Blumenfield for Assembly

I got two attack fliers from Bob Blumenfield's campaign a few days ago. Almost automatically I felt like voting for Waldman. his chief opponent. Then I looked at their endorsers. Blumenfield had one from an animal sanctuary.

I emailed him asking for more info and he sent me an email, which I will post again later, that Waldman was a big time opponent of AB 1634 and got a lot of breeder money.

I decided unless Waldman himself owned an animal sanctuary, I'd promote Blumenfield, since I am a one-issue guy, but I asked one last question:

O.K. Bob, Waldman sucks, but what about you? Waldman obviously sucks, but what have you done for the animals or do you even
own some?

Blumenfield Replied:


I had a cat for many years and my wife and I are planning on getting a dog (rescue) for our family when our daughter turns four. Working for Congressman Berman I have helped insure that he cosponsor legislation such as the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act of 2007.

I am committed to Spay and Neuter legislation and other animal welfare laws.

I do not have nearly the record and experience with animal welfare issues that I do with environmental and other issues, but I have an interest and inclination to be a good legislator when it comes to these issues.

Take care.

- Bob

May I suggest we might have an animal friendly assemblyman here to replace Levine? I think this is something to look into, and possibly give him some support in the fall, as he is the leading contender. Of course if he beats Waldman, he won't need our help because the Valley is overwhelmingly Democratic.

Remember though, the last time the animal community met to support a candidate they voted for Walter Moore, who had no chance, but also resulted in Villaraigosa giving us the finger as often as possible.

Clifton Lauds Portland Shelter Even When Killing Climbs 30%

Merritt Clifton lauds Portland (Multnomah County) muni-shelter even when its kill rate climbs from 34% to 44%. He also fails to take into account the Oregon Humane Society's great contribution to the total animals adopted, without which Multnamah County would have the worst rate in the Portland Tri-County area.

Oswald (The county shelter director) blames an explosion in the cat population – the number brought here annually has almost doubled since 2000 – for escalating euthanasia rates at the shelter, which have climbed from 34 percent to 44 percent in six years.

Despite the increase, the shelter still gets high marks from some.

In 2006, Dog Fancy magazine named Portland Dogtown USA in part because of its low euthanasia rates. And Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People magazine, views Multnomah County’s animal shelter as one of the more successful in the country.

Clifton is one of the few people in the United States collecting statistics on animal shelters’ euthanasia rates.

In 2006, his data showed, Portland euthanized 7.3 animals per 1,000people. That’s not far behind San Francisco, which euthanized only 2.8 animals per 1,000 in 2006, and ahead of the national average of 12.5.

San Francisco is cited as a success story by no-kill advocates who believe only suffering, incurably vicious animals should be euthanized.

7.8/1,000 killed for Portland, is not far from 2.8 for San Francisco???

As in LA, when calculating LA County kill rate, he come sup with 7.3 kills per 1,000 population because he failed to note 5 other agencies serve 2,000,000 people in the County. LA County actually had a kill rate of 12.5/1,000.

Furthermore, Clifton and the reporter did not check the shelter's own statistics submitted for the Tri-County area in and around Portland.

Clifton's views belie the facts, plain and simple.

These are the facts that were never mentioned in the Portland Tribune but are readily available.

Inter agency statistics: Comparative Euthanasia and Adoption Rates – Tri-County- for Homeless dogs

For Multnomah County:

FYI 2006 dog intake: 4485 adopted: 752 killed: 1270 returned to owner; 1945 transferred: 315

The “save” rate for homeless dogs: 42% ( with this equation the “save” rate is the numbers adopted and transferred (numerator) divided by total intake less redeemed by owner).

The “save” rate for homeless dogs for 2006 was 42% ( 1067 divided by 2540).

It is Noteworthy that Multnomah County’s figures have changed dramatically since the end of FYI 2003, i.e. during the tenure of current management.

For FY 2003, 29% of dogs were killed; 45% adopted. The overall “save” rate was 66%.

For Clackamas County ( dogs)

Calendar Year 2006: 27% killed 73% “saved” of 1034 unredeemed
For Washington County ( dogs)

Calendar Year 2006: 23% killed 77% “saved” of 1930 unredeemed
During the same period that Clackamas and Washington County have dramatically reduced the frequency with which dogs are killed- both now find homes for about 75% of abandoned dogs- Multnomah County has reversed course. The population demographics are no different.Clackamas and Washington Counties have fewer resources.

So much for Clifton's bad statistics. Since Boks and Mayeda are defended by Clifton, maybe soon both rates will drop to better than San Francisco's.

Activists say Cliften Supports McDonalds and Proctor and Gamble

ALF-Types Think Merritt Clifton Hurts Animal Rights Progress

Merritt Clifton: Obstructionist Extraordinaire

Merritt Clifton is a perfect example of an obstructionist. He vehemently denounces being an animal rights activist (which is true), even though he has no problem giving activists "pointers" and explaining to them their "mistakes". Instead of an activist, he claims to be an unbiased "journalist" who believes in the humane ethic.

Clifton's paper Animal People has spread his obstructionist ideas to all corners of North America's animal movement. In it, he defends businesses like Proctor & Gamble, McDonalds, and Sea World; rants about the "psychotic" A.L.F. activists; and pleads for activists to work with abusers to bring about change for the animals.

Clifton, with the help of his paper, has helped lull the movement into a complacent slumber -- our outrage was pacified, ineffective campaigns were looked upon as the animals' salvation, and direct action was dismissed as extremist and ineffective.

Clifton, although willing to bend over back-wards to speak well of the abusers, apparently has no problem trying to destroy good direct action activists. As any educated activist knows, you do not spread rumors that other activists are infiltrators without hard evidence, or rumors linking people with illegal activities.

As someone who claims to have been involved with environmental, peace, and animal issues for over two decades, Clifton should know better. I think he does know better. And it is precisely because he knows how harmful these rumors can be that he uses them. Direct action threatens his perceived "empire" that he has created with Animal People and he wants radical actions stopped.

Since he doesn't recognize the fact that direct action stems from committed people who demand change now, he is attacks the messenger that reports on direct action, No Compromise, by attacking those people involved in its production.

Clifton is also weak on the issues. For starters, he admits to not being vegan while traveling. Equally egregious, he defends Sea World, Proctor & Gamble, and McDonalds. He argues that Sea World has the world's largest tanks, rescues dolphins, promotes environmental education, and has not captured animals from the wild for over a decade. I guess we should just ignore the fact that the animals are still imprisoned and that any tank, no matter how large, is still a toilet when compared to the ocean.

When defending the vivisectors, Proctor & Gamble, Clifton argues that P&G have donated $45 million to developing alternatives to animal tests, reduced animal use by 56%, and in 1984 made a corporate commitment to phase out all animal tests as quickly as possible. But if P&G is so good why is it that more than a decade after their "corporate commitment", they continue to slice, dice, and sacrifice animals for profit?

And how could Clifton possibly defend McDonalds? Because the golden arches signed an agreement to only purchase brutalized carcasses from factory farmers that meet the humane standards set up by some meat promoting organization. Well, hooray for the largest animal killer in the world! Hey Merritt, sign me up for the Humane Auschwitz Now campaign!

With friends like Clifton, the animals don't need enemies. There are many obstacles in our way towards animal liberation -- the abusers, the authorities, infiltrators, and agents. But we must also remember that even those who claim to be friends of the animals can also be obstacles.

Mayeda Sued Under RICO Racketeering Act

Mayeda and 41 co-defendents have been sued by Cynthia Bemis and Brandy Foundation Animal Sanctuary for Civil Rights violations and under the RICO Act (Racketeer Influence Corruption Organization) in a lawsuit filed April 7, 2008 in the United States District Court for Central California. The plaintiff attorney is animal activist attorney John Uribe, who has successfully represented ADL.

