Animal Services to cut 35 ACTs-AMMENDED

Two days ago Boks presented his budget proposal to the Budget and Proposal Committee.

Animal Services is cutting 35 ACT positions and not hiring 8 already budgeted. I think. Every time anyone mentioned a number, another person gave a different number. I did notice that whenever Ed gave a number, someone challenged it. I guess no one believes anything he says anymore.

Hours are being reduced to 40 hours, 10 am to 6 pm. Linda Barth insisted that 6 days a week X 8 hours was 40 hours. Maybe they plan on shutting down another day each week.

Four supervisory positions would revert to ACT positions. I missed the part about whether ACO personnel would be affected and couldn't find it re-running the tape.

I really, really hope this allows Ed to get rid of the deadwood rather than reduce by seniority, which is probably the case. The good people he hired since he came may be ousted.

As part of the budget cut, the Northeast Valley shelter will not be opened as a full service shelter. Instead, it will house the LADP/LAAS Gestapo, the Animal Cruelty Task Force, and evidence animals. Ed says he thinks this will be well-received by the animal community.

He also says the facility will be used to temporarily house animals from rescue groups whose own houses/shelters are filled up. This will be staffed by volunteers. Adoptions will still take place at the facilities but surrenders will not be taken.

Adoption fees for dogs would increase from $91 to $117 per dog. He was asked whether he thought that would negatively impact adoptions. His response was at $91, LA was adopting more animals than any other municipal shelter in the country, and he says we are the fifth lowest kill shelter system in the country using his murder per thousand criteria. He insinuates we are almost there.

He concluded from this "observation" that the $26 raise would not much impact adoptions, and if it did, he could go to Council next year to ask for a decrease. How the hell he could conclude it would not uch impact adoptions is beyond me.

You know what is going to happen, don't you? Adoptions will decrease and next April he will go to Council and blame them for the fee increase which dropped adoptions. Also, he will blame Council for not opening the NE Valley shelter and the loss of 35 ACT due to budget cuts they passed, for the increase in euthanasia. But he will still say then that caused only a slight increase in the kills per thousand stats.

Then Villaraigosa will give Ed an award for something or other.

The Boks presentation; it is about 2/3 of the way through the meeting:

By the way, every time I see Rosendahl, the more convinced I am he is an idiot. See for yourself. He is plain out nuts and has this stupid idea of having a boy scout like volunteer force go house to house to collect fees. Remember, this is the idiot that thought going from door to door to check for spay/neuters was an invasion of privacy.

Linda Barth pointed out the volunteers would need a SWAT team support in some areas of the unfriendlier areas of the city. Man, he is an idiot. How was he able to maintain a TV talk show for seven years in Santa Monica?

Santa Monica's Shelter Stats

A week or so ago Ed Boks sent out an email comparing LAAS's kill stats with County, but especially Long Beach, where he asked rhetorically, "I wonder what is going on there." Long Beach was not doing well at all.

Ed says Santa Monica and Glendale stats were not included in his figures. Why?

I called my old friend, Don Umber, head of SM's shelter. I asked for his stats.

Santa Monica runs a tiny shelter compared to LAAS, about 2-1/2 percent of LA's impounds. However, it is a public shelter, taking all pets no matter what their condition.

I agree SM is a wealthy suburb, but it has animals coming in from nearby communities that would be considered County, such as Culver City as well as from LA.

Also, SM has a large Hispanic/black population south of Olympic and Pico, as well as elderly and poor in the Mid City area and North of Wilshire area.

SM is extremely heavy in rental apartments, including rent controlled apartments. These are the people being driven out by anti rent control forces to apartments that do not accept animals. Lots of homeowners are driven out because of foreclosures, as the average home in SM is extremely expensive.

Most of the renters driven out are low income, middle age, to elderly who have been in their apartments for 10-20 years. Most have multiple animals. This is where most of the owner surrenders come from according to Don.

The houses are in the Ocean Park and Hispanic/black areas around SM Community College.

SM has a population of 88,000, or 2.2% of LA's population. Therefore, SM's impound rate is a little higher than LA's.

Here are the stats sent to me by Don. They are from the Annual Rabies Control stats sent to the County.

Return to Owner.....35.0%
Died in Shelter.......0.1% (Get that, 1/10th of 1%)

The figure do not add up to 100% because I rounded the figures.

Owner surrenders...15%
From public.............48%.

In Santa Monica, if the shelter killed 50 fewer cats, they would be well within Winograd's definition of no kill and better than the Reno or Charlottesville no kill shelters. Even now, the save rate for dogs is 96%, better than any Winograd shelter or the well-funded San Francisco SFSPCA.

However, Don is reluctant to toot his horn as people everywhere know how good SM is at placing pets, and they are bringing in animals from other cities by people claiming they found them in Santa Monica.

Most of the cats killed are ferals or elderly/ill. Less than a dozen neonatals were killed last year, even though he said it was a horrendous kitten season. Makes you wonder why LAAS had so few neonatals impounded and killed. Maybe LAAS was dumping them on Santa Monica.

Santa Monica shelters have a proportionately larger employee base per capita or per animal than LAAS, but only about 2/3 of LAAS' per capita or per animal budget, meaning they get more bang for the buck. They have 11 full time staff compared to 338 for County, and I hear, 350+ for the City. I hear so many different figures for LAAS' buget and employee number I have no idea what is real.

Don says they have a fairly large volunteer and foster base and have a good relationship with a local rescue group that handles kittens. (I used to work with this group.)

I told Don how close his shelters were to no kill using the 10% definition. He says he will try harder to make it so.

Vote for Steve Cooley for DA

Vote for Steve Cooley for District Attorney.

Cooley refused to yield to LAPD and ACTF pressure to charge Ron Mason with a felony, largely because there was none. Even if there had been, ACTF/Boks botched the Mason raid to the extent that made made it a criminal act. Unfortunately, this still has to be proven in court.

I hear Cooley has been critical of the cases brought to him by ACTF basically as being botched.

Mayeda's "Major Accomplishments" This Year

County Animal Control has a budget of $27,493,000 for the current year and 338 employees. Mayeda has been on the job since 2001.

Here is what she lists as major accomplishments this year (page 61 PDF page number):

• Implemented mandatory spay/neuter and microchip ordinance for dogs, the first in the nation. This ordinance will result in fewer unwanted dogs, increased public safety, and reduced animal costs to taxpayers over the long term.

• Received approval to build seventh animal shelter, to be located in Antelope Valley.

This new shelter will reduce the overcrowding and high euthanasia rates at the Lancaster shelter.

