PROVIDING INFORMATION AND ANALYSES OF ANIMAL ISSUES IN LOS ANGELES http://losanglesveterinarian.blogspot.com/
Petsmart Selling Real Cat Fur?
I was at Petsmart yesterday.
They had what looked like a skinned cat fur piece with an artificial heartbeat and warmer to keep kittens and other cats comfortable. It cost $30, which is kind of high for a piece of cloth and a beating heart machine. It was made in China. Naturally I thought the worse. There was no making anywhere on the package as to the composition of the "fake" pelt, i.e., rayon, polyester, etc. I complained to the store manager.
He opened a package and looked for a label. On the piece itself there was no listing at all of what the "fake" skin was made of. The tag only said "Made from all new material." He said he'd email "corporate" about this.
Go to Petsmart and complain. They are called "snugglekitties.
Here is another link to another site with information on the Chinese fur trade:
Olshan Accuses Mayeda of Obstruction of Justice; Sends Complaint to Attorney General
I expect to do the same also re a suspected cover up of animal neglect at Pierce College involving Pierce faculty, LAAS and ACTF personnel.
Jerry did not endorse me when I ran for Councilmember in Santa Monica 10 years ago because I had not received many other endorsements. He said politics is people fed and the more you have, the more you get.
Anyway, we'll see how much juice Jerry thinks we have here.
Olshan's email to Jerry:
Dear Mr. Edmund Brown:
Since November 2007, I have been documenting violations of Department and Board of Supervisor Policy and Procedure and State and Federal law that the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control and Department Director Marcia Mayeda have engaged in and continue to engage in.
I have presented this evidence on numerous occasions to the Board of Supervisors and County Chief Executive Officer William Fujioka, yet these violations continue to occur. My vehicle for documenting violations since December 2007 has been on the LA County DACC Watch Blog (http://lacdacc.blogspot.com).
I recently presented Mr. Fujioka with an email where Department Director Marcia Mayeda instructed her staff to obstruct justice by deleting emails and emptying their trash files so they don’t leave a paper trail during an audit conducted by the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (see below and attached file Obstruction of justice email.pdf).
When I presented Mr. Fujioka with this email in person on 6/27/2008, he was asked by his Chief Deputy Sharon Harper if that’s what the email was (obstruction of justice) and he answered yes with a look of extreme worry and embarrassment on his face.
Instead of letting the Office of County Investigations, Drug Enforcement Agency, and United States Attorney’s Office investigate, Mr. Fujioka let County Counsel investigate and they deemed that no wrongdoing occurred. This is not the first time Ms. Mayeda has instructed her staff to delete emails and empty their trash files so they don’t leave a paper trail.
From 2006-2007, Dr. Dena Mangiamele conducted an audit of the Department’s operations and the report was both shocking and disgusting. You can read my outline of the report at http://lacdacc.blogspot.com/2008/08/dr-mangiameles-audit-of-dacc.html and download a copy of the report at http://lacdacc.blogspot.com/2008/08/dr-magiameles-report.html.
The report found the Department in violation of State and Federal law and Policy and Procedure.
The Department has three pending lawsuits against them for various alleged violations of the law. You can download a copy of all three lawsuit complaints at http://filesrv.ryanolshan.com/LACDACC/Lawsuit%20Complaints.zip.
The stance the Board of Supervisors and Mr. Fujioka has taken on this issue is inappropriate, unsatisfactory, and an abuse of power. I am reaching out to the Office of the Attorney General to initiate an investigation into these abuses and hold the County of Los Angeles and those in violation of the law accountable.
From: Marcia Mayeda
Sent: Thursday, October 04, 2007 10:20 AM
To: Josie Zabala; Michelle Roache; Derek Brown; David Nelson
Cc: Marcia Mayeda
Subject: RE: DEA Crisis
Josie, thanks for your comments - i agree that everyone did an outstanding job on this matter! However, we do not need a paper trail on this. Everyone, please delete these emails from your computers and empty the trash files.
See What I Saw in Obama
I think hillary was screwed; I don't know him, but look how he speaks:
I have never heard a speech more moving and visioned as Obama's tonight.
I heard a lot of JFK's speeches, and Bobby's, but Obama's was the equal of any.
If only we had someone of this vision combined with energy and charisma, the nation would be No-Kill in ten years.
Be Prepared for 4 More Years of Villaraigosa
According to an LA article, Villaraigosa has no real challengers for his next mayoral contest.
Tony has been busy attending fundraisers all over the country and has raised $1.6 million dollars, enough money to scare off all challengers.
Villaraigosa's foremost challengers last time around were Herzberg and Alarcon.
I left a message on Herzberg's cell asking if he were going to run again--no response. I have sent an email with the same question to Alarcon--no answer so far.
The only challenger mentioned in the article is Walter Moore who in my mind has no chance of winning and has only 1/15th of Tony's funding. During the last run, Moore was not even invited to many candidate forums.
Remember, the small coalition of the LA animal community that interviewed candidates before the last election endorsed Moore which, along with ADL picketing, led to Tony's continued vindictiveness against the LA rescue/humane community.
Here is why Moore would be a terrible choice for us to support (again):
The problems with Moore are many.
1. He wants to get rid of rent control, meaning lots of lower and middle income tenants will be priced out of their apartments and homes, causing them to dump their pets, just like increased foreclosures.
2. Walter is unrealistic. He just says it is an easy problem to solve but fails to give specific answers or proposed ways to increase LAAS budget or make other changes that require cooperation by Council or the unions. Remember, bad civil service and union-protected employees are one of the highest obstacles to a No-Kill LA, and he does not evem bother to mention that problem let alone suggest solutions.
3. When Moore gave speeches last time when running for mayor against Tony, Herzberg and others, helping animals in the shelters was always the last item he mentioned, almost as an after thought. Many times he even failed to mention animals.
If he had more concrete ideas and well as a plan to implement those ideas that are backed by more than, "It is easy to do when you have the resources LA has," I'd be more enthusiastic. But even after 2 years he has not developed anything specific that he would commit to. At least Tony made specific commitments--but failed to honor even one.