I will try to post the entire case on my website and put a ling to it from this blog. The complaint about Mayeda is below:

Plaintiffs further allege, upon information and belief, that at all times relevant, MAYEDA failed to: (a) adequately train, supervise, and/or monitor her subordinates, supervisory
or non-supervisory officers, personnel, employees, and/or agents, as well as those, to include without limitation, animal control officers, veterinarians, and technicians of DACC, in ensuring that they operated and complied with all relevant and applicable
federal, state, and local laws, and policies; and/or (b) promulgate adequate policies,procedures, regulations, customs, and/or practices to prevent the unlawful acts complained of herein. Moreover, upon information and belief, plaintiffs further allege that, at all times relevant herein, MAYEDA authorized, acquiesced, participated in, approved, and/or ratified the unlawful acts complained of herein.

30. Defendant Christine Franco (“FRANCO”) was and is employed by LAC as an ACO-Supervisor and/or Staff Development Specialist of DACC’s Major Case Unit.

31. Defendant Sheri Koenig (“KOENIG”) was and is employed by LAC as an ACO-Manager and/or Supervisor and Lieutenant of DACC’s Major Case Unit.

32. Defendant Alonzo Real (“REAL”) was and is employed by LAC as an
ACO-Sergeant of DACC’s Major Case Unit.

33. Defendant Carmen a/k/a Maria Garcia (“GARCIA”) was and is employed by LAC as an ACO-II of DACC.

Rumor has it that Mayeda is also being investigated by the current Grand Jury for various reasons.

It is a Very Small World

Below is a list of speakers from a Best Friends No More Homeless Pets conference in October, 2001.

I assume that even then, these people knew each other for some time.

The list includes most of the same players as today.

Notice Bonney Brown, Winograd's appointee in Reno, was communications director of Best Friends back then.

No More Homeless Pets Conference

* Mike Arms, President, Helen Woodward Animal Center, Rancho Santa Fe, CA

* Richard Avanzino, President, Maddie's Fund, Alameda, CA

* Francis Battista, Director of Animal Care, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

* Ed Boks, Director, Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, Phoenix, AZ

* Bonney Brown, Communications Director, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

* Gregory Castle, President, No More Homeless Pets in Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

* Julie Castle, Program Director, No More Homeless Pets in Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

* Karen Medicus, Executive Director, Humane Society/SPCA Austin/Travis County, Austin, TX

* Michael Mountain, President, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

* Becky Robinson, National Director, Alley Cat Allies, Washington, DC

* Nathan Winograd, Executive Director, Tompkins County SPCA, Ithaca, NY

More About AVID Microchips

Animal Services is apparently losing its butt on AVID Microchips according to information sent to me anonymously. Where is the extra money going?

In Fiscal Year 2006-07, the Department spent $204,973 on purchasing microchips.

Approximately 17,000 dogs/cats year adopted got chips and 6,000 New Hope animals get chips, 23,000 cats/dogs got chips, not including chips the public requested. Animal Services pays $8.90/chip. Another estimate put the cost at $8.00 per chip if a thousand more were sold to the public directly.

However, this same source says the wholesale price for ships directly from AVID is $3 per chip, for a cost of $72,000. Somewhere, someone is making $133,000 for 2006-2007 off of the department.

Assuming the department was thinking ahead and bought two years of chips for $144,000, that still leaves $61,000 that went to someone else’s pocket.

Or, as I heard elsewhere, it bought, 40,000 chips for $205,000, but received only the $91,000 mentioned by Laura Chick in that special fund.. In this case, $114,000 is missing.

Therefore, somewhere between $72,000 and $114,000 is "missing."

Where did that “profit” go? Does AS purchase directly from AVID, or from a distributor who make a killing by buying wholesale and selling above retail?

In addition, Animal Services charges the public $6.25/chip, and therefore is losing $1.75 on each chip sale to the public.

In addition, the AVID website says to buyers of 500 or more will be given a special discount. I wonder what the cost per chip would be if you bought 40,000?

Beside the chips, their are costs for the installation kits and scanners.

I have no independent validation for these prices or chip numbers, but a request for public records would reveal details of the deal.

All of these figures may be off, except purchase cost and the $91,000 paid to the public. LA's accounting system shunts money around in so many was it is difficult to distinguish between a valid transcation and something smelly.

Laura Chick ought to check into this.

The AVID chip Deal

Chick did not get very deeply into the Avid chip deal; there is more there than meets the eye.

Two years ago, two vendors were competing for access to the animal database that would be provided by the Avid chips. If the department distributes 20,000 chips a year and AVID has that data, or shares it, they can sell that data to anyone who wants to know where pet owners are and the type of animal housed. Since PetSmart was in on the deal, you can see how profitable that information would be: a mailing list of 20,000 new pet owners each year.

The two vendors were Chameleon Beach (HLP, Inc.), which supplies the department with its tracking software of the same name, and Pet-Ark, run by David Loftus, former director of Michelson's Found Animal Friends.

Recently Pet-Ark lost a copyright infringement lawsuit by Chameleon software, but also Loftus followed up on a two year offer to County to supply them 2,000,000 microchips for free. You may remember I posted this a month or so ago after seeing Marcia's Mayeda's budget summary where she claimed this as one of the department's major accomplishments for the year.

Pet Ark possibly has a deal with the County and AVID so that Pet-Ark gets the AVID data and runs their shelter kiosks--I don't know. This is speculation.

Therefore, for Boks to say there was only one competitor for the Avid service does not reflect his close, prior relationship with Chameleon's owner, and his antagonistic relationship with David Loftus who gave County the free chips.

I don't know how much Animal Services paid AVID, or whomever distributed them to AS, but it was probably more than nothing, which is the deal County got.

I can speculate that Loftus would have supplied the department with free or low cost chips, but that would have interfered with Boks' prior relationship with Chameleon Beach and Pet Harbor, who probably owns the kiosks in the various shelters. This is the prize that HLP and Loftus were both seeking from LAAS.

See the link below to HLP, Chameleon Beach products, kiosks, services such as Pet Harbor, etc.

I do note that the money received for the sale of the microchips to the public is $91,000. There is more here than meets the eye, but none of it illegal? Probably Loftus did not submit a proposal to Boks' alleged RFP (Request for Proposal), but that would be because he knew he did not have a chance.

I'll bet though, there was never an advertised RFP.

LA Times Article on Chick Audit--Ammended--II

Generally the LA Times and Daily News give nothing but positive coverage to any city department. Boks has gotten away with ineffective management for years because some reporters have wanted to go along on a "hoarder" bust and others don't want to lose access to City Hall, and neither does their employer.

But they do attack when one public official attacks another. Then they go after the attacked person, like, finally they get a chance to actually be a reporter. Unfortunately, there is no investigative reporting, only a repeating of the allegations of the attacker and maybe the responses of the attacked. Of course there is often enough corruption involved, the attacked just promises not to do it again and reimburses the City.

In any event, in the article below the reporter makes a big deal about money lost to the department through failure to collect dog license fees or fines for not having gotten them. But, these fees do not go to the department, they go to the general fund. There was no loss to the department.

How could the department be losing $11,000,000 a year of it never gets the the money? Ed would have SWAT teams on every corner if the fees went directly to the department, but they don’t. Why does the reporter and apparently Chick say it is the department's loss?

Am I missing something?

I do understand that the Department gets about $2.7 million from the General Fund out of about $3+ million license fees received by the General Fund for licenses, but does that mean for every dollar collected, the Deaprtment gets 80%. Id so, Boks does have an incentive to do better.