• Received a $100,000 matching grant from PetSmart Charities. This funding will help low-income pet owners receive spay/neuter services for their pets, resulting in fewer unwanted animals born, less stray dogs to create public safety hazards, and a greater ability for low-income pet owners to comply with the new County ordinance.

• Began partnership with PETsMART Charities to begin a low-income spay/neuter clinic in the Florence-Firestone area. This clinic will bring much needed services to low income pet owners in this area.

• Received pledge from the Found Animal Foundation to provide up to 1 million free microchips to all dogs served by the department.

• Received $100,000 grant approval from the Quality and Productivity Commission for PAWSTATS, the department’s enhanced performance measurement system based on DPSSSTATS. (What is DPSSSTATS?)

• Received a National Association of Counties award for ground-breaking animal facility grading program. This program has received national attention.

Is this a joke?

There is no mention of any improved euthanasia or live save stats this year, or any other improvements in lifesaving performance, increasing adoptions, return to owner, decreased died in shelter rates, number of spay/neuters done or assisted.

Instead, two of the seven major accomplishments for the $27.5 million per year operation was receiving two, $100,000 grants, each being 4/1,000th of her budget. This is 4/10ths of 1 percent!

What does it mean she "implemented" the spay/neuter microchip ordinance? What has she actually done to "implement" it in terms of performance? Doesn't she mean she was here when it passed and "implemented" really mean nothing has been done so far?

She "began" a "partnership" with Petsmart that some day will create a low cost spay/neuter Center? Began, someday? Petsmart again. What about the clinic? Will it S/N 1,000 animals or 5,000? Who will run it? Who will it belong to? When will it go on line?

Received an award for an animal facility grading program? How did she grade her own facilities?

Received approval to build a seventh shelter sometime in the future, as opposed to opening a new shelter now? Is receiving approval the same as an accomplishment?

Got a pledge from Found Animal Foundation to supply a million microchips for all shelter dogs?

Come on, this is ancient news. The offer was made two years ago. And, a million chips? Isn't that about 33 years of dog impounds? Has even one dog been chipped?

Gary Michelson's FAF--so far as I know--has done nothing notable with its $10,000,000 initial funding except to renege on promised support for LAAS. Not only does Michelson look goofy, he does not keep his word.

With a $27.5 million budget, two $100,000 grants are her high points? Free microchips and a facility grading program. What a joke.

Take a look at our sister blog watching the County shelters for current information and upcoming events, such as the May 3 event:

Apparently Mayeda has reported the bloggers to the FBI alleging animal terrorism. I remember that one. Boks did that--if I remember correctly--to the ADL. Look what it got him and the City.

How to File a Complaint Against a Veterinarian

The site below is of the California Veterinary Board. The page below gives information and how to file a complaint, including a down loadable printable page you can send them by mail.

It tells who should file and how to file.

Go get them. Get some of these crooks/incompetents out of business.


Our beautiful little girl, Gracie died last night at the hospital on an IV drip.

Born in June 1987, she was a month shy of 21.

We got her and her brother Georgie in August of 1987 and none of us were ever separated for more than two weeks at a time.

Gracie had a long illness with kidney failure diagnosed about two years ago.

Our home seems so empty without her.

More Info on Good and Bad Vets Please

I have posted below some comments on bad vet experiences. I have not heard the other side of the story, because, at this point, the whole vet "problem" is not the central issue of this blog.

I have been thinking of starting a second blog on good and bad vets, rates, locations, etc., but not now.

Regarding Dr. Fahmi (Fahmy?), I have heard he is being sued for medical malpractice by at least one other individual. I called a previous employer to check on what she thought. The response to my statement that he was being sued by several people, was, "I am not surprised," we never let him do surgery here.

The other comment posted about the kitten with the ruptured lungs cites a new doctor we should be keeping track of.

Please post more comments to this post.

Why I am repulsed by anything Chinese

Not only do the Chinese sell poisoned pet food and lethally tainted medicines around the world, they treat animals in the most foul way, just as do the Koreans.

When I was in Korea, there were signs all over Seoul that said "Live food." This often meant dogs. Dogs are considered a delicacy. They are often beaten to death prior to being skinned and cooked because supposedly the taste has masculinizing benefits. Of course they hide this from Westerners.

The only live dogs you'll see in Seoul are those running free protected around monasteries. You may think this is bull, but the monks I lived with have gone to those restaurants ONCE only. I had no idea when I was eating in a restaurant in 1995 there that I was eating dog. My guide tried to hide it from me, but I heard about it afterwards.

This is when I became a complete vegetarian. Once I stopped eating anything alive (except veggies), a huge load of guilt dropped from my shoulders. Also, I did not want to have anything to do with Korean culture, or Chinese for that matter.

For this reason I left the Shogate order of Zen priests where I had a fairly high ranking as the only American named to be a World Teacher of Shogate Zen Buddhism.

Photo and story about me after being made an International Teacher:

Things are worse in China. China has not been exposed to Western disapproval for 50 years as have the Koreans. We have all seen those terrible photos of cages full of cats going off to market. Hey, maybe this is what LAAS can do with its 16,000 corpses: Divvy them up between China and Western University.

If it lives, it will be eaten in China.

As a matter of fact, the Korean Zen monks think so little of Chinese morality and spirituality, that they want to bring Buddhsim back to China from where it came in 641 A.D.

This is from an online petition.

View Current Signatures - Sign the Petition

To: Lee Scott; President and Chief Executive Officer; Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

In many North American Wal-Mart stores, “pet supply” sections have an area where photos and information about animals in need of adoption by loving families are posted. The Wal-Mart website boasts a large “pet section,” offering everything from pet strollers to dog clothing.

In addition, American pet search and adoption services are available through Wal-Mart’s “Very Best Pet Network.”

Unfortunately, Wal-Mart operates differently in China. While giving North American customers the impression that Wal-Mart cares about animals, they sell others for slaughter out of the sight of Western customers.

Live turtles and frogs are available for purchase at Chinese Wal-Mart stores. These animals are slaughtered while fully conscious, to satisfy consumers need for “fresh” food items. "The last things the turtles see in the Wal-Mart megastore in northern Beijing are bright fluorescent lights, masked shop assistants and, if they crane their necks over the edge of their plastic container, a chalk board offering them for sale at the bargain price of 39,8 yuan (about $5) each.

Once that sum is paid, even their shells cannot protect them. They are whisked off to the in-store slaughter counter, where their necks are cut, their blood is drained and they are bagged and tagged ready for the checkout counter.

According to the shop assistant, a small minority of the 100 turtles sold every day could also expect a brief respite. “A few customers like to take them home alive so they can play with them for a few days before making them into soup,” she said."