Moore is a Republican and will tend to shoot down anything that increase taxes or takes money from police or fire. So, where will the increased money come to save animals? Remember, Moore says anything is possible with LA resources, but if you cut taxes where is the money to help LAAS going to come from?
Moore complains about spending $14,000,000 for the new West Valley shelter saying the mayor should have spent that on increasing adoptions through establishing retail outlets off campus.
Ho doesn't even realize that the money came from a bond issue passed years ago for capital improvements, and has nothing to do with the annual operating budget where you could spend $14,000,000 for rentals. He does not even understand the difference capital expenditures from planned bond money, and operational expenditures for day to day operations which come from tax money. Maybe he understands the concept, but he has not looked into this specific case, probably because he does not really care and is merely pandering to the animal community.
In other words, he is uninformed and unrealistic. I pointed out his mistake to him 2 years ago and he failed to go any deeper and look at the bond issue or the operating budget. He has held true to his mistakes, a lot like Bush.
From his website:
"Today’s Daily News has a glowing report on the recent expansion of the City’s animal shelter in Chatsworth.
"The article says the expansion: cost “nearly $14 million;” added 50,000 square feet; and will let the shelter “house 152 dogs, up from 56,” plus 167 cats, up from 68.
"Let me translate that into meaningful numbers: the expansion cost $280 per square foot, and $71,795 per additional animal.
"How much money is that? Well, for less money, you could have bought a three-bedroom, two-bath home in Oklahoma City for each animal. That’s right: you could buy each dog and each cat its own house, with its own yard for just $69,900.
"Do I think we actually ought to spend $14 million to buy 200 houses in Oklahoma for our dogs and cats? No. Rather, the point is that our tax dollars are being squandered when the City pays as much for an animal pen as people in the private sector pay for a house.
"I’d rather see our animal shelter dollars spent more on finding homes for these pets than building lavish facilities where they’re warehoused for a week before being put to death.
"For $14 million, we could rent an awful lot of retail space for animal shelter pet stores, and use standard marketing techniques to encourage people to adopt. We could also build facilities to keep more pets alive for longer periods by paying less than $280 per square foot."
About the house in Oklahoma City, this is not Oklahoma City, it is LA, and these are new state of the art animal shelters, not 50 year old ramshackle residences with no budget to take care of the animals once they were in Oklahoma. Again, he confuses operating budget with capital improvments.
Apparently Moore thinks you can have crappy, outdated and crowded facilities which deter people from coming to the shelters, as opposed to a bright and cheery place people are glad to visit, and still increase adoptions.
I guess Moore would think--if he ever bothered to take the problems of adoptions seriously enough to look more than skin deep--that the voters who voted for the issue a few years ago were stupid and should not have wasted public money. It was they who voted the $14,000,000 for the West Valley shelter, not Tony's mismanagement.
Try to nail Moore down on his plans to improve LAAS and reach No-Kill. After two years of me hounding him, he has no specific plans. Look at his website:
In addition, he plans on lowering taxes, which, of course ruins any chance of increasing Animal Services budget. Will this enhance LA's ability to obtain retail outlets, hire more employees, fire the bad ones, out Boks and hire a new GM? No!
I have warned the animal community now for well over two years to unify and develop a common voice for change as well as a PAC to back a good pro-animal candidate. Nada.
Come January we will have no candidate to run against Villaraigosa and it is your own fault.
This being said, the wisest move might be to pay off Tony with political and finacial support.
Villaraigosa Sucks Up to Bill Clinton
Did you see the Democrat convention tonight?
If you didn't, guess who sat directly behind Bill Clinton?
Yes, Tony Villaraigosa.
Did you see Clinton turn around and talk to Tony several times?
Maybe Tony can get a job in Washington and leave us alone. But then, who should we back for Mayor?
Next Boks Conference
In fact, I think such a rebuttal conference a great idea.
We all know there will be a large amount of self-serving hyperbole at this conference, but so what? It is addressed to the general public, not we who want Boks out.
I think the last conference exposed those who saw it in person or on TV to aspects of the rescue community I had only heard about but never saw or heard of in person.
CREATING A HUMANE LA
Hosted by Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, Council District 2
WHEN: September 4, 2008, 6:30 pm
Studio City Branch Library
12511 Moorpark Street
Studio City, CA 91604
WHAT: A panel discussion and question/answer session focusing on Foster Care that will feature panelists:
Linda Barth, Assistant General Manager, LA Animal Services
Valerie Markloff, New Hope Coordinator, LA Animal Services
Ben Lehrer, President, Kitten Rescue
Sunshine Campbell Garcia, Fosterer
Other knowledgeable people will also be attending. The workshop will be facilitated by the City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission.
LA Animal Services is scheduling this series of public workshops to help better familiarize concerned Angelenos with LA Animal Services’ efforts to achieve "No-Kill". The workshops will also serve to help gather input and feedback on how we can do better.
For more information about the Creating a Humane LA Public Workshop series or LA Animal Services, please visit out website at www.laanimalservices.com
From Marc Madow
Please help prevent a Ron Mason type catastrophe to the Wilkinson cat colony.
An extreme emergency situation exists which could easily cost the lives of many dozens of the cats in the Wilkinson colony. We urgently need to relocate these cats immediately before they are seized and murdered by LA Animal Services and the Animal Cruelty Task Force of the Los Angeles Police Department.
I initially gathered up these cats after someone in our neighborhood killed at least six of them with poison. The complete story can be read on my blog at http://earthblog.net/eb-articles/cat_tribunals01.html.
I have way more than the three cats allowed by the City of Los Angeles. Animal Control and the Animal Cruelty Task Force have visited many times and warned me to remove these cats from this location.
Their most recent visit resulted in me not letting them inside to count cats as they didn’t have a warrant. I was clearly told that they would be back on Thursday August 28th at 1:00 pm to inspect the premises and count the number of cats that remain.
This date is no coincidence as I must appear at the Van Nuys Courthouse the next day to be formally charged on this matter.
I ask you all to please put yourselves out and accept one, two or even three of these cats to save their lives. We of the animal community are often fragmented, disorganized and overly suspicious and critical of each other. I desperately ask you to extend a hand of kindness to these cats.
Some of the cats and kittens are tame and could easily live indoors with children as housecats. Others are shy, but peaceful, and could live indoors or out somewhere.
