in handcuffs, particularly with a camera and lights pointing at them at the crack of dawn, and that constitutes duress.

And they're not supposed to ask him ANYTHING until his rights are read to him. But crazily enough, with all that media, no one saw Ron being read his rights, because in the excitement of all those cops and ACOs bein' on the tee-vee, they plumb forgot to read Ron his rights.

PLUS, you can't openly and continually speculate about someone's mental health (as they did before, during and after the arrest), and at the same time say that you think a person you believe is mentally impaired AND in handcuffs gave you legitimate, informed consent to do anything. They want to have it, not just both ways, but about five ways that are mutually exclusive.

God BLESS whoever put that tape on YouTube!


Currently the state is supposed to reimburse municipal shelters for the animals they kill. The more animals a shelter kills, the more money they make.

It goes like this:

If the state passes a bill that requires an action by a local government that costs money, the state is supposed to reimburse that entity. The Hayden Act mandated animals be kept four to six days allowing more time for adoption and owners to redeem the animals. This costs the shelters extra money which the state is supposed to pay. The state pays each shelter a fee for every animal it KILLS, not adopts.

Currently, the State Legislative Analyst (LA) recommends immediately repealing that part of Hayden that mandates the 4-6 day hold, thus eliminating it, and beginning a pilot project to reward shelters for the number they adopt.

The LA says the longer holding period has not led to more adoptions, costs money and therefore should be repealed.

Of course, after Hayden is repealed, a pet could be euthanized at will—as before. Then, some time down the line, there would be a pilot project to see if funds for adoption better supports the state’s intent to adopt more animals. Maybe a couple of years down the line the state would begin paying shelters for adopting more animals.

The LA does not consider of doing both: mandating the 4-6 day hold, and while phasing in state supported adoption fees.

How much does County and LAAS get paid now for killing animals?

Apparently the state is way behind reimbursing the shelters and recommends ending the mandatory hold period immediately to pay the old bills.

Get ready for a fight as this is for the 2008-2009 budget, which is voted on in June. (I think)

The Legislative Analyst's Statement:


Chapter 752, Statutes of 1998 (SB 1785, Hayden), changed state policy regarding shelter care for stray and abandoned animals. Most notably, Chapter 752 (1) declared, “It is the policy of the state that no adoptable animal should be euthanized if it can be adopted into a suitable home,” and (2) lengthened the time (generally from three days to six) that shelters must care for animals before euthanizing them.

In 2008–09, local governments are expected to claim $23 million for this mandate. Almost all of the cost is for the food, medical care, and space needed to keep animals alive for the Direct Impact of Longer Holding Period.

Throughout the United States, there are many more animals in shelters than there are households looking to adopt pets. Partly because of this imbalance between supply and demand, roughly one–half of the animals entering shelters are euthanized. Chapter 752’s requirement that shelters keep animals alive longer increases the supply of animals in shelters on any specific day. It also gives animal rescue organizations more time to transfer animals to their facilities. This increased supply of adoptable animals (at shelters and rescue facilities) can give households greater choice in selecting a pet to adopt. It does not necessarily mean, however, that more households adopt pets. That is, the mandate does nothing to increase the demand for these animals.

{The stupid analyst does not take into account the longer period allows for a higher owner return rate. Also, it appears the LA is assuming that the demand for animals is fixed, which does not take into account the effects of good marketing. Marketing can increase the public's desire for a pet and also want to adopt them from the shelter rather than a breeder. The LA assumes that the same percentage of people will adopt from the shelter no matter how much more convenient, inexpensive or pleasurable the shelters make adoptions.}

Indirect Effect of Shelter Funding. To increase the number of pets adopted, more households need to adopt pets rather than buy them from stores or breeders. Especially over the last decade, as concern regarding the treatment of animals has grown, many shelters, animal rescue, and humane groups have taken significant steps towards promoting animal adoption.

Does the funding provided under Chapter 752 support these efforts? Our review finds no link between the funding provided under Chapter 752 and programs that encourage animal adoption. Specifically, under the mandate’s reimbursement methodology, shelters do not get more state funds if more households adopt animals. Rather, shelters that euthanize the most animals receive the most state funds. Shelters that are the most successful in promoting adoptions receive the least state funds.

This gap between Chapter 752’s policy goals and mandate reimbursements stems from the requirements of mandate law. Specifically, the California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local governments for the cost of required activities—without regard to local success in achieving the desired outcomes.