The article was wrong about Animal Services spending $300,000 on two X-ray machines. They paid $229,000 on three and one was installed with two in storage. Apparently $7,000 each was lots because of failure of timely installation.

Yes this could be a screwup, but we don't know the deal of the contract. Often times, just-in-time capital purchases can result in much higher costs of equipment purchased due to inflation. For example, the total cost per machine, delivered two years ago may have been $76,000, but what is the current price of the machine? If it is $85,000 each, there was no loss to the City.

Just-in-time purchases often result in a failure to purchase equipment when it can become operational due to the need to back order. I don't see much loss to the City here. Besides, that capital expenditure may have been for one budget year, after which the balance may have reverted to some other fund.

We don't know the details of this deal. We'd have to hear Ed's side.

I find that Animal Services spent $228,000 on three X-ray machines a good thing. It shows he and the vets know what is important for the health of animals. Obviously it takes trained individuals and a room set up to do it, with access to treatment and surgery rooms.

If you don’t have the personnel or can’t get them due to budget cuts, why is that the department’s or Boks’ fault? Of course, if I asked the vets they may give me a story of gross incompetence at the highest level--or not; see below.

I think the real kicker here is the consulting fee given to an alleged ex-girlfriend without an RFP and the contract was never run by all the bureaucratic crackpots. Ed has a tendency to try to go around the power brokers which gets him into trouble, but he was caught on this one. If he spends $20,000 on an ex-girlfriend, what else is he capable of when it comes to other department monies?

The article:

Lax dog licensing in Los Angeles costs $2 million, Laura Chick says

An audit by the city controller says the Animal Services Department is struggling financially, in part because of not adequately collecting on its largest source of revenue.

By Francisco Vara-Orta, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer 1:14 PM PDT, May 27, 2008

Lax dog licensing in Los Angeles costs $2 million, Laura Chick says
An audit by the city controller says the Animal Services Department is struggling financially, in part because of not adequately collecting on its largest source of revenue.

The Los Angeles Department of Animal Services is struggling because of not collecting on dog licenses -- the largest source of revenue for the agency -- resulting in $2 million in losses, city Controller Laura Chick said in an audit released today.

(Comment: it is not any source of revenue for the agency; those revenues go to the general fund.)

She also claimed that the department needs to tighten spending on equipment -- citing two X-ray machines that cost $150,000 each and are sitting in storage -- and contracts with outside firms without sufficient paperwork.

"The department is not taking advantage of what they're supposed to," Chick said at a press conference at her City Hall office this morning. "I'd say this audit is a strong reprimand to the department."

Chick announced the audit in January. It is the sixth she has conducted of the department this decade.

The general manager of the Department of Animal Services, Ed Boks, who took over in January 2006, publicly supported the audit, saying on his blog it would be a "learning experience."

"I'm a strong believer in the role of an audit to serve as a benchmark for determining past performance and serving as the basis for future strategic planning," Boks said in September 2006 as the council weighed the vote.

In January, Chick said that enough time had passed for the audit to be conducted on "one of the city's most important departments . . . integral to the well-being of our animal community and to the public's safety."

Chick said that it was important to know how Animal Services used the $2.8 million generated from licenses, permits and fees in 2006, and how a financial boost from an additional $800,000 from four new shelters this year might affect the department.

(Comment: What "financial boost form the four new shelters? Is the $800,000 going directly to the department, or to the City's General Fund?)

Chick said the $2 million in losses occurred between July 2005 and this March.

Today's report wasn't Chick's first audit of the Animal Services Department, though.

In 2004, saying that Animal Services was "stuck in a time warp," Chick asserted that the department could be losing nearly $11 million a year by not enforcing penalties against people who fail to license their animals.

(Comment: This is before Boks.)

At that time, the city's Animal Services Department had been besieged by animal rights activists who accused officials of needlessly killing tens of thousands of animals in city shelters.

In 2002, Chick released a series of audits on the department's adoption, licensing, and spaying and neutering programs, and the process for hearings on problem pets. She found that the department, cash-strapped and overflowing with animals, needed to proactively collect licensing fees, shorten the complaints hearing process, which could drag on for two years, and reform its spay and neuter program.

Today's audit focuses on the fiscal side of the department, but Chick plans to conduct a performance audit this summer on the department's spay-neuter program.

There are some comments below that present really important information. Please read.

Chick's Audit of Animal Services Now Available

The City Controller's financial audit report for Animal Services is now available on online at:

It reveals a department in financial disarray.

Please note Chick's citing of a $20,000 contract given to an alleged ex-girlfriend of Boks, signed by no one--with most of the work being done before she got the contract, and from which she never issued a final report.

However, I think she puts unnecessary demands on Animal Service personnel to better canvass the city to license dogs. I think as Ed and others have pointed out, there are many areas of the city where the canvasser would need a SWAT escort.

Besides, not one dollar collected actually goes to Animal Services, all of it goes to the general fund to pay for pork in some councilmember's district.

There will be a lot more analyses coming later.

Expert has Never Heard of Merritt Clifton

I have had a strong interest for some time regarding the population dynamics of feral cats in various settings to establish a framework for effective management techniques needed to stabilize and decrease that population and the number of cats being killed in the shelters. Dogs do much better than cats once in the shelters, often have half the death rate even when more dogs are impounded that cats, and despite a policy of not accepting feral cats into the shelter.

I am convinced once we better grasp population dynamics in small areas, we can better attain effective solutions within small areas and generalize what is necessary for a larger area solution, such as a County or even a region within the country.

As of now we really don’t know how effective TNR and S/N are in terms of decreasing impounds. We have guesstimates of S/N efforts needed in ferals, such as coming out of ABC or from Merritt Clifton, but with no real data to support their guestimates. Ditto S/N certificates.

Just for example S/N efforts have increased dramatically by both LAAS and private organizations over the last 5 years, but impounds have remained flat.

This past year LAAS impounded 20,100 cats and 5 years ago impounded 21,130. In the meantime, over the past 6 years, impounds have stayed in the range of 20-22,000, and for the last 5 months, impounds have actually increased to earlier levels.

So TNR and S/N have not much proven effective in reducing impounds and more of the same may not work either compared to that same money put into other projects and methods.

That is, we do not know within the City of LA for example, how effective is $5,000,000 spent on TNR vs. the same amount spent of S/N certificates, vs. that same amount spent of free S/N within the shelter system combined with private spending, such as spaymobiles. Since neither of these have proven to be that effective, where can we better spend that money?

Since Ed Boks and many shelter directors around the country accept Merritt Clifton’s numbers, and I don’t, I decided to contact Professor Swihart at Purdue, who has authored scores of papers on the alteration of animal populations, distributions and travel based on urban incursions.

I thought he might have some grasp of ways to get this information on ferals, or know of researchers in this area.

Below is my inquiry and his reponse.

As I stated before, I think Clifton makes wild, simplistic assumptions and comes to conclusions that seem, from my point of view, gross underestimates, given that census figures and estimates based on street level experience of colony tenders and the various animal regulation entities, yield far higher numbers.

This is my query to Swihart followed by his response. Notice that Swihart has never heard of Clifton:

Dear Dr. Swihart,

Do you know of anyone who could help me get a handle on feral cat population dynamics?

Baltimore's shelter director estimated 185,000 ferals in the city and Cook County estimated 800,000 in Cook County.

LA City is trying to get an estimate to present to Council to validate the need for expanded spay/neutering and TNR programs.
The data and models I have seen are laughable when it comes to feral cats or street dogs.

The climates and breeding cycles are different from LA to Cook Co. or Baltimore.