And a few are cats from hell who don’t like me, they won’t like you and they never will like humans. They need to be saved too. And, a few of them are special needs kitties who could use a special friend.
I saved them from someone who was trying to kill them. Now, their lives are again in immediate risk to the perils of a raid and seizure which could resemble the results of the illegal, immoral and inhumane actions which happened to the peaceful cats of Ron Mason last year.
If you haven’t seen the YouTube video of this shameful day please have a look at this link and then learn the dirty truth about this obscenity on Ed Muzika’s blog at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_kJ9nGiVis
I know it’s kitten season, I know you have plans for the day, I know you don’t have room for or need more cats which are difficult to adopt out but please, let’s save these cats from the jaws of this system of inhumanity. I may be criminally charged for giving food and water to feral cats while whoever poisoned some of them is not even being sought by law enforcement. This is not the America I want to live in. I hope that you don’t either.
You can contact me any time day or night with questions advice or to offer the help with which I desperately ask you for. If I can’t get these cats diffused out into the friendly community they are simply doomed. I caught them. I fed them. I had many of them fixed and gave them medical attention. I protected them the best that I could for as long as I could. It’s time for me to ask for help from you as the only way to their survival.
Tel (818) 768-8588
Cell (503) 703-0449
I warned Marc that most in the rescue community are in the same boat and cannot be expected to help without increasing their own risk.
The department and ACTF have made absolutely no attempt to help Marc, but only to warn and threaten him to cut the number of cats.
They want him to do this by stopping his outdoor feeding, and I suppose to get the indoor cats adopted. However, they are demanding the near impossible as they are having poor success in adopting the cats they impound and they have 300 employees and seven shelters.
They are demanding March (and they did Ron Mason) accomplish something they did not and apparently can not.
This is another reason Boks has to be replaced and the ACTF get sent to bust dog and cock fighting rings.
ACTs Will Not Be Laid Off
From Carla Hall's blog:
This just in: The 28 animal care technicians (ACTs) who were scheduled to lose their jobs in the fall at Los Angeles municipal shelters will not be fired.
The technicians were scheduled to be cut as part of citywide budget cuts. But shelter officials, volunteers, local animal rescuers and the workers themselves pleaded with City Council members at a meeting this month to find a way to keep them on for the sake of the animals.
"We have gotten a commitment from the mayor's office that we're not going to have to lay anyone off," said Ed Boks, general manager of L.A. Animal Services.
He says he got the word at a meeting in City Hall Monday morning. "Of course we are relieved.... The details need to be worked out."
Those details would be where the money comes from. At least some of it may come from revenue yet to be collected from city residents with extra -- or extra large -- city trash bins. Councilman Richard Alarcon discovered that the city was not collecting fees it was owed. It remains to be seen how much the city will really reap when they bill people. -- Carla Hall
New rumor has it the new Chief Vet did not even know Boks in Phoenix and that this unknown guy is not a patsy.
There is a slight but significant misunderstanding of the attack on the Hayden bill. The fliers say there is no funding for the holding period under the current budget.
That is not quite true.
California law (Hayden) mandates shelters hold animals for four days before killing them. Shelters are reimbursed for animals killed after 72 hours under Hayden because of the legal requirement to keep them the extra 24 hours.
The state is required to repay shelters for the increased cost of the mandated increase of 24 hours. This payment comes out of the state Mandate Fund. I believe it is only a few bucks a day.
A state legislative analyst said Hayden has not caused a decrease in killing, therefore Hayden should be repealed and the money owed shelters be paid out of the Mandate Fund. The funding is already there in that fund, and state law requires local governments (shelters) to be paid their costs for holding the animals. So unless the legislation is directed at overturning state law with regard to all mandate payment to any municipality under mandate, the state still must pay from the Mandate Fund. The other option is to vote Hayden away. The money is there, the will to destroy Hayden is there too.
Get this, not a dime has ever been paid to shelters from that fund. The analyst said that the fees should be paid to the shelters and Hayden repealed. That amount is about $16,000,000 for all the years since Hayden was passed, so it is not a large sum.
The analyst said the state should pass a law that reimburses shelter for each adoption instead of each killing. This, of course makes perfect sense. However, there is no provision in ending Hayden to instead give shelters an incentive to adopt more animals.
That is, it would have to take the form of a new and separate bill sometime down the line, which in this economy would never pass, yet Hayden would be repealed.
This is not an indirect attack on Hayden by means of budgeting Hayden out of existence, it is a direct attack on Hayden by requiring past shelter killing fund rebates be paid off and Hayden be directly repealed.
I would object to the legislators that Hayden not be repealed, unless provision is made in that same bill that there be a significant financial award attached to adoptions IN THAT SAME BILL. This of course would take time to rewrite, and schwartzenneger is trying to save money by killing Hayden; but if killing Hayden means more money has to be rebated to the shelters based on adoptions, legislation to kill Hayden will fail.
I would also note the rebate under Hayden for not killing the extra 24 hours is very small compared to the fees a shelter receives from adoptions. If the rebate is $14 for killing under Hayden, but fees received for adoptions is already 5-8 times that, the financial reward for killing already is not there. But if you add the requirement to pay shelters for adoptions, that increases the financial incentive even more.
One other consideration. We know from past experience that shelters are ignoring Hayden all the time, there is no enforcement nor penalties attached to killing animals early.
When calling these legislators, point out that the legislative analyst was terribly wrong, and that euthanasia has been cut since day one of Hayden 10 years ago. Notable exceptions are such as County under Mayeda whose kill rate has barely declined at all.
Tell them the reason for killing Hayden, that is no success in lowering killing, is absolutely wrong.
Boks Has Not Released July Shelter Stats
Fourteen months ago when the shelter stats showed Animal Services was doing well, Ed provided a preliminary analysis of performance the the first day of the month and posted the actual figures on the 6th.
No more. He never talks about how LAAS is doing in terms of numbers anymore unless there is a formal request to post them. This is August 25, and he still has not released the July figures.
Of course his numbers have been getting worse and worse.
Cat Jumps 7 feet
Wait until you get about 2 minutes in, when the cat is by the door.