Because the goals of Chapter 752 are not suited to implementation as a mandate, we recommend the Legislature repeal the elements of Chapter 752 that impose a mandate. We further recommend that the state pay the outstanding costs for this mandate over time. (Reduce Item 8885–295–0001 by $13 million and increase Item 8885–299–0001 by $3 million.)
Given mandate law’s focus on reimbursing local governments for activities, rather than the achievement of policy objectives, few state objectives are suited to implementation as mandates. This is particularly true when the state seeks to encourage local governments to make significant policy changes, such as in the case of Chapter 752.

Because there is no evidence that the longer holding period (or its mandate funding) furthers state policy objectives, we recommend the Legislature repeal this requirement of Chapter 752 (along with the other minor elements of the measure found to be a mandate). This action would eliminate the state’s obligation to reimburse local governments for their increased costs of caring for animals that they euthanize.

If the Legislature wishes to give shelters more incentives to promote animal adoptions, we recommend the Legislature try a different approach. For example, the Legislature could pilot an incentive program that gives funding to those shelters that increase the number of animals successfully adopted. (As a point of reference, based on information provided by the Department of Public Health, the state could give local government shelters $30 for every dog or cat adopted for a total annual cost of about $12 million.)

{The LA says the 2008-09 cost for the current Hayden mandate would be around $20 million. Why not give a $50 bonus for each animal adopted? The LA is only interested in cutting costs.}

Reduce Funding in Budget for Mandates by $13 Million. The Constitution generally requires the Legislature to (1) pay all outstanding bills for a mandate in the upcoming budget or (2) suspend or repeal the mandate. Repealing the Animal Adoption mandate, therefore, would allow the Legislature to remove funds for it from the budget bill. While the funds for this mandate were not identified specifically in the budget bill, we estimate it to be about $13 million. (This amount represents the outstanding costs for this mandate from 2005–06 and 2006–07.)

Summary of Budget Actions. We recommend the Legislature:
§ Repeal the requirements of Chapter 752 found to be a state–reimbursable mandate.

§ Reduce by $13 million the funds provided in the budget bill for this mandate to pay 2005–06 and 2006–07 mandate claims.
§ Increase by $3 million the funds provided in the budget to make a payment for the mandate backlog and prior year Animal Adoption claims.

I don’t think the LA has proven at all that longer holding has not resulted in more adoptions. He cites no study. Nor has he proven that no fewer animals are killed either in numbers or percentages than before Hayden.

He just states this is fact without providing any proof.

In LA adoptions are way up and killing way down compared with to Pre-Hayden. San Francisco killing is way down since Hayden. What affect if any Hayden has one way or the other is not proven. Prove it! Let's do both?

Request Resignation of Kern County Animal Control Commission Members

The below email was sent to me. In response to the first commenter, I haven't seen much evidence that spay/neuter ordinances decrease impounds that much. It sounds common sense but I am not sure if it works in the real world. There are the problems with people knowing about the ordinance and enforcing it.

Same with TNR. There are quite a few small studies of small populations over a few dozen to a 100 acres or so that seems to indicate it does work if there isn't a lot of dumping. But it is by no means a slam dunk.

LA, despite increasing spay/neuter programs and education about the issue has suffered roughly the same impound numbers over the last four years.

I think the greatest impact would be to gradually regulate breeders out of existence and highly discourage selling any kind of live pets at pet shops. Dogs and cats aren't the only animals dumped. Adopting them through rescues there is a different story.

Anyway, the email:

For the past two years the Kern County euthanized pet numbers have been steadily on the rise. The only people with the authority to change this situation is our local public officials.

While some have valiantly stepped up to help, others have worked against us for years:

Supervisor Don Maben and his Animal Control Commission have worked very hard to make sure that Kern County will never have a mandatory spay/neuter pet protection ordinance, (the only proven method to date to reduce pet overpopulation and the high numbers of dead pets).

Supervisor Maben is very adamant that a mandatory spay/neuter pet protection ordinance will never be implemented in Kern County, and he has successfully turned his back on the plight of discarded pets in our community for the past two years.

The Kern County Animal Control Commission members have stated that they will fight our Kern County Board of Supervisors to ensure that a mandatory spay/neuter pet protection ordinance will never be put in place and that such an ordinance is not appropriate for Kern County.