Source: Walmart Leads the Race for China by Jonathan Watts. Mail & Guardian Online ( We are saddened and horrified that Wal-Mart would employ such barbaric, inhumane, and environmentally irresponsible practices. Many species of turtles have become critically endangered in Asia due to over-collection and human consumption. We will not shop at Wal-Mart, Sams Club, or any other Wal-Mart owned division world-wide, until Wal-Mart chooses to act in a more environmentally and ethically responsible manner.


The Undersigned

View Current Signatures - Sign the Petition

Show Us the STAR Accounting Ed; Prove STAR is Real

Today Ed Boks asked for donations to the STAR fund described on the LAAS website for the treatment of injured and sick animals.

When I talked to Dr. Rao last December about having an injured animal treated under the STAR program, he said, “What is that?” Why would a department vet not know what STAR was unless STAR did not exist except as a figment of Boks' imagination to elicit donations as here?

How and would a department vet make a determination of whether an animal's injuries are treated under STAR with a separate accounting, or under the budgeted vet care account?

How would the cost of care for any specific animal be determined so as to recharge STAR?

Of course there is no mechanism to recharge STAR. Only an idiot would believe there was. I don't believe there is a mechanism to to tag STAR donations into a separate STAR account either.

Last June, at a town hall meeting, Michael Bell directly asked Boks for even one example of an animal treated under STAR. He thought (appeared to) for a moment, and said he cannot remember any. He asked Linda Barth whether she knew of any. Nada.

Mike asked for an accounting of the STAR account and Linda said she’d supply it. Nada.

Of all the animals shown on the STAR page, there was no statement that the animals were treated under STAR fund, or how much STAR has paid in terms of medical care over the last year.

I seriously doubt that a STAR account even exists and that any donations to STAR actually go to that account.

We don't even have a guarantee that even $1 of any donation to STAR actually went to any vet care.

The department desperately needs funds, but unless Boks provides and accounting of the fund, we know STAR is a lie. I still would encourage everyone to donate to the department and give, give, give, maybe in terms of food, blankets, etc., which are usually posted at the various shelters.

Mr. Boks, if you want us to take the STAR account seriously, please supply documentation regarding the STAR account.

Talk to me about Porter Pet and Noreda

Publicly and privately I have been receiving a lot of negative responses by two of Animal Services off site veterinarian contractors, Porter Pet Hospital and Dr. Marco at Noreda. I have published some of these comments in previous posts.

Those who have had either positive or negative experiences with either, please leave a comment and state whether you want it posted or not.

Boks Responds to My Post

Ed Boks responded to my post that cat and dog killing for the first 3 months of 2008 was 24% higher than 2007. By and large, his responses were good if true, but only explained half the situation.

First, Ed said that his statistics were accurate and LAAS has the best set of stats anywhere in the US.

He is absolutely right. No one comes near what LAAS provides, especially since he began publishing shelter by shelters stats.

His reasoning was that if he were fudging the stats, why would he make himself look bad?

On the other hand, there is still the possibility that if he had not “fixed” the stats, they would have been much worse. Brad Jensen and I now doubt he is fudging. The only reservation I have is the huge decrease in neonatal impounds from May through October last year, which was never explained, via “normalization,” or any other statement outside of it being an anomaly, meaning "I don't know." But Ed took full credit for the drop in killing that resulted.

It could also be—a speculation by a shelter worker—that lots of kittens went directly to bump rooms and never checked in. Had they been, LAAS’ stats would have been worse last year—much worse.

Foreclosures have caused an increase in impounds, but the rate of killing rose FASTER than the rate of increase of impounds. Impounds rose about 18% and killing by 24%.

Notable is that far fewer animals died in shelter during the first quarter. The most likely explanation is that the increased rate of killing was of the riskier impounds that had been held for a long while who otherwise would have died of disease or fighting, and just the decrease in crowding reduced stress resulting in better health.

In any event, I do not condemn "warehousing." As Boks said, there is a line between holding too long and holding just enough. Winograd said there should be few empty cages.

I agree. What is the point of having X cages if they are not filled during periods of high impounds, or kept filled to hold harder to place animals until they are adopted? You cannot give up on the hard to place animals just because they are old, sick or injured.

This strategy works if turnover happens fast enough, and turnover through adoptions works if marketing and PR are in place, which they are not at LAAS.

Nor do we know what percentage of the increased impoundment was due to foreclosures, as opposed to not spaying/neutering the animals that were turned away from the shelter or ferals that were not spayed. Last year Boks said we speutered 40,000. He told me, if I remember correctly, that in 2005-06, LAAS handed out 38,000 spay/neuter certificates. That is only a 2,000 increase. I think 40,000 speuters is a drop in the bucket of what needs to be done.

Hopefully adding spay/neuter clinics will add another 10,000 speuters if three new surgeries are added, but again, that is only a 25% increase and is probably still a drop in the bucket.

Also, adding surgeries may lead to fewer certificates for outside vets because of budget problems and we may actually end up with fewer speuters.

He did say that if you normalize the stats, killing only rose 1.5% compared to last year, and “normalization” was defined as comparing the killing to fluctuating intake levels. I wish he’d explain how killing went from a 24% increase to a 1.5% increase. I would be tempted to call this “bullshitinization.” He certainly did not use "normalization" to discount the decreased neonatal killing last year when intake dropped 30%. He took credit for every percentage of the drop in killing.

He then said there were reasons the killing is up that he cannot share, but he did not want to point finders.

In the next paragraph he began pointing fingers:

He said there was a major managerial shakeup during the past year as management got shuffled around and they still were trying to make sense of their new jobs. Of course, Ed did the shakeup, and so the buck stops at his desk. The transition should have been much smoother. I think there is a lot more he is not telling us about the shakeup.

Of course I have heard it far and wide that the employees are actively sabotaging everything he is trying to do because of his lack of management skills in bringing everyone together. Stuckey said the same thing. Sometimes the Mayor's office has the attitude that LAAS employees were an unruly mob best left alone.
I am not sure the shakeup was a good or bad thing. Will the shakeup help six months down the line? Was the shakeup Boks' idea, or was it thrust on him? Were the bad eggs put in positions where they can do less harm? Were good eggs given more responsibility? Is this why Boswell was moved to a new shelter where he may now be a janitor?

In item #5, he says the new shelter managers must walk the line between saving animals and warehousing them, and if there is a short-term impound increase, there will be more killing. Well duhh. Isn't this just saying when the shelter is full up, there is no more room for new cats and dogs unless the long timers are killed?

Item 8 seems right on and logical. LAAS needs a PR person, marketing expertise and the new AGM. They also need Oprah on full time as she increased adoptions 52% the week after her show. Of course many were returned the next week according to one employee.