Feldman Out as Chief Vet; a Friend of Boks In
Two weeks ago Boks told the Animal Service Commissioners that Steve Feldman was being demoted and a vet from Maricopa County (surprise, surprise) was going to take his place.
So far as I know, there never has been any animal community complaints against Feldman.
Boks is appointing a crony.
Rumor also has it that Feldman was demoted because he knows me.
I am sorry Steve if this is the case.
I know that some of Feldman's accomplishments were to increase the quality of food fed the animals as well as creating a more environmentally friendly atmosphere for them. He also organized further training for the RVT's through Internet courses from a major vet school. All this I learned before Ed and I were no longer friends so I have no idea what happened later.
I can hardly wait to find out who the new guy is and interview him as well as follow his career. Maybe he'll be a good guy. Of course, if he is a Friend of Boks we'll even know less about what is going on inside LAAS.
Next Commission meeting is next Monday in the North Valley shelter as 6 p.m. Be there with questions. I think I'll invite Ron Mason and Marc Madow.
Why Dems Should Still Pick Hillary
McCain, despite being 72, having had cancer with numerous other medical problems, despite wanting to keep corporate tax at half the personal tax rate, despite wanting to cut personal income tax for those making over $200,000, despite wanting to stay in Iraq for at least five more years, etc., has pulled even with Obama.
Why? He is running the same kind of mamby pamby campaign as Kerry--weak, weak and weaker.
Had Hillary been the candidate, she would have stomped McCain at least as hard as he has been bashing Obama. I think Hillary is at least as mean as Karl Rove. Then we'd get a Democratic president. Now it looks iffy.
Well, then we can count on Hillary being back in 2012. That is a long, long time.
20 Cents a Day for Food for Each Animal--AMMENDED
In yesterday's response to the "anonymous attack" email, Boks said with respect to the 20% cut in food budget to $400,000, "The food budget was over budgeted in the past and we never spent the entire line budget allocated for food."
So I wondered, how many meals does the $400,000 pay for.
I looked at the total number of animals up for adoption at the six shelters and found 2,025 dogs and cats, and 199 "other animals," which would include rabbits.
I estimated another 225 animals at the Annex, which may be a little high.
In addition, there would be evidence animals that are not listed as up for adoption and all animals held less than 4 days waiting for their owners according to Hayden. I don't know whether feral cats or behavioral problem animals are listed as up for adoption.
But it is fair to say there are at least 2,500 animals in the shelters now.
Given that the shelters are nearly filled all year long now, but summer is still busiest, I think it safe to assume a year round average of at least 2,100 animals a day, figuring it would be a rare day to get below 1,700.
Now 2,100 animals year around, means 1,533,000 meals assuming twice a day, mostly for cats and dogs, from kittens to pit bulls and German Shepherds.
Given a budget of $400,000, that means each meal is budgeted for 26 cents, or 52 cents for each animal per day. Now since there are far more dogs than cats in the kennels, this makes one ask is 52 cents a day adequate?
I just looked at the department's food budget found in the annual report found at:
The Magic of Self-Serving Statistics
Yesterday I ridiculed Boks' claim that LA was at 95% No-Kill (Phase I).
Today, I took a look at Boks' legacy shelter, Maricopa County Animal Care and Control. They have mastered the art of "definitions" to the extent they have a 52% higher kill rate than LA (60% versus (38% claimed), and yet claim that NOT EVEN ONE HEALTHY ANIMAL was killed.
Can you imagine, a 100% save rate for healthy animals. Not one animal was killed for lack of space.
Boks Announces LAAS at 95% No-Kill Despite a 37% Increase In Killing!
Listen to this, although Boks admits there has been a 37.4% increase in euthanasia during the first seven months of this year compared to last (10,217 compared to 7,437 last year),
he says LA is now at 95% No-Kill!!!!!!
How does he do this? Like all the other No-kill phonies, he lowers the criteria for No-Kill as does Mayeda.
He says as of now, only 5% of impounded healthy animals are killed (Phase I), so we are 95% No-Kill (Phase I), all the rest of the 17,000 going on 19,000 animals killed are unhealthy, vicious, untreatable, etc.
That means he is saying that almost 40% of all animals impounded are unhealthy, have behavioral problems, are vicious, etc.
No one in the world but Boks and Mayeda would claim that 40% of the animals entering their shelters are sick or "unsound."
In his blog, Boks is responding to a letter circulating on the Internet. Rumor says it was written by Laura Beth Heisen. In this letter she accurately summarizes what a lot of us think about Boks, his plans and his promises.
The letter and his responses make the best reading since Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities.
“The recent increase in animal impounds has led to an increase in the number of animals euthanized. This is the first increase in pet euthanasia in the past six years. The Department successfully reduced pet euthanasia over 50% in the past six years, and 22% in 2007. YTD 2008 has seen a 37.38% increase in euthanasia (10,217) compared to 2007 YTD (7,437). However, when the numbers are normalized to account for the increase in impounds, the euthanasia rate is up only 3.49%.”
(My comment: This means killing is going up faster than impounds, or better said, things are getting worse, fast.)
”So, what does that mean to achieving No-Kill?
”Phase I of No-Kill is achieved when no healthy animal is killed due to a lack of space or resources.”
”Phase II is achieved when we end the killing of animals in need of medical treatment.
”YTD 118 cats and 384 dogs were killed due to insufficient holding space and/or resources. These healthy pets represent the challenge to achieving Phase I of the City’s “No-Kill” Goal.”
(Comment: That is, Ed is saying only 502 out of the 10,217 killed so far this year were healthy. All the rest were sick, viscious, had behavior problems, etc.)
”YTD, the Department is over 95% on its way to achieving Phase I of No-Kill."
Then Ed makes a little joke when he says,
”The Department has always welcomed and invited the closest scrutiny to how these numbers are collected and reported. To date, no one has taken us up on our invitation.”
Boks "Loses" My Request for Records About the Dancy/Pierce Animal Neglect Investigation
On July 20 I submitted a request for public documents about the Pierce animal neglect investigation in 2005 and any subsequent investigations re animal neglect. I heard nothing, so I emailed Ross Pool, the department's keeper of records, and he responded on August 1 that he was working on it and needed more time. That is, he acknowledged receipt.