Please e-mail our Animal Control Commission and ask them to step down since they have never stepped up to help the discarded pets of Kern County:

For more information:


US Supreme Court Unanimous holding:
Allowing members of the news media to enter private residences along with law enforcement officers during the execution of arrest or search warrants violates the Fourth Amendment rights of the residents.


CHIEF JUSTICE REHNQUIST delivered the opinion of the Court:

While executing an arrest warrant in a private home, police officers invited representatives of the media to accompany them. We hold that such a "media ride along" does violate the Fourth Amendment, but that because the state of the law was not clearly established at the time the search in this case took place, the officers are entitled to the defense of qualified immunity.

In April 1992, the Circuit Court for Montgomery County issued three arrest warrants for Dominic Wilson, one for each of his probation violations. The warrants were each addressed to "any duly authorized peace officer," and commanded such officers to arrest him and bring him "immediately" before the Circuit Court to answer an indictment as to his probation violation. The warrants made no mention of media presence or assistance.

In the early morning hours of April 16, 1992, a Gunsmoke team of Deputy United States Marshals and Montgomery County Police officers assembled to execute the Dominic Wilson warrants.

The team was accompanied by a reporter and a photographer from the Washington Post, who had been invited by the Marshals to accompany them on their mission as part of a Marshal's Service ride-along policy.

At around 6:45 a.m., the officers, with media representatives in tow, entered the dwelling at 909 North Stone Street Avenue in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Rockville.

Petitioners Charles and Geraldine Wilson were still in bed when they heard the officers enter the home. Petitioner Charles Wilson, dressed only in a pair of briefs, ran into the living room to investigate. Discovering at least five men in street clothes with guns in his living room, he angrily demanded that they state their business, and repeatedly cursed the officers.
Believing him to be an angry Dominic Wilson, the officers quickly subdued him on the floor.

Geraldine Wilson next entered the living room to investigate, wearing only a nightgown. She observed her husband being restrained by the armed officers. When their protective sweep was completed, the officers learned that Dominic Wilson was not in the house, and they departed.

During the time that the officers were in the home, the Washington Post photographer took numerous pictures. The print reporter was also apparently in the living room observing the confrontation between the police and Charles Wilson. At no time, however, were the reporters involved in the execution of the arrest warrant.

Brief for Federal Respondents Layne et al. 4. The Washington Post never published its photographs of the incident.

Petitioners sued the law enforcement officials in their personal capacities for money damages under Bivens v. Six Unknown Fed. Narcotics Agents, 403 U. S. 388 (1971) (the U. S. Marshals Service respondents) and, Rev. Stat. §1979, 42 U. S. C. §1983 (the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department respondents).

They contended that the officers' actions in bringing members of the media to observe and record the attempted execution of the arrest warrant violated their Fourth Amendment rights. The District Court denied respondents' motion for summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity.

On interlocutory appeal to the Court of Appeals, a divided panel reversed and held that respondents were entitled to qualified immunity. The case was twice reheard en banc, where a divided Court of Appeals again upheld the defense of qualified immunity. The Court of Appeals declined to decide whether the actions of the police violated the Fourth Amendment.

It concluded instead that because no court had held (at the time of the search) that media presence during a police entry into a residence violated the Fourth Amendment, the right allegedly violated by petitioners was not "clearly established" and thus qualified immunity was proper. 141 F. 3d 111 (CA4 1998).

Five judges dissented, arguing that the officers' actions did violate the Fourth Amendment, and that the clearly established protections of the Fourth Amendment were violated in this case. Id., at 119 (opinion of Murnaghan, J.)

Recognizing a split among the Circuits on this issue, we now affirm the Court of Appeals, although by different reasoning.

Here, of course, the officers had such a warrant, and they were undoubtedly entitled to enter the Wilson home in order to execute the arrest warrant for Dominic Wilson.

But it does not necessarily follow that they were entitled to bring a newspaper reporter and a photographer with them. In Horton v. California, 496 U. S. 128, 140 (1990), we held "[i]f the scope of the search exceeds that permitted by the terms of a validly issued warrant or the character of the relevant exception from the warrant requirement, the subsequent seizure is unconstitutional without more."