In item #10, Ed says this is kitten season and that always brings a flood of neonates. True, but the 24% increase in killing during the first 3 months of this year was compared with same exact period last year. Besides, kitten season only begins in March, not January or February.

In fact, there were only an additional 25 neonatal impounded during the first three months this year compared to last. Only 25 more animals, which does not explain the hundreds more killed.

Ed is absolutely correct that the City’s (and his) drive to establish a TNR citywide policy has been stalled by threatened lawsuits by two environmental groups. This definitely is not his or the City’s fault. They have strived to make citywide TNR happen. But we already have an unofficial TNR program through certificates and refusal to take ferals. This is all to Boks’ good. I applaud him and the City here.

Finally Ed calls for community help. I wish the community could get behind him and LAAS, but it is kind of late in the day for that. He has lost our trust in his veracity, motivations and competence.

Still, we have to try as much as we can. Maybe we can do what LAAS has not been able to do without our help. There are a lot of sour grapes in the animal community, and dysfunctional rescuers (and bloggers for that matter), which matches or betters the incompetence and turpitude of some Animal Services' employees

We need to help as much as we can, but lack of a volunteer coordinator for well over a year is not the volunteers’ fault.

Oh yeah, Ed joked that he is searching through a list of City civil service hacks to fill new AGM, PR and Volunteer Manger position, but he hasn't been able to find any.

The hiring freeze is dooming Animal Services to more of the same. I hope he is suggesting that our idiot Mayor and Blackman allow him to search outside of City staff.

Traffic On This Blog

I established this blog about mid December.

As of today the total traffic of all visitors is just shy 24,000 visits, or about 6,000 a month. The average time spent on this blog is 3.1 minutes. The average number of posts read is 1.7. Once in a while I get a new "customer" who stays on for an hour. Other times, people come to the site and if they don't see anything new, they leave.

These stats do not include my own visits to check it out, which would be about 350 over that period.

County doesn't visit this blog much anymore as I am concentration of LA city. For awhile I was getting a lot of County, City and federal government visits. They appeared to have become bored with this blog or look at it after they go home. I guess they figure I am not a terrorist.

While 92% of visitors are local, there are visitors all over the world, from South Africa and India, to Australia, England, France and the Scandinavian countries.

In the US, Best Friends people visit twice a day and City and County from government computers maybe 4-5 times a day. Lately there are 4-5 hits a day from Reno and 3-4 from Phoenix, the North Bay area (5-7) and NYC (3-4).

Sometimes I cannot tell because the hits come through generic servers such as Road Runner that list them as coming from the same URL.

I am going to have to add contests and porno to bring in more traffic.

The Reno Success Story

Nevada Humane 2006-2007 statistics, combined with County.

Notice that 54% fewer cats were killed—combined count—in 2007 vs. 2006, and 52% fewer dogs.

Adoptions increased 52% for dogs and 78% for cats—this is both Nevada Humane and County combined.

The overall kill RATE also dropped 53%, and the adoption RATE increased 53% for dogs and 85% for cats.

In other words, killing dropped by half and adoptions increased by more than 50% in a 12 month period.

The combined stats were good compared to LAAS before Bonnie started and became stellar afterwards.

Winograd detractors, such as Boks or Bickhart, will say the combined County/Humane operation is small compared to LAAS.

But they are not small by any measure; their combined intake for 2007 was 16,000 cats and dogs, with a budget of $4,000,000.

LAAS intake was 46,400 dogs and cats, almost 3 times as many, but with a budget of $21,000,000, or 5.25 as much.

So Washoe/NH was able to effect a 50% cut in killing and even larger increase in adoptions with about half the budget per animal of LAAS.

In 2007, only 8% of WC/NH dogs were killed and 22.4% of cats, compared to LAAS stats of killing 24% of its dogs and 46% of its cats.

Here is a 9 page pdf file by Brown on how they were able to make such a dramatic change.

Bonnie points out how important marketing is to increase adoptions, and that it is a myth that there are not enough adopting homes to place them.

This is the URL for Nevada Humane:

It has links separate, Maddies style statistical tabulations that they submit to Maddies.

Nutcases Attack Winograd

I have no idea what motivates numerous angry attacks on Winograd from anonymous sources who never provide proof of Nathan’s purported failures.

These people—there are two of them—are almost desperate to convince me to post “facts” about Winograd’s “failures,” that they make up stuff about his projects.

When I disagree with these two nutcases’ opinions, they shoot back I should have learned from our common experience with Boks that Winograd, and all persons associated with his projects, are lying. This does not follow logically let alone empirically.

These two nutcases then post comments that soon it will be announced that Reno was a failure and that Winograd’s recommendations for the Kings’ County shelters have been rejected, as if that discredits the validity of Nathan’s consult results.

They even send me articles that they allege “prove” Winograd’s no kill has failed. Reading these articles never has revealed “facts” that prove anything about Winograd.

It is like saying Bush is a warmonger, therefore they head of all national governments are warmongers.

Doing a brief Internet search on his Kings County consult and recommendations certainly does not reveal any evidence the Supervisors have rejected his recommendations. In fact, all Internet evidence indicates that more than 2/3 of his recommendations are immediately being acted upon and the rest will be decided on sometime during August.

There was a town hall meeting on the Winograd consult on April 14, and it appears most of his recommendations were passed, according to a local newspaper article.

I found no information that the Reno shelter is failing—none. I have talked to their shelter director a few short months ago who provided me with official municipal and SPCA data. They support the claim of no kill status except in the one area of cats, which had killing increase from 10% to 13% during the past quarter.

So desperate are these nutcases, they merely repeat their litany that I was fooled by Boks therefore everyone is a liar except for shelters, like County, that are a million light years from no kill.

There are a million tons of public data that indicate Winograd is not failing although some of his consults fall short. Even those regarded as failures by these nutcases are doing better than LAAS, New York City, Pheonix, LA County and a dozen other real failures. Their only response is that everyone but them is a liar and that should be enough to convince me everyone is a liar.

I write this not only because the nutcases post their hatred of the man citing bogus data of failure, but there are also very credible and intelligent persons who share their anger towards Winograd for some reason or another.

Some fear lawsuits by Nathan, stating they were so threatened by him before. But what did they say about him that elicited his threats? Were they the nutty accusations they are now making behind his back that they are sending to me?

Below are two current articles found on the Internet. One is dated before an April 14 town hall meeting about Nathan’s recommendations, and one dated April 17 about the results of that meeting.

Look you two, you desperately need professional help to deal with your anger, whomever you are.

Below is the April 17 article from a Seattle on line newspaper.