Recently, Brad Jensen submitted a separate request to Mr. Pool for a log of all requests for records.
That log indicated they had responded to my January request for all documents and emails related to the Mason case, TV 35 video, the LA-ACTF raid, and emails between Boks and the head of Animal Planet regarding future taping in LA by Animal Precinct.
They had not responded at all. Therefore, I have just requested a copy of what they had allegedly sent me.
However, regarding my July 20, 2008 request for the results of that 2005 investigation, and despite the fact that Ross Pool said he was investigating my request, the log does not show the request had ever been received.
However, it did show that Stacey Dancy had made a public records request for her entire personnel file 4 days before I sent my request. Why do you suppose that was? Was she getting ready to request the department to remove documents from her personnel file? Was she trying to see whether the file actaully contained and actual investigation by Bowers? I don't know.
So, what happened to my request Ross?
Surprise! City Controller Calls Boks a Man Without a Plan
Released yesterday, an audit of Boks' spay/neuter program.
City Controller Chick says Ed is a man without a plan.
Finally, a city official that has been hearing from members of the humane and rescue community.
Thanks Ms. Chick!
Alley Cat Allies Opposes AB 1634--Unfair to Colony Managers Without Low Cost S/N and Accessibility
Ask your California Senator today to OPPOSE AB 1634
This week, the California Senate is considering a revised version of a mandatory sterilization bill that would unfairly penalize people who care for stray and feral cats.
The revised version of AB 1634 would make it so that anyone who “owns or possesses” an unsterilized cat roaming “at large” could be cited and required to pay a $50 penalty. If an owner or possessor is cited for the same cat a second time, that person would be required to pay for the cat to be spayed or neutered.
AB 1634 threatens to place a tremendous cost on those who care for stray or feral cats, and could even be used to harass those who don’t have the funds for or access to low-cost or no-cost spay and neuter services. Worse, it could discourage people from caring for stray and feral cats at all, leaving more intact cats to breed unchecked and be brought to pounds and shelters where over 70% of all cats are killed.
Many people who care for stray and feral cats have already spayed or neutered them, often at their own time and expense. Alley Cat Allies supports programs that further these efforts, such as partially and fully subsidized spay and neuter services. But we oppose legislation that imposes punishments on those who care for stray and feral cats and puts cats at risk of being killed unnecessarily.
Send a letter to your California State Senator telling them you oppose AB 1634 and asking them to vote against it.
Becky Robinson, President
Huge increase in Impounds Are Not Due to Foreclosures
Ed Boks has blamed foreclosures as the cause of the huge increase in impounds this year that has led to an even larger increase in euthanasia.
I pointed out that NYC, which impounds about as many animals as LA, has only had a 4% increase in impounds and an actual 4% DECREASE in euthanasia.
People have tried to explain that away by saying there are more apartments in NYC.
That may well be, but NYC still impounds as many animals as LA (usually), which means those animals were staying in apartments, owned or not, and single family dwellings, yet impounds have not gone up and killing is actually down.
Now, a study is coming out showing there has been little or no increase in impounds in two other cities, further destroying Boks claim that increased impounds are due to foreclosures, or is he saying foreclosures are only affecting LA?
In fact, the largest increase in LA impounds is neonatal kittens. Foreclosures would tend to affect adult cats and adult dogs-especially large dogs more than kittens. Think about it.
Several of us have opined that the real cause of the increased impounds is that Boks had an unofficial policy of refusing neonatal cats, meaning more unaltered adult cats not , meaning more kittens.
Ed's policy of refusal dramatically decreased his impound and kill rate last year between May and October. Now his policy is coming around to bite him. maybe he thought he'd be somewhere else, some other city by now, and he thought the next GM would have to explain why impounds and killing were up.
I agreed with his policy then as it saved lives then, but I didn't see that coming huge increase in impounds as a result. Those saved kittens were never altered.
Outline of the Magiamele County Consult
From Ryan Olshan's excellent blog re County:
I just finished reviewing the 2006-2007 audit of the Department of Animal Care and Control performed by Dr. Dena Magiamele. The violations pointed out in the audit are not only blatant, but many of them are disgusting and inhumane. The audit is now published on my LA County blog in PDF format for the entire world to read (http://lacdacc.blogspot.com/2008/08/dr-magiameles-report.html).
The violations of Federal Code regarding controlled substances mentioned below are why the Department was audited by the DEA last year. Marcia was made fully aware of those violations by this report and that’s why she obstructed justice by issuing orders to destroy emails.
In addition to the conscious unanesthetized cat mentioned below that was killed by intracardiac injection, which is a violation of California Penal Code Section 597, I’m aware of another situation where the Department seized cats from an animal hoarder that were brought to the Lancaster Animal Shelter. In the back of the animal control truck, animal control officers began killing the scared and terrified cats by intracardiac injection.
Marcia’s press release and 10 page document released on 8/12/2008 is nothing more than Marcia’s attempt to make light of this audit. In the press release Marcia is quoted as saying, “Providing the highest quality animal care and customer service is of utmost importance to the Department and the County of Los Angeles.” Marcia doesn’t care about the animals and neither does the County of Los Angeles. You have turned a blind eye repeatedly no matter how severe the offense.
The Department only possessed one controlled substance registration certificate where there should have been one for each shelter
At the Downey Animal Shelter on several occasions a graveyard employee falsified records in the controlled substance log by placing the initials of an RVT (not their initials) as the technician who administered the euthanasia solution
The Department’s records for controlled substances were inaccurate and not in compliance with state and federal law
Schedule II, III, IV, and V controlled substances weren’t stored in a securely locked or substantially constructed cabinet as mandated by Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations Section 1301.75
A conscious unanesthetized cat was killed at the Lancaster Animal Shelter by intracardiac injection. This resulted in the cat vocalizing and flipping about within its cage for several seconds, kicking food and litter all over the room and then moved to the back of the cage where it subsequently died.