While this does not mean that every police action while inside a home must be explicitly authorized by the text of the warrant, see Michigan v. Summers, 452 U. S. 692, 705 (1981) (Fourth Amendment allows temporary detainer of homeowner while police search the home pursuant to warrant), the Fourth Amendment does require that police actions in execution of a warrant be related to the objectives of the authorized intrusion, see Arizona v. Hicks, 480 U. S. 321, 325 (1987). See also Maryland v. Garrison, 480 U. S. 79, 87 (1987)

("[T]he purposes justifying a police search strictly limit the permissible extent of the search").

Certainly the presence of reporters inside the home was not related to the objectives of the authorized intrusion. Respondents concede that the reporters did not engage in the execution of the warrant, and did not assist the police in their task. The reporters therefore were not present for any reason related to the justification for police entry into the home-the apprehension of Dominic Wilson.

This is not a case in which the presence of the third parties directly aided in the execution of the warrant. Where the police enter a home under the authority of a warrant to search for stolen property, the presence of third parties for the purpose of identifying the stolen property has long been approved by this Court and our common-law tradition.

Respondents argue that the presence of the Washington Post reporters in the Wilsons' home nonetheless served a number of legitimate law enforcement purposes. They first assert that officers should be able to exercise reasonable discretion about when it would "further their law enforcement mission to permit members of the news media to accompany them in executing a warrant." Brief for Respondents Layne et al. 15.

But this claim ignores the importance of the right of residential privacy at the core of the Fourth Amendment. It may well be that media ride-alongs further the law enforcement objectives of the police in a general sense, but that is not the same as furthering the purposes of the search.

Were such generalized "law enforcement objectives" themselves sufficient to trump the Fourth Amendment, the protections guaranteed by that Amendment's text would be significantly watered down.

Respondents next argue that the presence of third parties could serve the law enforcement purpose of publicizing the government's efforts to combat crime, and facilitate accurate reporting on law enforcement activities.

There is certainly language in our opinions interpreting the First Amendment which points to the importance of "the press" in informing the general public about the administration of criminal justice. In Cox Broadcasting Corp. v. Cohn, 420 U. S. 469, 491-492 (1975), for example, we said "in a society in which each individual has but limited time and resources with which to observe at first hand the operations of his government, he relies necessarily upon the press to bring to him in convenient form the facts of those operations." See also Richmond Newspapers, Inc. v. Virginia, 448 U. S. 555, 572-573 (1980).

No one could gainsay the truth of these observations, or the importance of the First Amendment in protecting press freedom from abridgement by the government. But the Fourth Amendment also protects a very important right, and in the present case it is in terms of that right that the media ride-alongs must be judged.

This is an abreviated version of the entire case. The URL above presents the entire case.

From this it appears that Boks' decision to let Dana Bartholomew and the Daily News photographer ride along with the ACTF and LAPD as well as Animal Services ACOs for publicized "openness" of ACTF/LAAS' operations was a direct violation of Ron Mason's Fourth Amendment rights and was not trumped by the media's freedom of the press.

Even more so, in the decision above, the photos were never published. The Mason photos were. Also, City TV was part of the media ride along and the footage of the raid was broadcast on television.

Humm. Lawsuit here we come.

Saturday Carson Protest + April Vigil

Carson Animal Shelter Protest
WHO: Animal activists, animal lovers, and concerned citizens
WHAT: Protest at the Carson Animal Shelter
WHERE: Carson Animal Shelter216 West Victoria StreetGardena, CA
WHEN: Saturday, March 15, 2008 from 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
WHY: To protest the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control’s continued neglect of the animals in their care.

Carson Animal Shelter Candlelight Vigil
Carson Animal Shelter216 West Victoria StreetGardena

During fiscal year 2007, the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control killed 52,800 of the 85,975 animals they impounded. That’s a 61.4% kill rate. Those animals deserve to be more than just a statistic.

Join us in remembering the animals killed by the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control in a candlelight vigil on Saturday, April 5, 2008 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Carson Animal Shelter.

On Sunday, April 6, 2008, Los Angeles County shelters will be closed to the public, and that is when the most killing will take place. This candlelight vigil will also remember those animals that will be killed on Sunday.

The candlelight vigil will feature speakers who had animals that they were going to rescue or adopt needlessly killed by the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control and those who had animals they were going to rescue or adopt die at a Los Angeles County shelter due to the neglect of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control.

If you’d like to speak at the candlelight vigil or to RSVP, contact Ryan