King County demands immediate animal shelter upgrades
By KOMO Staff

KING COUNTY, Wash. - County leadership is demanding immediate upgrades for the county's animal shelters following two scathing reports that identified "deplorable" conditions at the county-run shelters.

Last month a county-hired consultant reported on the conditions and a lack of accountability at the shelters. Nathan Winograd said he found cages that were dirty enough to be labeled as a breeding ground for diseases, and animals were left without food or water.

Animal control officers dismissed the consultant's claims as one side in what they call a "he-said, she-said" mix-up. But on Thursday county officials said the egregious reports leave no time to waste. Officials demanded immediate changes, including new cat cages, new dog runs, additional staff and, most importantly, a change in the shelters' culture.

"Animals should not be considered by society or by government as disposable," King County Executive Ron Sims said.The county's Kent shelter is 35 years old. The long-term plan is to replace it. The changes bear a $1 million price tag. Most of the money will come from donations and fees, and the rest from the county coffers.

"We want to create a model animal welfare program," said council member Julia Patterson, D-SeaTac.County officials said the upgrades are just the beginning; the long-term fix is a work in progress. The county will determine whether it should stay in the animal shelter business or hire a private business to take over. The decision is expected in August.

Another article:

$965,000 for animal shelters
County comes to agreement, proposes immediate fixes
Putting an end to their squabbling over the King County animal control program, the County Council and County Executive Ron Sims jointly outlined an agreement Thursday to spend nearly $1 million on immediate improvements and to plan the transformation of the much-criticized operation into a national model of excellence.
"It's a responsibility to provide humane care and give every healthy or treatable animal a home," Council Vice Chairman Dow Constantine, D-Seattle, said at a news conference announcing the agreement.
The joint announcement represents an easing of the tensions that were heightened by a council consultant's March report that was harshly critical of Sims, who oversees the county's animal control and care services.
Under the agreement, the county will replace all cat cages and add dog runs at or near the main animal shelter in Kent to reduce overcrowding and the risk of infectious disease. Spending also will go to expand veterinary services, review agency operations, add to the shelter staff, assess building and equipment needs and hire workers to enhance placement of animals for adoption, coordinate volunteer activity and improve public outreach.
Of the $965,000 in spending, about $570,000 would come from an animal benefit fund built up over 20 years from donations by people licensing their pets, adopting animals or simply making charitable contributions. The rest will come from the county's capital budget.
Sims, Constantine and Council Chairwoman Julia Patterson, D-SeaTac, said a group comprising representatives of the executive, the council, the sheriff, the prosecutor and Public Health -- Seattle & King County will meet over the next four months and present the council with a plan for 2009-11. The plan will include recommendations for how to deliver services and measure their effectiveness, for what animal-care facilities the county needs and whether the county should reorganize its animal-care bureaucracy or possibly join with outside agencies to provide the services.
"I'm very encouraged," animal-care activist Claire Davis said after the news conference, which she attended. "I think today is a very good day for animals in King County."
Davis is president of a local anti-euthanasia organization and also is a member of a council-appointed citizens advisory committee that in September issued a report damning the county animal-care operation. County animal control director Al Dams has said his agency has either effected or is acting on about two-thirds of the committee's 47 recommendations for reform, including improvements to kennel maintenance and recordkeeping and expansion of veterinary care and volunteer activity.
But when the consultant last month also slammed the system, council members publicly expressed their anger and frustration with Sims' failure to correct problems.
Sims reacted angrily to the report, too, flatly denying its accusations of mistreatment of animals and vowing to counterattack.
"Will we bite back? No question," he said late last month.
Sims took the report's criticisms personally. His staff sought to portray the consultant -- national anti-euthanasia activist Nathan Winograd of California -- as a sort of animal-control guerrilla executing a carefully crafted battle strategy.
The ferocity of Sims' response startled some council members.
"The subject of animal care in King County has become a very emotional issue," Patterson said at the outset of the news conference. "It also, unfortunately, has become an issue that has divided King County government."
But that breach has been repaired, the council members and Sims said.
"Once we got through the rhetoric, we've discovered that we share the same vision," Patterson said. "What we've decided, collectively, is we want a model animal care and control program."
And Sims said, "We know we can do a heck of a lot better."
It's clear, Sims said, the county needs a new shelter. Beyond that, he and the council members said, the county will strive for a "no-kill" program, in which only incurably ill or vicious animals will be euthanized.

Details of the 24% Increase in Killing

Details about the 24% rise in euthanasia for Dogs and Cats this year

Euthanasia Dogs and Cats, First Quarter January 1 to March 31


Increase in Euth.......461

Percentage increase 24%!

The number of dogs and cats killed is the highest since 2005.

Details about the 18% rise in impounds, first quarter


Increase in impounds, 2008..................1,497
Percentage increase , 2008...........18%

Increase impounds since 2007..............1,681
Percentage increase impounds......21%

The number of animals impounded in the first quarter of 2008 is the highest number since 2002. That is, there has been no net progress in the past six years.

Statistics are from the department’s website:

Boks may attempt to explain this away as a statistical anomaly and deny any of it was his responsibility.

However, last year the number of kittens impound was the lowest ever, and he explained it was an anomaly, but took credit for the decrease and announced it as an LAAS success. He cannot have it both ways.

Boks’ no kill efforts have resulted in a 24% increase in killing during the past year.

Killing Up 24% During 2008

Euthanasia for dogs and cats was up 24% during the first quarter of 2008 compared to 2007 erasing almost all the gains of the past two years.

If this rate keeps up, we will be back to close to the 2005-2006 kill levels by the end of the year, possibly much higher.

Intake and killing are up over previous years. In 2006 cat/dog killing was 19,216. We're already ahead of 2006 killing for first quarter. 2005 killing was 20,562. Intake is now higher than in 2005 and 2004. 2004 killing was 23,119.

At this rate we'll be between 20 and 23,000 killing for cat/dog for 2008.

The really terrible numbers are dog + cat impounds, up 18% this year. Killing is going up faster than impounds.

I suspect a large number of warehoused animals were killed to make room for new impounds during kitten season.

Warehousing though does appear to have increased adoptions even as it also increase the deaths by illness and fighting.

These latest figures give a counter intuitive impression: Though spay neuter efforts have dramatically increased during the past three years, impound numbers have increased dramatically for the first quarter of 2008.

Spay/neuter may not be the answer at all, just as I have been suggesting all along.


A post ago I suggested that shelter by shelter statistics would be invaluable for fixing accountability. I mentioned that Brad Jensen provided me with shelter by shelter statistics for 2007, which I, and several others were now crunching for information.