Baltimore's estimates may be based on 1990 Census data re "housed" cats with an associated estimate of ferals. There is an assumed 5%"leak" rate of housed cats into the feral population.

There are lots of other assumptions that make any guess, a guess.
There is a guy, Clifton Merritt from Animal People, who many shelter administrators consider gospel. I have seen his models and methods and they are extremely primitive, with no supporting evidence.

You know this is a big problem with cities all over the country trying to calculate resources to humanely deal with ferals and ways to end shelter deaths.

Swihart’s response:


I am not familiar with any individuals currently doing work on population estimation for feral cats, although I recall some work done several years ago by the CDC on feral dogs in the Caribbean. There are several methods that could be used to estimate abundance, but all would be labor intensive. I suspect that is why folks have resorted to “primitive” methods with simplifying assumptions.

The book “Analysis and management of animal populations” by B. K. Williams et al. is a good source of methods worth exploring.
Good luck,

Rob Swihart, Professor and Head of the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University. PH: 765-494-3590

My commentary:

Labor intensive does not mean wild speculations based on studies done decades apart in different regions. Clifton uses very simplistic assumptions about feral cat numbers based on ridiculous models such as guessing at cat populations based on garbage in Calcuta verus garbage in Baltimore, and that there are three cats for every street dog. This is insane.

By labor intensive, Swihart is talking about actual counting of animals and then generalizing based on mathematical models and assumption, not not relying on 40 year old, faulty studies.

We may have many programs to control the feral cat population but we don’t know the effectiveness of any of them on stabilizing feral cat numbers, nor the ultimate impact on the number of cats impounded.

And, after being impounded, we don’t know how effective dollar and manpower resources are to getting the animals out alive. We are SOL without this research and just throwing money at the problem will not work. We need to know WHERE to throw that money and resources.

I don’t think Boks has spent 10 cents on basic research. He has resisted my repeated suggestions/demands that it take place.
If he has done any basic research, he has not shared it. I ask Ed to share any fundamental research knowledge with the animal community so we better and coordinate our efforts to the common goal of ending shelter deaths.

Found Animal Friends has recently announced a low budget investment in fundamental research, but it is conducted with very little resources for a very short time, using part-time researchers with no grasp on the local situation. We need a much larger and more extensive amount of dedicated research.


Save Blakely's Dogs

I do not know the history of this bust at all. There are various allegations as to the health and medical conditions of the dogs as well as their living circumstances.

I was involved from the beginning about the Mason raid so I know all the details. I do know that many of the same principals are involved in this case as were in the Mason case, including Don Cocek, whose office handles all animal cases in the Vally and who orders fines as "restitutions" to the SPCA, whose board he once sat on.

Anyway, a plea has been sent out to rescue Blakely's pets. I post that plea below.

I too have heard SPCA "rescues" largely never make it out alive from their "shelters." As a matter of fact, a newspaper reporter interviewed me some time ago about this subject, but I knew nothing about the SPCA.

I assume you can call or go to the shelter offering to foster the dogs.

I wonder if this SPCA case has the same problems as did Mason: a defective warrant; a legal system that holds all the evidence, making it impossible for a defendent to regain his property or any information on confiscated evidence. I don't know whether the SPCA left a list of confiscated property and dogs, nor given information on where they were located.

I do not know whether she was afforded access to a Postseizure hearing.

Email Plea:


Ms. Blakely was raided by SPCA-LA over 1 year ago, and all 17 of her rescued dogs were seized. The dogs will be "released" officially by the court to SPCA-LA this week, or at the latest the first week in June. Once they are released, SPCA-LA will have no further "use" for them, so the dogs will all be killed IMMEDIATELY. These dogs need rescuers or adopters lined up ASAP, to save these poor dogs before it’s too late.

SPCA-LA has traditionally always killed the animals they seize, the very day they impound them. SPCA-LA says that Ms. Blakely's dogs are still alive, but if so, her dogs will all be killed now. These are very adoptable dogs though SPCA-LA may tell you otherwise, and they may try to discourage or prevent people from rescuing them, or even seeing them. Please don't let them stop you from rescuing the dogs, it is the dogs' only chance to get out alive, and you must act quickly or the dogs will be killed before you can save them.

Do NOT believe SPCA-LA if they tell you they will adopt out the dogs, it is nothing but a PR gimmick, the dogs WILL BE KILLED if they are not rescued from SPCA-LA, and FAST. SPCA-LA claims that some of the dogs are in foster homes, and if so, they too need to be rescued immediately or they will be taken back to SPCA-LA and killed too. SPCA-LA is not the benevolent, benign organization that people believe it to be from the PR. The truth is just the opposite, as many rescuers have discovered.

These dogs are super sweet and adoptable. They may be scared, they have been locked up all this time with no socialization. But they are very friendly and loving, and nearly all of them get along wonderfully with other dogs. There is one set of sisters, and there is one very bonded pair of friends, so it would be good to adopt those in pairs. But most important is that all the dogs get out alive. It may be a struggle to get SPCA-LA to give them to you, but please persist. Do not be assured by their false promises, the dogs must get out as soon as released, or they are DEAD.

It would be tragic for these dogs to be killed, they nearly lost their lives when they were in the shelter before Ms. Blakely rescued them from South LA and North Central shelters. Now these poor dogs have been imprisoned for over a year at SPCA-LA, and they are facing death again. They need to be rescued again, and placed into good, permanent homes. Ms. Blakely is powerless to save them, the SPCA won't let her, even if they were to go into boarding, and adopted out by a rescue group. She is devastated that her beloved babies are to be killed, and she can only beg people to get them out alive from SPCA-LA before it's too late.

The dogs were taken after the raid to the SPCA-LA facility in Hawthorne, but they may be elsewhere now. SPCA-LA in Hawthorne is at 12910 Yukon Ave., Hawthorne, CA 90250. That facility is located about 10 blocks east of Hawthorne Blvd., and it is the first building south of El Segundo Blvd. Phone: (310) 676-1149. (The administrative office is at 5026 W. Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90016, near La Brea. Phone: (888) SPCA-LA1.)

This is a complete list of Ms. Blakely's 17 dogs, with descriptions. Her digital camera was also seized, along with her computer, which contained photos of all her dogs. So the photos here are not actual images of her dogs, but they are similar, and they will give you an idea what her dogs look like.

1) Little Bug is a very cute, very small, chocolate Staffie. He only weighs about 30 lbs., very compact, and he’s about 4 years old. He’s very loving, affectionate, and friendly to people, though may be a bit defensive with strangers, and may not be good with all other dogs, though he was best friends with Mary.

2) Mary is a very pretty brindle Staffie, a gazelle-like beauty who is streamlined, with long legs. She is about 3 years old, and very friendly, submissive, and gentle with people, and she may or may not be good with other dogs, though she was best friends with Little Bug.

3) Viola is the cutest, tiniest little red Staffie. She weighs only about 25 lbs., and she’s about 3 years old. She’s very sweet, affectionate, and friendly with people, yet she was a bit cranky around other dogs when food when food was present, but then she mellowed out and has been great with other dogs.

4) Shadow is a really shiny, gorgeous solid black German Shepherd, who may be part Black Lab. He’s about 3 years old, and lithe and elegant. He’s great with other dogs and very friendly, submissive, and gentle with people. One of his rear paws seems to have been broken, he favors it a bit but does not seem to be pained or debilitated by it.

5) Taffy is a very unique looking lady. She has very pretty chocolate and tan coloring, and distinctive facial features. She seems to be Shepherd/Lab, and a beautiful dog. She is very friendly and affectionate, submissive with people, and has gotten along wonderfully with other dogs. She’s very cute, gentle, and loving to all.