A RVT blew the vein of an animal that the RVT was struggling to euthanize at the Carson Animal Shelter
The body of a Malamute that had been euthanized and dead for 1.5 hours at the Baldwin Park Animal Shelter was left on the floor of the washrack area instead of being moved to the dead animal freezer
A German Shepherd that was turned in for an owner requested euthanasia that was presented as hit by a car and had fractured rear limb was left in the wash rack area of the Downey Animal Shelter without food or water and was unable to move away from his own urination. This dog was not euthanized or taken to taken to an offsite veterinarian, as the shelter veterinarian was off-duty. He was left in these conditions until he was noticed the next day.
A Pitt Bull was impounded at the Downey Animal Shelter for an owner requested euthanasia and had a fractured rear limb. This dog did not receive a medical examination, stabilization, or humane euthanasia. Dr. Mangimele was told that this dog would be euthanized after the legal holding period.
A German Shepherd was impounded at the Downey Animal Shelter and was unable to move. This dog appeared to be irremediably suffering. He was left overnight in the washrack area. The next morning it was decided that he would be euthanized after the required holding period was up.
Euthanasias of animals were preformed in the euthanasia room while dead animals were in the euthanasia room
Shelter veterinarians cannot euthanized or direct an RVT or other employee that is euthanasia certified to euthanize an animal that the veterinarian deems irremediably suffering without the approval from a supervisor resulting in animals enduring additional suffering and agony.
Cats that aren’t scheduled for euthanasia are in clear view of cats being euthanized
Anesthesia induction is performed by unregistered veterinary technicians
The dead animal freezer at the Downey Animal Shelter contained dead animals that had been in the freezer for several weeks. The freezer was dirty, wet with blood and secretions, and dead bodies were in barrels and on the floor of the freezer.
A “caution” animal at the Downey Animal Shelter received lacerations on the lip and mouth and bled extensively due to the makeshift control pole an employee used on it
Pre-euthansia anesthetics are not readily available or are not available for animals that require pre-euthanasia anesthetics
Non-certified employees performed euthanasia
The 561 Page County Shelter System Consult
Geez, I thought Winograd's 140 pager consults were long. But this bugger is 561 pages long.
This is from Ryan Olshan's blog:
Download Dr. Magiamele's report by shelter and all reports combined in one PDF file. The reports describe numerous violations of State and Federal law and policy and procedure. County stated in their response to my public record request that it would cost $216.00 (6 hours at $36.00 per hour) to produce the report in electronic format because portions of the record needed to be redacted.
Because of this, I requested that they send me the report in hard copy format. So far, the only redaction's I can find are names grouped together on the front page of each report. The effort required in that type of redaction is no where near 6 hours and more like 15 minutes. This is the length County will go to to make it as difficult as possible for a record to be provided in a format that can easily be distributed on the Internet or email because they have a lot to cover up. Even though the report should have been mailed to me on either Wednesday, August 6 or Thursday, August 7, the Department didn't mail the report to me until Tuesday, August 12, the same day they posted about the report on their website and Marcia Mayeda issued a press release.
Man Convicted of Animal Cruelty After Killing Three Feral Cats
Justice Served for Richmond Feral Cats? I don't think so!
Justice was served according to Alleycat Allies when a Richmond area man who killed three feral cats behind a local television station in June was convicted of three counts of animal cruelty. For each cat he killed, he was sentenced to a 12-month suspended jail sentence and a $250 fine.
Keith Copi, the operator of a Critter Control franchise, was found guilty today under a Virginia law that prohibits the “cruel or unnecessary” killing of any cat.
At the trial, Mr. Copi admitted trapping and killing the cats, who had been cared for by employees of the television station for years. Mr. Copi’s license has been revoked.
Earlier this week Alley Cat Allies delivered a petition, ultimately signed by over 5,200 of you, to the Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney thanking him for taking on this case. The prosecutor personally thanked us for the support you and we gave.
Cats are protected under the anti-cruelty laws of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and prosecutors are critical to upholding these laws. Those prosecutors who use the anti-cruelty laws to protect stray and feral cats deserve our thanks and support.
Sincerely, Alley Cat Allies
Requests for Public Records to Pierce and LAAS Go Unanswered; Next Step?
Sent today to large email list:
On July 20, 2008, I sent a Request for Public Records both the Pierce College and the Ed Boks and City administration regarding allegations of animal neglect of farm animals on the Pierce campus and charges of obstruction of justice of a LAAS investigation regarding this complaint.
Allegedly involved were multiple faculty on the Pierce campus and multiple officers of LA's Animal Cruelty Task Force and other LAAS and police personnel, including Ms. Dancy, a LAAS employee and many-year student at Pierce, who allegedly gave a heads up to Pierce officials regarding an ACTF investigation.
Pierce has not even acknowledged the receipt of the request for public records sent to them, with copies sent to many faculty.
LAAS responded only after my warning that I was not dropping the subject. Their response was that they needed more time.
It is now three weeks since these requests and it appears there has been NO EFFORT to supply this information by either public institution.
Therefore, I will soon submit a complaint to the City and County Attorney's Offices and well as to the state Attorney General as I have before. I will also submit this with all evidence I have gathered to various members of the press who have expressed interest in this story, albeit dated.
This is not a joke.
Failure to respond will be taken as a further evidence of a coverup of a coverup.
China Bans Dog Meat During Olympics
The Editor of The Daily News Agrees Villaraigosa is Corrupt
I thought I might get in trouble for my last post about PLM until someone emailed me the blog of the former editor of the Daily News, Ron Kaye.
"Life is grand for Antonio Villaraigosa and money is the game, luxury is the payoff.
"He offered himself as the punk from East L.A. with big dreams and high values, a guy who could stand up to gangs -- at least the gangs of special interests that feed off L.A.'s treasury, the developers, contractors and public employee unions. But he made his choice early on when he could have blocked the sweetheart contract negotiated under his predecessor's watch with the Department of Water and Power's all-powerful union.
"And what's happened since has made his administration the most corrupt in modern LA. history. His charm and glibness, his easy way of smoothing over and obscuring the truth, his selling out the city's future to the highest bidder, his endless travel in search of self-importance and cash to fuel his campaigns for office, for higher taxes, for political advantage.
"Most of all, there's the love of the high life: Gourmet food, $1,000 bottles of wine, beautiful young women, life in a mansion or hanging out with rich pals in theirs, bodyguards and drivers.