Minutes ago I received this from Ed Boks:

"LA Animal Services is focusing its efforts on saving at-risk animal populations on a community by community basis. To do this more effectively, LA Animal Services is expanding its
monthly reports to show the adoption, New Hope, redemption, died, and euthanized rates in each of its Animal Care Centers.

"It is our hope that anyone interested in helping LA achieve its No-Kill Goal will have sufficient data to help us identify the problem areas and assist in developing meaningful programs."

This information not only will help fix responsibility, but will provide months worth of data that can benefit the entire LA animal community, AND, the animals in our care.

With a little massaging, sorting impounds by neonatal, sick, healthy, spayed/neutered, and combining that information with human demographics, we can begin to get some idea of the problems and performance of each shelter, and get a handle on the problems most needing solution in various parts of the city.

Each shelter serves a city demographic area. We can get demographic information for each of those areas and compare it to animal impounds. We will then know the population characteristics of those who turn in animals and design programs to keep those animals out of THAT shelter.

We will find out which shelters have the highest neonatal turn-ins, and the spay/neuter status of impounds. We can concentrate spay/neuter activities either in the area most needed, or try to reach 70-80% sterility at any one shelter, and "cure" the kitten season at that shelter.

We can also begin to measure the effectiveness of spay/neuter programs in any area by looking at S/N surgeries vs. neonatal impounds. That is, we can begin to measure whether S/N is the solution as many claim.

The information will allow us to fine tune rescue, chipping, S/N and TNR programs throughout the city given limited resources.

This is the kind of information I have been trying to get for over two years, which will allow us to do real science. If Animal Services will work together with some of us analytic types, maybe we can turn dog catching into a real science.

I just don't understand why Boks has resisted providing this information so long.

On the other hand, it appears Ed is about to declare LA no kill when we are still killing over 40%. Don't do it Ed. Don't declare no-kill until Animal Services has a live save rate of at least 82% (San Francisco) or 87% (Reno). If not, you are defining treatable or rehabilitable animals far too narrowly and may be fooling Villaraigosa and Bartholomew, but that won't stop the pressure from the animal community.

Bravo Ed!
The Humane Society of the United States is warning shoppers to be on the lookout for real fur described as faux when shopping at department stores and online retailers.

Following up on last winter's HSUS investigation that uncovered a faux fur scandal in the apparel and retail industry, HSUS discovered again this past winter that many leading retailers—including Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, Dillard's, Saks Fifth Avenue and—have not addressed this consumer deception.

Certain jackets sold by these companies with the brand names Burberry, Andrew Marc, Marc New York, Preston & York, Aqua, Ramosport and Adam+Eve were found to be falsely advertised or mislabeled as faux fur or "ecological" fur* when in fact they are trimmed with real animal fur.

"Shoppers should be outraged that companies continue to sell as 'faux' what is actually real fur, perhaps from animals skinned alive in China," said Kristin Leppert, director of The HSUS's fur-free campaign. "Congress and the Federal Trade Commission need to take swift action to protect consumers and animals."


Neiman M...........Andrew Marc ..“polyester”.....................Dog/racoon
NeimanM............Adam+Eve....... “Faux”............................Rabbit
Lord.....................Taylor Marc.......“polyester”....................Dog
.............................Ramosport.........“Ecological fur”.............Raccoon
Bloomingdale....Aqua................... “faux”..............................Rabbit


Employee Tips Please

I really don't like bashing Animal Services or Boks all the time.

If you have any positive info, send it to me and I may post it.

I was at West Valley again this weekend. It was not half so crowded as the week before, at least at the time I was there. One of the supervisors said that there were a lot more turn-ins than last week.


I did overhear a vet tech, Greg, talking to a couple that had adopted two dogs. The couple had brought them back due to a skin condition. Greg told them the vet had diagnosed the dogs with (????) and told them how to treat them--which involved frequent bathing for a period or a simple solution of something or other.

Greg was friendly and informative.

The supervisor walked Simba's adopter through the process of getting a refund for the $28/each deposit for the Porter Pet Hospital unnecessary spays.

Volunteers cleaning the front area.

The ogre avoided me. I'm going to have to stop calling her that. I'd call her by name but she never wears her name tag in front where you can see it; she wears it behind her back. Maybe she got too many complaints.

Mason went to file his complaint with the City this week and spoke to the Hilda Campos, the Hearing Officer for Don Cocek's Office.
Upon hearing about West Valley not checking Foxy and Simba's spay status before sending them to Porter to be "checked," and Porter spaying them again even though they had visible scars, and then Porter wanting to charge the adopter for emergency treatment by Porter for Simba's secondary infection, as well at West Valley's continued refusal to return Mason's two kennels and one trap, she said, "This is the height of incompetence!"

Folks, why don't you return Mason's kennels and trap? Even if you lost them or some employee took them home, why don't you give him comparable or better cages/trap?
Next time I go I am going to ask to see the sick cats and isolation room and ask the criteria they use to euth and what is West Valley's adoption/euth rate.
The place looks so good, and ceratinly does not have that many animals showing, so why are 45% euthed or dying in shelter?

The other question is how do we get more people to come to the shelters? Call Oprah. Maybe the woman does have some function.

What Happens to the Elephants Now?

Ed scored a media coup when he sent Tina, Boo and Jewel “packing,” but what happens to them now?

Did the ACTF do an investigation? Was Will Davenport cited for any violation of ANY law? Were the elephants impounded until Animal Services found an appropriate foster? Would the elephants have been euthanized because they couldn't fit into the West Valley horse corral?

Boks’ action is nothing more than sweeping animal "abuse” (never proven) under the rug. Nothing was done to protect the elephants. Boks only assured us the abuse would not happen in LA. Far out.

Anyway, Kathy Riordan was the person behind the revocation, not Boks. Boks paints elephants, remember?

Ed, where are the neonatal programs? Why don't you sow the way and set an example by fostering a litter or two yourself?

Why Doesn't Animal Services Have an Effective Neonatal Program?

This is Boks third kitten season. During that tme, Animal Services has never developed a successful neonatal program. Every shelter director in the country has told me a massive foster program is essential to no kill.

What saved Boks last year is his kitten refusal policy, redefining 4 week old kittens as cats, and some speculate taking them directly from reception to the bump room. 2,800 fewer kittens were "officially" killed as kittens.

But fosters--at least those we know of--saved only 2%.

Without fosters, low kill absolutely cannot be attained.

Last year Boks torpedoed a neonatal program proposed by Shankar and Bell. This year I hear nothing at all.

I understand that it is easy to complain, but why hasn't it happened?

Boks is right, it does take the entire community to make it work, but that is his job and it hasn't happened. It has happened elsewhere, such as in San Francisco and to a lesser degree in Philadelphia.