6) Celeste is a gorgeous black and tan Dobie/Shepherd. She’s about 4 years old, with a docked tail, and dainty features. She’s the most obedient, submissive, affectionate, gentle soul, and she loves to sleep with her head on your shoulder. She’s a bit shy around strangers, a sensitive gal, and she gets along with other dogs, not a mean bone in her body.

7) Cheetah is a stunning apricot Chow, fluffy and dainty. She’s about 5 years old, and has a pink tongue. She is very sensitive, gentle, submissive and great with other dogs. She’s friendly with other people, with the typical Chow calm and reserve. She has cataracts on her eyes, so she may be blind, and she has had seizures a few times, when stressed, but seems to be fine.

8) Princess is a pure, classic Black Lab, with very soft fur, long ears, and she’s very gorgeous. She’s about 3 years old, and she’s very gentle, submissive, affectionate, very sweet and friendly to all people and all dogs, she has the typical loving, happy Lab personality, a total sweetheart.

9) Blondie is a beautiful, petite, Shepherd with creamy light tan fur and stand up ears. She’s about 6 years old, and she’s very compact, probably no more than 40 lbs. She’s about 6 years old, and she’s very friendly with people, affectionate and energetic, a sweet, calm dog, great with other dogs too.

10) Alex is a gorgeous German Shepherd, probably pure, with classic black and tan coloring. He’s about 4 years old, very smart, and very active. He’s an escape artist, but stays close to home. He’s very friendly with people, gentle, and great with other dogs, and he has the typical Shepherd protectiveness toward his home, his bark may seem intimidating but he’s harmless.

11) Angel is a sweet, beautiful, dainty, elegant Dobie/Rottie/Shepherd, with classic black and tan coloring. She may be around 6 or 7 years old, and in great shape. She’s energetic yet calm, very friendly and well behaved, affectionate and loving. She’s a submissive, gentle gal, wonderful with people and great with other dogs.

12) Ella is a Black Lab, very pretty and cuddly. She’s probably about 6 or 7 years old, and she has a healthy appetite. She’s in great shape, though she has a growth on her side, which doesn’t seem to affect her, but perhaps should be looked into. She’s great with other dogs, energetic, loving, and friendly with people.

13) Malcolm is a classic, pure German Shepherd. He’s a senior boy, and he may be 11 or 12 years old. He may be older, but he’s active and spry. He’s calm and well behaved, though sad because he lost his long time owner. He’s great with other dogs, very friendly with people, loving and affectionate.

14) Mitzi is an adorable, dainty brindle Shepherd, maybe part Dutch Shepherd, part Lab. She’s about 2 years old, and she’s a small medium size, long legs. She’s a total sweetheart, very friendly and submissive, affectionate, great with people and with other dogs. She’s best friends with Lilly, and the two are very bonded and love to play and cuddle with each other.

15) Lilly is the cutest, dainty little Black Lab, so soft and beautiful. She’s about 2 years old, and she’s a small medium size. She’s very submissive, sensitive, and gentle, affectionate, a little lovebug who is wonderful with people, and with other dogs. She’s best friends with Mitzi, and the two are very bonded and love to play and cuddle with each other.

16) Sally is a beautiful, medium small Shepherd, may be mixed with a bit of Lab. She has unique, elegant smoke coloring, dainty features, soft fur, long legs. She’s now about 2 years old, very friendly, very pretty. She’s great with people and other dogs, and she has a cute habit of wrinkling her nose in a smile when she’s happy. She’s the submissive sister of Shirley, affectionate, loving.

17) Shirley is a very pretty medium sized Shepherd, with maybe a bit of Lab. She is the sister of Sally, and Shirley is a bit bigger than Sally. Shirley is 2 years old, and has long legs, and beautiful, unique smoke coloring. Shirley is more dominant than Sally, but these two sisters love each other and are very bonded. Shirley is very friendly with humans, great with other dogs.


Veterinarian of the Month: Fahmey

I have heard nothing but bad news about this guy. He used to work for my former vet. When I contacted that office and said he was being sued, the person who answered said /he/she was not surprised, that he was never allowed to do surgery there.

This is a comment left before, but this is a slow news week, so I thought I'd post it again.

Anonymous said...

The sad thing about the vet board is that they protect their own and you'll be lucky if the vet gets a slap on the wrist.

Dr Fahmey is a horrible vet. I've talked to a vet tech who use to work for him. He has forgotten to use oxygen when administering iso during basic spay/neuter surgeries. When the animal becomes brain dead he's said "well, it was only a rescue."

Once a woman brought her dog in for euthanasia. She was so upset she didn't want to be present during the procedure. She told Fahmey that the dog was a shelter rescue and asked that he not put the dog in any kennel, that kennels frighten her. She asked that Fahmey sedate her and euth her. The dog was 70 pounds. After the woman left (mistake on her part) Fahmey gave the dog half the necessary dosage for the dog and threw her in a kennel. The dog started the freak out and bang her head on the chain link. The dog was panting and crying. The vet tech, in tears, begged Fahmey to give it more sedation and to finish the job. Fahmey said "the woman's not here, she'll never know." He recorded the dog as a 35 pound one.

Fahmey kills FIV kitties and doesn't even do the more thorough test to confirm the cat has it. Even with both tests cats have been known to come up negative later on. FIV is not an illness that warrants euthanasia.

Apparently Fahmey alters his records to cover up for his botch ups. He also blames the clients if something goes wrong. He'll prescribe the wrong medicine and then tell the client it's their fault if it makes the animal ill.

I know of one person who has sued him and a few who have sent complaints up to the vet board.

Meanwhile, this man is still in practice and still on the LAAS voucher system. He use to work at a vet in Santa Monica who acknowledges he is a horrible man that shouldn't even touch a flea.


I am adding a comment that just came in. I think Fahmey treated one of my cats in SM, but I don't remember which one:

"What that poster wrote about Fahmey is true.

"He is one of the worst vets in the city.

"I heard two rescuers asked Boks to sever the city's voucher contract with Fahmey. The department said that is a matter for the vet board. That is wrong. A vet's license is a matter for the vet board. The city can sever their business contracts. It is a business contract, not a vet license that these two rescuers requested be discontinued.

"It's too bad the city is willing to allow such a horrible person to continue doing business with them. Are they that desperate? Or, are they just so stupid to think that a vet is immune because they are a vet and city contracts are also a matter for the state vet board? I wonder if rescuers can sue the city if a vet kills a shelter animal because he forgot to use oxygen when administering anesthesia which renders an animal brain dead."

Mayeda's Sanctioned Puppy Mill-Video

The below May 2 report is from my sister-blog, Mayeda/County watcher:

In the latest fiasco, the Department of Animal "Care" and Control gave World Kennel USA, a Palmdale-based puppy mill, an A after giving them an F just 2 weeks prior. They had approximately 400 dogs, well over their 100 dog limit. World Kennel USA is located in Michael Antonovich's district, AKA animal hoarders paradise. Of course the Board of Supervisors is going to let this go without question just like they have all of Marcia Mayeda and her Department's misconduct in the past.

How is World Kennel USA dealing with the fact that they have to comply with the 100 dog limit? They're dumping their older breeding females with local animal control. When they reach the 100 dog limit, what's to stop them from starting up again?

The Department of Animal "Care" and Control? The Department of Animal "Care" and Control couldn't run tap water let alone enforce the law. What's it going to take for the Board of Supervisors to say enough is enough? Animals can't vote, so why would they care? So far, they haven't.

The below video is an undercover investigation of the puppy mill that the Department of Animal "Care" and Control gave an A to.