"He is leading the life of the fabulously rich on a salary of $225,000 while supporting a wife he's separated from and their house in Mount Washington, a kid at Princeton and another at the exclusive Marlborough School.
"Check out the list of his favorites eateries that he gave the L.A. Times: The foie gras.he "always" gets at Patina, the tuna tartare and oysters at the Water Grill, his preference to "entertain dignitaries" at Spago. the "really beautiful presentation" at La Serenada de Garibaldi, providence where he just lets " the chef kind of fix me up something great," and for dessert there's nothing like the tres leches cake at Frida in Beverly Hills."
Geez Ron, can I write for your blog?
Foie Gras Eating PLM
LAAS Facts and Failures
According to the City Budget, in 2007-2008, various LAAS S/N programs caused about 46,000 sterilization surgeries. There is no information about mortality rates at contractors such as Porter Pet or Noreda. This fiscal year is estimated to produce 49,000 S/N surgeries, which is almost double the 2003 rate.
Notice that though 2007-08 S/N surgeries were at an all-time high, this year the number of impounds has increased dramatically, and may equal the catastrophic 2003 numbers.
Lesson? S/N surgeries are not the panacea EVERYONE assumes.
Impounds are up dramatically this year. Why?
Boks claims it is due to increased foreclosures but cannot prove it.
Far more likely is that Boks' policy of turning away owner turn-ins and decreased field impounds means more unsterilized cats and dogs were on the streets and in homes, which has generated the bumper crop of animals we see as impounds today.
That is, in an effort to make his numbers look good for the past 2 years, especially refusing kittens between May and October of last year, has caused the extraordinary increase in impounds this year. Boks has created his own mess and wants to blame it on external forces rather than his own policies and management.
Unfortunately, those animals that would have been impounded and killed last year are being impounded and killed this year.
I also note that the food budget has not been restored. Feed for the animals, despite the increased number of impounds, was cut from $529,000 to $429,000. I find this disheartening. This is the only expense item other than salaries that was cut.
Value Vet Gets Spay/Neuter Contract
Value Vet just got the contract to run the S/N operation at West LA.
Here is the deal. Value Vet has to do the sterilizations of all animals adopted from the West LA shelter, which is an average of 80 a month.
Value Vet claims a target of 20 surgeries a day, six days a week, which means the contracted work they do for the department can be done in 4 days a month. The other 21 days a month they can do S/N surgeries for the general public, which I assume, part of each will be paid for by department certificates. That would be a speculative additional 420 public spay/neuters a month for their own practice, not for the City.
They have free rent as long as they are the contractor.
They also have a guaranteed minimum number of surgeries.
They can also sell items normally sold in pet stores or at a vet's office.
What does the City get?
2% of Value Vet's gross income, as well as the saving ACT time usually spent transporting the animals to private practices.
The contract proposal does not mention what compensation Value Vet gets for each surgery.
Here are the contract conditions as outlined for rubber stamping on Monday.
Business Plan: Value Vet’s target volume is an average of 20 sterilizations per day, and plan to open 6 days per week. West L.A. adopts an average of just over 80 intact animals per month (based on 2007 statistics, expected to increase substantially since the opening of the new expanded location). Therefore, Value Vet will be able to accommodate West L.A. Care Center’s current sterilization needs. They propose to sell a variety of products, such as leashes, collars, flea medications, etc., and provide services such as vaccinations—added-value services which the panel believe would benefit the public.
They propose to use all new equipment and state that equipment can be obtained on short notice, “within days.” Value Vet proposes to hire a veterinarian for West L.A., and states that they can recruit a quality veterinarian within 60 to 90 days. Based on Value Vet’s proposal and interview, the panel believes that Value Vet’s business plan meets the Department’s needs.
Compensation to City: Value Vet proposes to offer the City no discount on surgeries, but offers a tiered percentage of gross revenues for other services, ranging from 2% in the first year, to 3% in the third year, up to 4.5% in the sixth year if a renewal option is exercised.
The panel believes that, although Value Vet will not discount the Department’s payments for sterilizations, their other compensation, combined with unaccounted-for benefits such as saving staff time and resources (staff no longer will need to transport animals to off-site clinics for sterilization), and the benefit of providing a one-stop shop for adoption and veterinary services, provides the City with appropriate, feasible compensation.
Why is it that the City is not doing this themselves?
How much will they pay Value Vet and Eric Jones subsidizing their private operations vs how much it would cost for the department to do it all themselves?
I thought the original thinking was to have the spay/neuter clinics run by department vets.
Has Tony Gone Too Far?
When I was in graduate school and did something really stupid, I had a professor warn me, "Ed, don't piss in your pool of good will!"
Well, I think Tony has had his last pee on the LA animal community; there is no hope left. He baited us just to thumb his nose at us.
Well Tony, expect no quarter. You may finally have committed one last stupid, vindictive and vengeful act against the animal community, and now we are out to get you.
This story just went up on Indybay an hour ago:
Yesterday in the LA Times the Mayor posted a list of his favorites restaurants. Besides having expensive tastes he also has cruel tastes. His favorite restaurant in LA is pricey Patina. He says their foie gras is "great." He admits to eating this cruel $28 appetizer every time he visits the restaurant.
In July 2006 Antonio went out to lunch with an LA Times journalist for an interview. Antonio ordered foie gras and a $140 bottle of red wine declaring it a "good value." We the citizens of LA paid for his cruel "value" meal. And what's he doing drinking an entire bottle of wine on the job in the day time? Maybe this is how he got in trouble with his mistress and destroyed his marriage and family
After the Times ran the article animal lovers everywhere made sure to educate Antonio on foie gras. Foie gras is the liver of a goose or duck that's been force fed. They shove metal feeding tubes down their throats to inject massive amounts of fattening food a few times a day. Their livers become enlarged ten times normal size which causes them to be diseased besides extremely painful. They can no longer walk, their esophagus rips open or they choke on their own vomit. Then they are killed and their livers are fed to rich, ignorant folk who don't care about animals or their own health.
This is a duck who died in her own vomit
Many countries have banned foie gras completely such as Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Poland and Israel. Even the pope has claimed that it's a "violation of biblical principles."
Governor Schwarzenneger passed a bill in 2004 to ban foie gras in California effective 2012.