Ed, why is it not happening? Talk to us about what the problems are so that we can help. Just aksing for fosters on a blog or a press release will do nothing. Where are the programs, volunteers and coordinators?

Wow! Accountability!

Brad Jensen has the 2007 LAAS stats and will be sending me the shelter-by-shelter numbers.

Now we will know which shelters are performing worse than others. We will have both impound data and outcome data, so that we are not comparing apples with oranges.

Once again I want to refer readers to his site for all kinds of Southern California shelter data, including LA City and County:

It was Brad's data that disclosed the thousand or so "apparent" and actually Hayden law violations by LAAS, as well as the horrendous cat kill by Boks. I don't remember the number, but it was like 5,000 within the first 24 hours.



Animal Services never releases shelter by shelter stats.

I wish they would as it would point to which shelters are apparently making progress, especially if it gives intake condition, such as healthy, sick, neonatal, etc., along with outcomes.

As it is, AS hides all info regarding specific employees, such as who did the intake, who ordered or performed euth. Protecting the employee from criticism or public recognitioin hides substandard performance.

This is kitten season.

Once again this year there is absolutely no program for bottle feeding or care of neonatals. There is no program other than the foster which only saved a couple of hundred lives--tops.

I also understand the opening the new Harbor facility is placed on indefinite hold due to budget trimming. Boks had to take a two week payless vacation. The latter may or may not be true.

Save The Kittens! Please help out.

From Ed Boks' blog:

Los Angeles – LA Animal Services is calling upon all Angelenos to help the City of Angels reach a No-Kill status. During this time of year LA’s Animal Care Centers are inundated with lost and homeless cats. These cats have little chance of survival unless loving Angelenos find room in their heart and homes to adopt a cat or two.

Cats are social animals and two are always better than one!Many cats coming into our Animal Care Centers are orphaned neonate kittens; kittens too young to survive without their mother unless they are cared for by a foster care giver.

LA Animal Services is asking for people unable to adopt a cat to consider caring for these young ones until they are old enough to be placed through adoption.

Fostering orphaned kittens is a great family project. It teaches our kids the value of life and the importance of caring. It also demonstrates how we can all make a difference.For more information on LA Animal Services
Foster Care Program click on this link.

Well said!

Sometimes I receive a comment from readers so well written and compelling that they deserve a separate post. Hell, they deserve to take over this blog, their verse is so eloquent.

I try to walk the line between being a reporter and an advocate, leaning far from center towards the advocacy role and therefore lose some credibility from establishment insider/media types who have all sorts of access to insider information, true or not.

The only insider info I get is from random tips and from Requests for Records.

My advocacy is for the welfare of all animals. The critics say my information is incomplete, one sided or unrealistic. My response would be for them to give me their 'insider' info and perspective. What we get are biased News reporting, Ed Boks' Truth vs. Rumor posts. press releases and Villaraigosa and Boks telling the world LA is number one in everything.

From a commenter:

Truthfully Ed, what you said about ADL and ALF is something I've been mulling for months now. Having said before that I don't think many of ADL's actions in relation to Boks were effective in converting people who aren't already in the choir, I do think they convey the degree of desperation people feel when all legitimate forms of protest, or even input, are ignored.

If you call the Mayor's office (in the case of Boks) or ANY of the Board of Supervisors' offices (in the case of Marcia Mayeda) you will be treated like you are an idiot.

If you try to contact the media you can expect much the same. It's a closed system, where it's much more important for people to keep their meaningless "access" to corrupt and/or do-nothing officials than it is for them to do their jobs.

When the Board of Supervisors ordered an investigation into the highly publicized and photo-documented death of Zephyr at County, the result was a seven page tissue of lies and evasions, into which already discredited lies by Marcia Mayeda were simply copied-and-pasted. What's more, Marcia Mayeda, ostensibly the SUBJECT of the investigation, was actually given a co-authoring credit on the report investigating her. Board of Supervisors didn't bat an eye. Nor did they even notice that she blamed Zephyr's death on "rescuers" even though the dog was in County custody the whole time.

The extent to which I have become an activist, the extent to which I have been radicalized when it comes to animal care issues in Los Angeles, stems not from this or any other blog (as fine as they are, and many thanks to you Ed for your hard and endless work), it stems from the absolute, contemptuous dismissal of my and everyone else's genuine concern about mistreatment of animals in this city and county. And this lack of caring, and lack of interest in the concerns of the public is reflected at every level, from ACOs all the way to the Mayor's office, and every Supervisor's office I've ever called - and I've called a bunch of them.

So, Boks, Bickhart and Villaraigosa, Marcia Mayeda, your crew of soulless flunkies, and every Supervisor, don't think Ed Muzika or Pamelyn Ferdin or anybody else has radicalized me. Don't think any one of us is so weak-minded that all we do is read a blog and become mindless automatons of Internet gurus. Don't continue to make the mistake of underestimating us. Your boredom, your jaded attitude, your easily discernible lack of honesty and logic, your abuse of power, and your unbelievable and overwhelming lack of respect for the citizens of Los Angeles City and County is what radicalizes us.

As for the guy who questions what Ron really lost - maybe you don't have a dog or a cat. Maybe you don't have a kid. But some people take on another life as a responsibility. Vulnerable living creatures showed up in Ron's yard and instead of looking them in the face and saying, "Tough luck little kitten, or stray cat who got hit by a car, I don't care if you live or die," Ron stepped up. He did what a real man does and he took care of them. He fed them, took them to the vet, gave them shelter and love. I'm guessing that in his mind and in his heart he felt a responsibility for their safety and health.

And when he knew he was overwhelmed, he went to the people this City pays to help in those situations. And because Ed Boks needed a fall guy to get him back in solid with a rescue community that had already seen through his lies, and because Ed Boks thought, "Here's a guy with no support system, not a classic 'cat lady,' but a 59 year old guy who I can suggest had nefarious reasons for having all these cats - who I can make an example of, to rehabilitate my image with rescuers."

And Ron, a nice guy who did more than he could afford, got his life destroyed. And I'm guessing one of the hardest things he has to face is the fact that this happened because he went to LAAS seeking help. Kittens and cats died because he sought help from people whose JOB it was to help him, who instead betrayed, arrested and character-assassinated him. He took on a responsibility for their lives, which is more than most people would do, and their lives were ended, for no other reason than Ed Boks needed a fall guy.

The only good thing to come out of this is that because of Ed Muzika the PR ploy didn't work. Ed Boks came out of this looking worse, more incompetent, and more heartless and corrupt than ever. But I'm guessing all that doesn't help Ron. I'm guessing he's still in pain because those cats and kittens were killed - for nothing. That's called being a good guy.