You hit the nail on the head Ryan; nothing is going to change until LA's animal community unites. It isn't happening even after years of work by Bell, Sorentino, McClellen, Cummins, Metropole, Barrymore and many others.

When it happens--if it happens--then things will change.

In the meantime, keep holding her feet to the fire.

I will tell you a big secret that only someone who lived in Santa Monica would know. There are two politicians there, two councilmen that could really, really make an impact in this area if they decided to run for Supervisor or a state office, OR for Mayor of LA.

They are Kevin McKeown and Ken Genser.

Both have supported unions, renters and others not in power. Ken can do things behind the scenes and Kevin does the front guy. Actually they both do both, but Kevin is the extrovert.

Either of these two could make things happen in LA. Every Democratic pol in the state knows them and they'd get great support.

Both opposed Santa Monica's killing of ground squirrels upon order from County Vector Control. They know the County well. Ken has expressed interest in how well their shelter is doing.

Ken Genser:
Kevin McKeown: website:
Santa Monica Website:

I Love This Video

An act of Will.

April Stats In--All of Animals Services Numbers Are Up

I have already received a few comments from mathematicaly challenged readers that they don't understand the below analysis. Don't worry. I am not saying anything that anyone in the administration would consider important.

The April number are in and they tell a confusing story.

The Daily News today published an article by Dana Bartholomew blaming the increase in killing on foreclosures. This is probably not true. One of our analysts is working on shelter by shelter correlation of impounds per foreclosures in that shelter area.

However, homes sales have also increased, meaning more people moving in from other housing, which means they could take their animals, and there are also increased numbers of people moving in from apartments, which means they can adopt animals. This may well be the case because adoptions are up 29%.

Even if there is an increase due to foreclosures, it is difficult to measure because you’d have to know the number of animals per foreclosed home and whether the move caused the owner to abandon or turn in the animals or not. Not every person that moves turns in an animal unless they move to rental property where pets are not allowed.

This is beside the point. The real point is what you do with the impounds. If the shelters were operating at capacity before the increase, one would expect a poor outcome for the increased number of animals. This has not happened. This suggests Animal Services may not have been operating at full capacity in the past, including the past two years under Ed--until now.

Impounds increased 20% from 11,785 to 14,138, for a total increase of 2,355. This may be due to foreclosures or not. It can also be due to the number of animals refused last year by Animal Services in order to improve its kill numbers. That refusal is coming around to bite Boks in the butt.

On the other hand, killing increased from 2,786 to 3,650, or 864 animals. This is an increase in killing of 31%.

BUT, the live save rate of the additional impounded animals was 63%, only a slight decrease from last year, which means Animal Services handled the increased numbers fairly well.

That is, even as impounds increased, rather than killing a larger number of the impounded animals which might be expected, the killing ratio of the increased impounds was only 37%.

Adoptions rose 29%, from 4,433 to 5,717, an increase of 1,284 animals. That is, 55% of the increased impounds were adopted out.

The died in shelter rate also dropped 69% from 283 to 88, or 195 fewer died in shelter. Returned to owners is up 7% and rescues were up2%.

Any way you cut it, the LAAS numbers have improved—except for killing.

The increase in euthanasia wiped out the overall improvement in live save rate, which dropped from 69% to 66%.

The increase in adoptions could be because a larger percentage of impounds may be of more friendly, socialized animals. Who knows?

It seems that all of LAAS numbers are up, likely due to increased shelter size, which made owner turn-ins easier and also increased the capacity to hold more abandoned animals.

Ed’s talking about how close LA is coming to No-Kill probably increased the impound rate even further. Ed needs to shut up about this any only tell the mayor (and me, so that I don't attack him so ofter).

Overall, I think LAAS has handled the increased impounds fairly well.

On the other hand, the expanded shelter space may have increased holding numbers and duration of holds which may negatively impact live saves at the end of the year as the increased inventory has to be killed sometime during the year, ending up with worse numbers than last year.

That is, the present good looking numbers may be artificial and temporary.

The Animal Services' save rate is still not as good as that reported by Philadelphia (70% for the first quarter), and about which Winogard complained as being a needlessly high.

Skamper Ramp

After posting about the kitten drowning in Marc Madow's pool, I have received several comments about Scamper Ramp, which allows pets to climb out of pools.

The cheapest price I found is at Petsmart, at about $45.00 each. I think a pool should have two or three of these and/or a cover.

For me, if I had a pool, I'd just drain it rather than risk an animal drowning in it.

TNR Becomes Official Policy in Chicago

Boks has been trying to get LA to adopt an official TNR position to deal with feral cats. Two environmental groups have threaten to sue which has caused Boks and the Mayor's Office to do a CEQUA environmental study.

I don't know what happened to the study; it was started well over a year ago.

Eventually the ordinance will make it to Council and 1,000,000 cat haters and another 1,000 birdwatchers will speak in opposition.
The Cook County Board of Commissioners passed the Managed Care of Feral Cats ordinance on Oct. 16, making Trap-Neuter-Return the approved method for managing feral cats in the Chicago area.

The ordinance allows feral cat colony caretakers to be primarily responsible for managing the estimated 800,000 feral cats in Cook County by providing food, water, shelter, vaccinations, spay/neuter surgeries, and ear tipping.

Area shelters will register and serve as sponsors to review and approve feral cat colony caretakers, provide education to these individuals, and oversee their responsibilities. The Department of Animal Control will remain the final authority and will have the right to trap and remove unvaccinated cats that show signs of disease, those who are not spayed or neutered, and those who have not been given identification through ear tipping.

“This legislation legitimizes the important work that a lot of people have been doing for many years,” says Abby Smith, Executive Director at Felines, Inc., a Northside no-kill cat shelter.
“A group of dedicated volunteers have made a significant impact on the number of feral cats in Cook County and my hope is that this ordinance inspires more people to become involved in TNR efforts. I am very proud that Felines Inc. will become a sponsor to caretakers of feral colonies. This ordinance has helped to galvanize the city’s cat shelters as we work together to address the feline overpopulation problem.”

To read the new ordinance, visit
I really don't know what to make of the ordinance. I am sure some colony managers will refuse to register because they are afraid of what the City might do in the future if policies or personnel changes again.
I don't know really how this will help colony managers. Just because it is official policy doesn't mean individual colonies are any better protected from cat haters or neighbor harassment.
And, for the City to know where each colony and caretaker is, makes them potentially even more of a Wellsian Big Brother.
In LA, we have an unofficial TNR policy, more like, don't ask, don't tell. There is no official recognition, but there also isn't any official harassment.
Strange too, in Santa Monica the colonies I tended to or knew of, were extremely stable, some having members 10 or more years old. Here, in the Valley, it is a lot different. The survival rate in the colonies I know of is much lower.
Notice that someone estimated Cook County had 800,000 feral cats; I wonder what Merritt Clifton would think about that. He estimated Baltimore had no more than 30,000 ferals. The Chicago estimate is 27 times higher.
Merrit has some explaining to do.

Winograd Attacks Former Protege

Below is an article about Philly PAWS, the organization that runs the municipal shelter. In the past I used Philly as an example of what can be accomplished in a short time, as expressed in this article. Philly went from 20% live save to 60% in about two years.

A few months ago Winograd attacked PAWS director, Tara Derby and also the head of a private shelter who wanted the city animal services contract.

Nathan never really expressed why he attacked Derby and PAWS' progress under her reign.

I did talk to PAWS previous Chief Operating Officer, Due Cosby, who quit 9 months ago. Back then Sue denied to me that anything was wrong with the Philly operation.

When I more recently emailed her, she said she didn't want to comment.

