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%


Anonymous said...

In LA County, the number of animals that enter the shelter via the owners is 17%. Assuming that owner surrenders are about 17% for LA City also, the number of owner surrenders would have to nearly quadruple in order to make a 31% increase in total impounds.

I wills still note that in Kansas City, when we instituted the mandatory spay/neuter of pit bulls law, we saw a sharp increase in the number of pit bulls euthanized, even before enforcement of the actual law took place. I can't explain it, but it was pretty dramatic. I will still contend that that is having an effect also. As is whatever is going on with the cats.

Anonymous said...

IF Boks didn't have this "foreclosure" crisis, he'd find some other way to cover up his mess. He'd probably burn down the shelters. "Look, the animals died in the fire. I didn't euthanize them. That means I saved them!" Or he'd put parvo virii in the animals drinking water. "They died of natural causes, not euthanasia, I win!" Or he'd set all the animals lose and blame ALF. Then he'd include those animals in his "live release" category.

Anonymous said...

There are foreclosures in NYC just like in LA. Why then is intake and euth up here in LA? If you look at NYC, they have added quite a few more nokill programs. Here are some of the new programs.


Anonymous said...

Most of increase in intake in LA is from kittens, then adult dogs. It's not from adult cats or puppies. Barely any neonate puppies are coming into the shelter. This seems odd to me. I don't think the huge increase in kitten intake is from foreclosures because there'd also be an increase in puppies. I can understand adult dogs increasing because of foreclosures. It might be tough to find a rental that'd take a dog. Someone could easily hide a cat in a rental but not a dog. I think Boks is just using the "foreclosure crisis" to rationalize his horrible stats.

Anonymous said...

LOL, #2!

It's funny because it's probably true.

You should send this to Saturday Night Live to use as one of their News Cast Skits.

Hilarious and sounds so true! At least the animals aren't being killed.

No-Kill With A Little Help.

Why don't the shelters just let them All Go?

A bunch of animals are AWL. Just disappear from under their noses.

Bunch are stolen and some just let them escape.

Why don't they just let them All go? It'll save more lives.

Too obvious, maybe.

Anonymous said...

Brent, actually owner surrendered (OTI) dogs have been around 22% while OTI cats have been around 14% unless you count Euthanasia Requests making it 32% dogs and 16% cats. This is what I'm seeing from from LA County animal records.

Now according to Annual Rabies Activity Reports for the past 5 years, LAAS has been hovering around 10,000 OTI dogs and 5,000 OTI cats. It appears that historically, what is really driving total impounds (the ups and downs) are not the strays picked up by AC (which is minimal) or the OTI animals but rather, the Public Surrendered animals.

The snap shot view Boks is using (a 31% increase in total impounds compared to the same month last year) to convince folks they should plan ahead and use shelters as a last resort when giving up a pet is good advice but while foreclosures have placed a burden on both shelters and rescuers, I just don't believe its what's really driving the impounds up this year.

Brad Jensen
Cypress, CA


Anonymous said...

Brent, can you break down the OTI of pits and public surrenders in KC? I believe elsewhere on this blog there are questions regarding why another shelter that is no kill has so many more "public" surrenders than shelters around it.Public surrenders are often times owners turning in their pets as strays to avoid surrender fees and with no kill, stern looks and lectures.

Pit bulls are kept one dog to a kennel because of safety for other dogs and for the staff. Therefore it stands to reason that if you have a large population of pits in shelters, they would be the first ones euthanized. Dogs that can be together 2,3 even 4 to a kennel take far less space. Since euthanization is usually a space issue, then it makes sense why pits go down first. I doubt very seriously that pit euthanization went up just because of mandatory spay/neuter.

These days insurance companies have a lot to do with so many pits in shelters and thus more euthanization of this breed. By far, most insurance companies are banning the breed and if you have one, your insurance can be cancelled. This can account for so many in the shelters also. And a homeowner who knows their insurance policy would not be in the market to adopt one from the shelter as well. All of this contributes to the problem that you are talking about. Please lets put due where it should be rather than chalking it off to mandatory spay/neuter.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Boks took his cue from this article in the Press Enterprise.

Pets, left behind, are victims in foreclosures

10:00 PM PDT on Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Press-Enterprise

Acting on a complaint from a neighbor, code enforcement officers recently paid a visit to an abandoned home in Hemet.

What they found inside was heart-wrenching: a dog, a German shepherd mix, was left mired in its own filth and so desperate for food, he was eating drywall to stave off starvation.

"For me, it's very heartbreaking," said senior code enforcement officer Kathie White, who said it was doubtful the dog would have lasted another week under those conditions.

"It definitely falls into animal cruelty," White said.

As more residents walk away from their foreclosed homes, a disturbing trend is emerging across the country and in the Inland region.

Rather than give attention to their pets, some people simply leave them behind in the abandoned homes to fend for themselves, local officials and animal advocates said.

"It's a case of out-of-sight, out-of-mind," White said. "The unfortunate thing is everybody is so overwhelmed right now ... a lot of people are just leaving overnight and don't even know where they're going."

Normally, people who must leave their homes take their pets with them, find new homes for them, or surrender them to an animal shelter, White said. But as the number of foreclosures escalates, she said, some people opt for the irresponsible way out.

'Very Sad'

In the past month, White said, code enforcement officers found another dog and a bag of food sealed inside a foreclosed home. In another house was a litter of newborn kittens; the mother was never found.

A case of animal abandonment became national news recently, as a 44-pound cat was found wandering without a collar in New Jersey. The obese feline, it turned out, had been abandoned by a woman who said her home was foreclosed.

"The situation is a very sad one," said Hope Schultz, president of recently-launched, a Chicago-based Web site that provides information and resources for pet owners. "People are abandoning their animals, letting them loose, or worse, abandoning them inside the home."

She said there are various reasons why some leave their pets, including the embarrassment of calling attention to their own predicament.

The Web site offers tips for displaced pet owners, such as asking family, neighbors and co-workers if they'd be willing to foster or adopt the animal, or asking a local animal rescue group whether they are able to temporarily foster the animal.

Inland shelters typically do not keep track of the number of animals given up due to foreclosures. But the number of pets surrendered by their owners could give a sense of the magnitude of the problem.

In the 2007-08 fiscal year, the number of owner-surrendered animals rose about 26 percent from the previous year, said Michelle Dawson, acting animal services division manager in Moreno Valley.

Neighbors Step In

Denise Perry, director of operations at Riverside Humane Society, said foreclosures have definitely led to more displaced pets. "We have people coming in daily to bring their animals because they have lost their home," she said.

John Welsh, spokesman for Riverside County Department of Animal Services, said the rates of owner-surrendered animals at county facilities are steady.

White said the animals recovered recently in the foreclosed Hemet homes were in varying degrees of health -- most of them bad.

"These animals can't take care of themselves," she said.

In some cases, neighbors become involved in the heartache because they often are the ones who alert animal control officers about the animals left behind.

"It was heart-wrenching," said Tom Goldenetz, 52, of Moreno Valley, describing a Labrador retriever recently picked up by city animal services after it was abandoned in the backyard of a house next door to his home. He said the dog had been starving and howled at night because of loneliness.

"It's something that I wouldn't wish on any animal," said Goldenetz, who said he dropped off food and water to keep the dog from starving.

Dawson said her agency contacted the animal's owners after receiving a complaint. She said the dog, known as Boots, was left by his owners, who moved to Los Angeles. The animal was supposed to have been cared for by a relative. She said the owner finally agreed to surrender the dog, which is now up for adoption.

Reach Herbert Atienza at 951-763-3464 or