Animal Planet Crew Screws Up Raid

Somewhat reminiscent of the Mason Raid, something similar happened below because of filming by Animal Planet during a raid.

Linda Bruno has been charged with 14 counts of animal cruelty, accused of illegally housing hundreds of cats at Tiger Ranch after a raid last month.
But the case has become complicated by the fact that a crew from "Animal Cops," a show on Animal Planet, was present for the raid.

The raid moved Howard Nelson, the head of the Pennsylvania SPCA, to tears.

"I carried animals as they were dying into cages last night," he said on March 14. "Cats that were just screaming to get out of there."

But Last Chance for Animals, a California-based animal rights group, calls the investigation tainted and is in turn investigating the SPCA.

Chris DeRose, of Last Chance, says the SPCA's action was compromised by their contractual arrangement with Animal Planet and their program "Animal Cops" to produce a series of programs.

A judge in New York threw out animal cruelty charges against a man, ruling that the SPCA agent had played for Animal Planet's cameras and hyped up charges against him. DeRose predicts the same thing will happen with Tiger Ranch.

"And that just conclusion is going to be that these animals are returned immediately back to Tiger Ranch and that this witch hunt is stopped immediately," he said.

The SPCA, based in Philadelphia, confirms they received some money from Animal Planet for space in their offices for the show's crew while they were in town. But they also say they have not been influenced by the program and stand by their evidence, given to them by Deborah Urmann who volunteered at the ranch, conducted an undercover investigation and recorded video of sickly cats.
Mason Lawsuit
The first step in suing the City is to file a claim. Almost universally the claim is denied and then a lawsuit is filed.

Below is the complaint submitted to the court and City today.

Further actions will be by Attorney John Uribe who has successfully represented the ADL in the past.

I'll keep you informed as the lawsuit progresses.

Claim for Damages
How did damage occur?

1. Raided by the Animal Cruelty Task Force, LAPD and LA Animal Services on my property and seized 57 of my pet cats, and killing 37 of them, and seizing personal property never returned. They falsely alleged I neglected to feed, supply shelter, water and medical treatment, leading to rampant disease and emaciated animals. This raid, as well as items 2 through 5 below, was done in an intentional violation of my privacy and civil rights under the U.S. and California Constitutions.

2. Having a newspaper reporter and photographer accompany the ACTF, LAPD, LAAS as a ride-along to the raid, coming onto my property, photographing me in handcuffs, cats, cats being caught, various parts of my house and yard, and acts of apparent cruelty committed onto one animal being caught.

3. A City TV reporter and crew also accompanied the raid, interviewed me in handcuffs, with similar allegations of criminal activities such as felony neglect of my pets.

4. Ed Boks, in statements in a press release defending ACTF and Animal Services, and a post on the Animal Services website, willfully and fraudulently defamed me by accusing me of felony animal neglect of my pets. This defamatory and fraudulent website post appears solely directed to defend against public criticism of the ACTF, LAPD, and Animal Services actions against me in an intentional violation of my privacy and civil rights under the U.S. and California Constitutions.

5. Public announcement on the LAAS website, City TV, and by Daily News falsely stating that several of my cats suffered from a deadly disease and might infect all cats within blocks (Panleukemia), when lab tests proved they were did not have this disease. They then killed all “sick” cats and ALL 25 kittens.

6. As a result of these outrageous actions and behaviors done in an intentional violation of my privacy and civil rights under the U.S. and California Constitutions, and with malice, fraud and disregard for my rights as well as the lives of my beloved pets, I have suffered great physical, mental and emotional distress requiring ongoing medical care as well as financial loses regarding property. In addition, such exposure has diminished my capacity to function as an employee or in self-employment, causing financial loss and further emotional and mental trauma.

When did damage occur?

October 9, 2007, October 11, 2007, and continuing.

Where did damage occur?
XXXXX Napa St.
Northridge, CA 90024

Act or omission causing damage, with names of City Employees:

Ed Boks, General Manager of Animal Services,
Lt. Troy Boswell, manager West Valley Animal shelter
Lt. Linda Ortega, et al, LAPD
Various Animal Services personnel
City TV
He Said What?

At the HSUS Genesis Awards, Villaraigosa said LA has the "lowest no-kill rate in America." You heard me right. And Harry Truman was the greatest heavyweight boxer ever.

Villaraigosa Stalking Another Reporter

"The Hollywood Office of the HSUS celebrated its annual Genesis Awards last weekend in Beverly Hills, and a host of stars showed their support for our animal friends. The event was a gorgeous night of reverence, eco-consciousness, and in true Hollywood style, glamour! As HSUS President Wayne Pacelle reminded us, the Awards were to honor people using their talents to raise attention to animal abuse and cruelty, because without awareness, there can be no action."

"Amongst the attendees was Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa who was extremely proud to be supporting the HSUS and of the fact that LA has the lowest no-kill rate in America and has just signed into law the toughest spay and neuter program in the US. Way to go, LA!"

I guess these guys begin to believe their own lies after a while, unless this reporter, Anna Griffin, misheard what our our Mayor said. Villaraigosa knows better, as should Wayne Pacelle.

Will Antonio name Ed "Dogcatcher General" if he becomes VP?

Rumors and Rumblings

When I was at the West Valley shelter, I was there a long time. The info I got there, combined with all the email tips sent to me about the department, as well as a recent post on Craigslist makes me realize how much Boks is hated and undermined by some staff.

The recent increase in impounds and kills may be because staff is no longer refusing animals, or less likely to try to help the animals to spite Boks.

Some in the Mayor's Office said Boks was hated by employees because he made them work too hard and do their job. Supposedly this was the case with the last Volunteer director.

Others didn't like him because they think him a liar and a narcissist.

Others said he lacks people skills, and would go off on employees in the most inappropriate situations.

I only know a few LAAS employees. When I was at West Valley I didn't meet one unfriendly staffer except for the ogre. But hell, I was only there for 3-1/2 hours, what do I know?

However, some of the employees I do know went off on other employees, saying some shouldn't be let within a mile of a shelter.

I think staff may be a huge problem impeding any real improvement and may be undermining Boks' attempts to change the status quo. Apparently Ed has not been able to deal with staff effectively. It takes a certain kind of personality to bring people together. I can't do it and apparently neither can Boks. This is a shame for the animals.

Stuckey used to say staff ignored him, therefore he let them do what they wanted.

Anyway, today on Craigslist, there is a note:

LAAS Shelter Staff Signed "No Confidence in Ed Boks" Letter

Probably some employees did sign it and gave it to the Council liaison with the Personnel Commission, Zine.