Anyway, this article points out some of the criticisms of Derby as well as Nathan's complaints. I think there is a lot more going on here than meets the eye or reaches the press. Why is Nathan in such a snit?

Trouble with PACCA's top cat?
By Stu Bykofsky
Philadelphia Daily News

IN THE animal-welfare world, "rescuers" are animal guardian angels, usually individuals or nonprofit groups that "rescue" doomed dogs, cats and other animals from shelters, rehabilitate them and find them homes. When they rescue, they use the term "pull," as in to pull an animal out of the shelter.

Rescue is vitally important to any shelter, but especially to a high-volume shelter, such as Philadelphia's inadequate facility at 111 West Hunting Park Ave., which handles 30,000 dogs and cats annually.

In an interview with me four years ago, Tara Derby, chief executive of the Philadelphia Animal Care and Control Association, acknowledged the importance of rescue groups, many of which were made to feel unwelcome at PACCA by the previous administration. When she took over in April 2005, Derby vowed to work closely with rescue groups, and things have improved. On March 9, PACCA sponsored a party at the shelter to thank its 130 rescue partners, "our best customers," Derby calls them.
But some rescue groups have peeled away, imperiling the lives of some doomed dogs and cats in the shelter.

Several of these groups complained to me about a lack of focus at PACCA, and about confused standards there.

Example: Many rescue groups are tax-exempt nonprofits, registered with the state and known as 501(c)3s. I heard complaints that PACCA says that it will deal only with 501(c)3s, but then hands animals to groups without 501(c)3 paperwork.

Derby admits that "our policy has changed from time to time," resulting in confusion. She prefers to deal with 501(c)3s, but will allow groups without the registration to take animals from the shelter - if they have paperwork from a veterinarian who will vouch for them.

Example: Some rescuers complained that paperwork on dogs being held for them is not always completed when they arrive. Sometimes the animal they have come to collect has been handed to someone else.

Derby says that PACCA sometimes doesn't have the paperwork prepared, due to the volume of animals it handles. In other cases, she says, rescuers may come to the shelter without first calling, thus leading to delay when they arrive. She always prefers to give the animal to the rescue group that can arrive soonest.

The situation with disappointed rescuers came to a boil when community-programs coordinator Meghan Garber left on maternity leave in February. There was no replacement ready to take over the vital role of communicating with rescuers, leading to mass confusion and dogs being put down because no one was calling rescuers to get them out.
When I asked Derby - who readily answered all questions put to her and provided all requested documents - how that could have happened, she gave a long answer that didn't fix the blame. In a separate interview, PACCA's chief operating officer, Doug Rae, hired last August, told me, "I'll take the heat for that."

A plan that he thought was in place to have volunteers fill the breach didn't materialize, which led to several weeks of chaos. The problem was resolved when Natalie Smith, who had been an unpaid volunteer, accepted the hectic, life-saving job of community-programs coordinator.

When management makes a mistake, the buck stops with Derby, 34, who supervises 63 full- and part-time employees, and some 900 volunteers.
Complaints have been leveled against her, the harshest coming from nationally known kennel-management expert Nathan Winograd, who was hired to do a deep analysis of PACCA in February 2005. After turning in his report, which included a blueprint for the future, he approved of Derby's selection to run PACCA despite her lack of shelter experience.

He now thinks Derby should resign.

In e-mail interviews with me, Winograd laid out a bill of particulars.
One Winograd complaint that echoed what I'd heard from many others is that Derby is "never there" at the shelter.

"During Tara's first eight months or so, she was the first one in and the last one to leave," Winograd says.

Last year, Winograd says, Derby "claimed to have endless meetings and so spent little time in the shelter, came in late, left early, spent her time holed in her office."

Rather than respond to individual accusations, Derby says, "I would rather focus my efforts on saving animals than consider why or why not the individual likes me or doesn't like me or supports me or doesn't support me." She says her time off was within normal parameters.

In 2006, Derby took off several weeks after her mother died and her marriage broke up. Since she is not required to punch a time clock, there is no indisputable record of the days and hours she worked.

Without accepting Winograd's assessment, COO Rae, whose office is next to Derby's, says, "Tara is here in the building a lot more than she used to be."

When I laid the allegations of absences before new PACCA Board President John Martini, he was hearing them for the first time. He says that he has a "world of confidence" in Derby, that it would be "very unusual" to ask a CEO to clock in, but if it has become an issue, he says, "it's something [the board] would consider doing."

Winograd also says that the animal save-rate is 50 percent on days Derby is in charge and 70 percent on days when Rae makes the life-and-death calls. Rae declined to comment on Winograd's numbers, but concedes that he and Derby had disagreements about when a dog is too dangerous to be adopted.

"I have an opinion about what an aggressive dog is, Tara has an opinion about what an aggressive dog is, but today we're closer to the center," Rae says.

Without dispute, the save-rate has more than tripled since Derby was hired in 2005, from less than 20 percent to more than 60 percent. When she was hired, Derby's announced goal was to make Philly a "no-kill" city within 10 years. Realistically, that would mean an 85 percent save-rate.

Winograd moans that Philadelphia was "so close" to "no-kill," and actually gives the lion's share of the praise to Rae, even though Rae has been at PACCA only nine months. In fairness, I must add that Winograd has his own fearsome critics.

In the animal-welfare world, finger-pointing is an art form. *

E-mail or call 215-854-5977.

It is obvious that the behaviors cited by Nathan are an indication of severe depression, which is understandable given Derby's mothers death and failed marriage within a few months of each other. What to do about it depends on your perspective. I am very concerned that Nathan attacked Tara so strongly and publically. There are better ways of doing it. I don't know what got into him. Even Boks never pointed a finger at employees. He did point a finger at Mayeda once, and in that case I agreed with him totally.

It sound sto me like there is something personal going on here beyond just her performance. Or, it could be Nathan thinks her performance reflects badly on him and he is publically distancing himself.

Increased Impounds Are Not Related to Foreclosures

Despite Ed Boks recent statement that foreclosures are driving up Animal Services impound numbers and the euth rate, that conclusion is almost certainly wrong.

Our fantastic pool of number crunchers are crunching numbers. It appears that foreclosures are a negligible contributor to increased impounds.

Also, the largest increase in impounds is for kittens and puppies, which would be independent of foreclosures, but much more likely related to the refusal of kittens by Animal Services between May and October of last year.

When I get the real numbers, this post will come down and the more careful analysis will go up.

The conclusion then would be Boks' policy on refusing kittens last year caused the large increase in impounds this year.

Get it, Boks always finds someone else to blame but himself; this time it was the economy. Maybe next he'll blame Saturn in Leo as the cause.

How is this for a Cat Sanctuary?

For people who love cats, you have got to see this:

Daily News and ADL Get Boks' and Barth's Salaries Wrong

The Salaries posted by the Daily News and ADL for Linda Barth and Ed Boks are wrong.

They reported Linda was making $154,000 and Ed $152,000.

In fact, the official salary range listed for the Assistant GM is $124 K to $154 K. They mistakenly (???) put her salary at the top of the range—maybe, maybe not. Anyone have the true numbers? It is estimated that her current salary is actually around $135,000.

The Daily News lists Boks as making $152 K, when in fact he is making, according to the City, $168,961. $152 K is the listed bottom of the range for the Animal Services GM. If Boks were getting a $20,000 raise to $189,000, that would place him near the top of the range for LAAS GM.

The correction information was sent to me by Sue Freeman.

The official LA City Personnel salary listings are found at:

In any event, the comment holds that while the animals get 10% less food, Boks gets a 12% raise. LAAS employees are getting laid off and the GM and A GM are getting fat raises. Go figure.