After being educated about this inhumane food in 2006 Antonio told animal lovers that he'd make more conscious food decisions in the future.
Because of budget cuts necessary from Antonio's expensive tastes--Spago caters all of the Mayor's events--32 Animal Control Technicians will soon be fired. People with families will soon have no job while our Mayor eats expensive foie gras and bragging about it.
By publicly telling the world that foie gras is "great" and he eats it all the time he is very publicly hitting animal lovers in the face with a two by four. You know he really wanted to say "I eat kittens and puppies alive!" but an aide probably edited that out of his list. This is one petty and vengeful little Mayor.
As of the writing of this article there were 480 who hated his list and 248 who "enjoyed" it.
Everyone, go and vote here http://theguide.latimes.com/profiles/4170/lists/170885
Tell the Mayor that his choice of expensive inhumane food sucks as much as he and his Director of Animal Services.
I can't wait for Antonio's next top ten list, his favorite clothes. You just know he'll brag about wearing baby seal skin, alligator shoes and slippers made out of bunny fur.
For more on Foie Gras:
Roger Moore (James Bond) video on foiegras:
Christ, the Vindictiveness of Villaraigosa
Since the animal community did not rally around Villaraigosa, and the small band of activists that did show up for a show and tell with the mayor candidates voted for Moore, and since ADL has picketed him frequently, Tony has become the animal community's worst nightmare.
Apparently Tony was caught eating Foie Gras in front of a Times reporter in 2005, and animal lovers asked him not to eat it again reminding him that it'll soon be illegal. He said he wouldn't, now he's rubbing Foie Gras in our face.
From the LA Times:
"Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is constantly on the move, but even a mayor has to eat, and he takes the opportunity to frequent many of the city's top dining destinations. He seems to have the good taste of a man who's knowledgeable about every corner of his city. A few of these entries just might surprise you."
According to a Times article, Tony eats at Patina and made the following comment.
“You get a great dish every single time here. There is a high level of culinary excellence every time and a consistency that is just incredible. I'd say their cheese selection is maybe the best in the city. And I always get the Foie Gras. It's great.”
I bet he really wanted to say he eats kitten noses and puppy dog tails.
Tony, you've gone over the line for the N-th time. I'll see you at the next ADL picket of your house.
KFC Launches New Veggie-Chicken Sandwich
A lot of the non local posts I put up are from different news sources. A few minutes ago this was the top Yahoo story.
Do you think a dozen media would cover this KFC event if it weren't for Pam Anderson?
All goes to show you that you can be a celebrity and become president some day. As if McCain wishes more than 30 people came to his events.
In any event, KFC has launched a fake chicken sandwich. I really hope it works. McDonalds abandoned their veggieburger about eight months ago. The McDonalds I went to said they sold four a week--tops.
Burger King still sells them, but they are pretty bland.
The veggieburgers are also expensive vis a vis their low end burgers or chicken sandwiches. A low end Mac is a buck, while their veggieburger was $2.49 and it was the same basic sandwich with identical condiments and a tomato.
Chili's has a pretty good bean burger for seven bucks and a few Chinese restaurants make some vegetable dishes by just leaving out the meat, but they don't have a clue when it comes to vegetable entrees alone, like the Thai do.
Boks Gets it Wrong when He Blames Increased Killing on Foreclosures
I have constantly doubted the reasons Boks gives for his failures.
The latest increase of 24% in impounds and a 31% increase in Killing is supposedly due to increased foreclosures.
This didn't make sense to me, because people losing their homes may dump their animals, those houses are being bought by renters or other home owners who can now get a pet for the first time.
And, if foreclosures were the problem, why have not NYC impound statistics or killing numbers gone up? Is NYC immune from foreclosures? Are foreclosures down in NYC?
During the past 6 months when Ed said LAAS impounds increased 24%, New York's rose by only 4%, and impounds of dogs actually declined. Why is LA up 24% and NYC only 4%?
Also, Ed said because foreclosures are up in LA, killing is up by 31%.
Guess what? Euthanasia in NYC for cats and dogs has decreased 4%!
LA up 31%; New York down 4%.
Ed probably knows what is going on but he isn't telling, just like he did not explain where 2,000 kittens disappeared to last year.
NYC Statistics through June, 2008:
Dogs + Cats killing went from 6,532 down to 6,307 between 2007-2008
Dog + Cat impounds went from 18,122 to 18,918, or up 4%
County Whistleblower Bashes Counth Shelters
This was posted on Ryan Olshan's Mayeda blog last week. Crap. Why don't I get stuff like this forwarded to me about Boks and LAAS?
From: Lori Kuhn
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2008 13:30:08 -0700 (PDT)
To: Ryan Olshan
My name is Lori Kuhn. I am a registered veterinary technician in the state of California. I was employed at the Carson Shelter in LA County for 3 months back in 2003. I witnessed a lot of animal neglect while working there. I tried on several occasions to talk with the director, Marcia Mayada, she would refuse to talk to me, instead I was fired.
I was amazed that I seemed to be the only one there who had feelings towards animals, and on several occasions, was told by other staff members, including the veterinarian, Dr. Pete, that I should be working at a humane society, not a high kill shelter!
On a daily basis I saw dogs being dragged with a rope tied around their neck to the euthanasia room. I saw the other technician Conrad, gambling on the internet each day instead of doing his job. I saw cats running out of the freezer at least three times, because they were put into the barrels alive. I saw cockroaches crawling all over the kennels at night. I would stay late every single night to feed cats that were left without any food or water!
And I was told that I had to kill wildlife, hundreds of possums were brought in in traps by the public and the patrol officers to be euthanized daily, the worst for me was killing the beautiful raccoons that should have been turned over to the wildlife department for release.
After leaving the shelter I wrote a letter to the AVMA who did an inspection. I was told that they were in direct violation by the DEA for having drugs unlocked and a general lack of legal drug logs. Record keeping was nill. Conrad the technician who I worked with provided no training for me whatsoever, he basically ignored me, and then complained about me to the supervisors. I am also very sorry to say that the tech who was hired after me killed herself while on the job with euthanasia solution.
The shelter needs help, hopefully those reading this understand my frustration.
Lori Kuhn RVT