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!

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