Boks Cuts Budget, But Raises His Own Salary

This was sent to me as a general post from the ADL. I have not checked the accuracy of this information or the budget cut numbers, such as a 10% cut in food supplied to the animals, or the proposed $20,000 increase in Boks salary. I do know that over a year ago, Chief Veterinarian, Steve Feldman, insisted that animals in the shelter be fed a higher grade of food. Guess that is going away. Let them eat cake.

This is the ADL post:

Ed Boks gives himself a raise while cutting back the adoption hours for homeless and lost animals in Los Angeles!

For the past two years ADL-LA - as well as experts in the field of humane shelter management - have stated that Ed Boks is a charlatan, fraud, incompetent and liar. Even though we have received thousands of e-mails expressing outrage and recounting hair-raising personal stories regarding Boks, your voices have not reached the powers who can force the Mayor to honor his pledge to bring No Kill Solutions on as a consultant in tandem with a new General Manager to stop the slaughter of precious animals inside our LA municipal shelters.

We have now confirmed that the number of Los Angeles Animal Services (LAAS) shelter system murders have increased over 24% in the first quarter of this year - and, lest you think the situation couldn't get any worse, it has! ADL-LA has just received confirmation that Antonio Villaraigosa and Ed Boks have cut back on the LAAS budget for the years 2008-2009.

Below are some of the most critical areas:

Boks has eliminated some of the most important shelter hours - and the ONLY hours working people have - to adopt or find missing pets. Boks has closed the shelter to the public every weekday morning and evening.

Boks has shelved the opening of the fully completed North East Shelter (at a cost to the taxpayers of over twenty-five million dollars) and will use it instead to imprison evidence animals, who are already imprisoned at the South Central annex! Under a competent General Manager, a foster care program would have been implemented years ago for these poor animals. An attorney, who wrote up a detailed plan that would have cost the city nothing, and who was willing to set up the entire foster care program for evidence animals in 2006 for free, was brushed off by Bok's office.

Boks is going to cut animal food disbursement by 10%. (Well, gee! This way the hungry animals will have LESS food to fight over! Right?)

Boks is offering work furloughs and incentives to employees to take more time off!

Boks is going to HIRE A SECOND ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER along with the one he already has and then give each of them - along with Boks himself- A TWENTY-THOUSAND-DOLLAR ANNUAL RAISE!

You think we're off our rockers on that one, huh? We wish it were so! As it currently stands, not only is Boks requesting from the Mayor - and obtaining - a SECOND Assistant General Manager (there have never been two AGM’s in the history of our shelter system until Boks was appointed), but Boks is also increasing their salaries from one hundred thirty thousand to one hundred fifty thousand dollars per year! This is a cost to the taxpayers of THREE HUNDRED GRAND PER YEAR to do Boks’ work while he continues blogging, boozing, sexually harassing subordinates AND slaughtering animals by the thousands.

And if THAT’s not enough, Boks is demanding that he too get another twenty thousand per year - thus making his annual blood money earnings total one hundred eighty-five thousand dollars!

LAAS already has ONE incompetent AGM in Linda Barth, but now the City is hiring another one during a budget crunch in which Ed Boks is cutting back adoption hours for the animals.

No wonder Boks was asked to leave as Shelter Manager at the Maricopa, AZ facility and then fired from his General Manager position in New York City!

How much longer are we going to sit back and watch animals being slaughtered because of a sadistic fraud like Ed Boks? How much longer are we going to accept the LAAS Commissioners' failure to oppose the ludicrous demands of this Hitler of animals because they are afraid to lose their Commission seats? The Commissioners - including their legal advisor and worthless fecal lump, Dov Lessel - are allowing the murder of innocent animals to take place right under their noses without so much as a whimper of protest. These decrepit Nazis may not be holding down the animals as they shake in terror and pull away frantically from the fatal poison being injected into their bodies, but they supervise, oversee, and enable those who do and thus have as much blood dripping from their hands as the actual killers.

How long are we going to stand by and just watch as animals are picked up from the "shelters" by City garbage trucks and their corpses hauled off to a disposal plant because the Mayor and his staff aren’t capable of or interested in doing the ethical, moral and simple tasks needed to get this city on the road to No Kill?

Do you realize that hiring an expert like No Kill Solutions and a competent General Manager would save tens of thousands of animal lives AND tax dollars during this budget crunch? Not only would we need just ONE AGM rather than two to do Ed Boks' work for him, but also the new General Manager and AGM could be given reasonable salaries instead of the obscene amounts of compensation Boks and his assistants are getting for doing NOTHING but killing animals!

As one employee stated to us the other day, “This is the worst corruption I’ve seen at the shelter in the five years I’ve worked here. Sociopath Mr. Boks comes in and gets away with murder. The rescue and welfare groups have to begin to take their own shelter system back from the hellish control of Boks cause if they don't, the animals will continue to be slaughtered here everyday.”

A Discovery re a Ben Lavato

This comment was received this morning. Perhaps the Ben Lovato referred to in the comment is the same one that demanded Madow abandon his feral cats and deny them food and water. If so, his actions appear to be consistent with someone who would threaten to murder a human being and get sued for it.

"How old was this hearing officer, Ben Lovato?

"Google the name and there is a Ben Lovato who used to be an LAPD detective who got sued by the ACLU for threatening to kill someone in 1983.

"One would like to think Rocky Delgadillo's office wouldn't hire someone like that, but we know too much about L.A. government to think unprofessionalism, pathological behavior and rank incompetence would stop you from getting hired.

"If it's the same guy he certainly still likes to bully people and deny them their rights.

"Too bad Mark Madow wasn't just driving City cars without authorization, insurance or a valid driver's license. The he could have skated, just like Rocky Delgadillo's wife did..."

This is one of several Google referrences to a Ben Lovato:

The Facts Behind a Sinister Connection
by Mae Brussell ©

[References: Larry McDonald, the Los Angeles Police Department and Western Goals.]

1970: Los Angeles Police Chief Edward M. Davis -- a staunch conservative -- created the Public Disorders Intelligence Division (PDID). Five years earlier Davis had formed the Criminal Conspiracy Section (CCS), California's top political intelligence-gathering operation.
1971: Louis Tackwood, agent-provocateur for the Los Angeles Police Department, exposed police involvement in "dirty tricks and murderous things"

1970-1972: Lawsuits against police abuses escalated as it became apparent that spying was continuing. The files ordered to be destroyed were never removed from LAPD intelligence. January 4, 1983: Representing 131 clients, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the LAPD and continued its efforts to locate files on over 200 organizations being spied upon.

May 24, 1983: The Los Angeles Times ran the following headline: "DETECTIVE IN SPYING CASE LINKED TO BIRCH LEADER - Suspect in Police Probe Ran Private Computer That Keeps Records on Leftists in U.S." Representative Larry McDonald, chairman of the John Birch Society, was publicly exposed for obtaining stolen documents ordered destroyed years before. Western Goals was paying for the computer and labor to transfer these stolen documents to McDonald's Alexandria, Virginia, and German offices.

McDonald justified his Western Goals involvement with LAPD intelligence files as necessary for "future Olympic Games security." Evidence emerged that Western Goals, members of the LAPD and Pentagon personnel planned previous riots and fatal provocations.

September 1, 1983: Representative Larry McDonald, chairman of Western Goals, was killed on Flight 007. September 15, 1983: Linda Guell, the new Western Goals chairman, stated she would not testify before the Los Angeles grand jury unless she received immunity from prosecution. Otherwise she would invoke the Fifth Amendment.

September 15, 1983: LAPD Detective Ben Lovato, one of those being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union, was accused of threatening to kill Western Goals editor John Rees.