PROVIDING INFORMATION AND ANALYSES OF ANIMAL ISSUES IN LOS ANGELES http://losanglesveterinarian.blogspot.com/
Jeff de la Rosa Has a New LAAS Blog
I hope uncovers much needed information.
The problem with ALL outsider blogs is none of us has the real insider information.
Yes, we may have highly reliable confidential informants for a time, but a lot of what we do is speculate based on bits of information correlated with other bits, etc., and usually no way to get consistent insider information, and if we do, how relevant is it to beget beneficial change?
More power to you Jeff.
What we need is for Jim Bickhart to start an anonymous blog tp put out real positive info about LAAS, Villaraigosa, the ACTF, as well as "speculations" about other things going on.
We'd like info about, for example, how the environmentalist's lawsuit requiring a CEQA study of TNR has impacted Boks' TNR initiative.
I'd like to hear what info the City has been able to gather about TNR over its 2 years of study. Anything?
Jim, either you or one of your staffers please start a new anonymous blog so we can get some real insider info--or disinformation to counteract my "speculations."
So Much News, So Little Time
Not posted so far:
1. Boks has been sued again.
2. ZsuZsa Blakely was in and out of jail recently, and was sentenced to reimburse Bernstein's SPCALA $400,000 a ssuggested by Bernstein's former board member and teaching collaborator, Don Cocek, who used to make a lot of money for her. ZsuZsa fine equalled $38/day for boarding each animal.
3. Boks apparently has hired a lawyer to sue the City.
4. I have a letter re alleged Prupas screw ups.
5. Investigation results from LAAS investigation of the Pierce College investigation is on the way.
Boks Spectacular Failure
Below are the killing versus impound rates for: cats and dogs; rabbits; all other animals.
During the three years he has been here, he has decreased cat and dog killing by only 5%, which is 1.6% per year. Given this rate of improvement, we will be in the Winograd No-Kill range in about 27 years assuming impounds remain the same.
If the spay/neuter law SUBSTANTIALLY decreases impounds, we may be no kill in 19 years assuming the budget returns to the 2007-2008 level.
I think the No-Kill goal can be had far more quickly given new management.
Ron Mason Actively Suicidal?
51 of his cats were seized and over 25 killed. He got to keep 3 and the rest were adopted out or killed.
Ron was depressed and living as an on and off day laborer. All his life he had been in construction. He ran his father's construction company for 17 years until the father died and relatives stole the company away from him.
Since his cats were seized and killed, since he was jailed for 4 days after being arrested for felony animal neglect, called insane by Boks publicly as well as referred to by Boks as a felon, as the Daily News repeated the same story, Ron became the laughing stock of neighbors and friends. All for Boks 15 minutes of fame of busting a horrible, terrible hoarder.
I go to dinner with Ron every week or so. He is increasingly depressed despite taking anti depressant medication, wanting to walk away from the responsibility of taking care of himself and the few cats and house he has left.
At 60 and out of shape, he cannot do any construction work now.
He talks about killing himself a lot, but he makes it sound not serious. He often jokes about blowing his brains out, but a joke repeated a hundred times is no joke. Good he has no weapon. There is no specific plan; therefore there is no legal basis for a 5150 hold.
He does have a psychiatrist whom he sees for medication and monitoring, but certainly not enough suuport for his fragile state.
About 6 months ago he was diagnosed as having a rather severe case of Diabetes Type 2, with blood sugar WAY up, over 500. Even with medication he has difficulty getting it below 200. Because of his lack of money, he eats all the wrong things like hot dogs, pizza, etc. he eats while at school.
So, he is very, very tired of life and talks about the repetitive boredom of life.
If anyone wants to help, please call him. I think more than anything he needs emotional support.
He is trying to improve his life. He is taking 2 all day courses on upholstering and silk screening at LA Occupational Center near Pierce College.
Here is a man who worked all his life, had his company stolen from him, had his cats stolen from him and killed and is now losing his health. It is the holidays during which many people feel depressed.
Most depressing for him is that no one came to his aid legally after having his civil rights so violated, his cats killed, his reputation destroyed by Boks, and Small Claims Court refused to have the City pay for the cages, carriers and traps confiscated by the ACTF and LAAS.
I would not be surprised if Ron did not make it through the winter and it is on Ed Boks' head. I will make it very publicly known that Boks, LAAS and ACTF were responsible.
Villaraigosa Likely Has 4 More Years
The Mayor has continued to support Boks because Blackman, for some reason, keeps telling Tony that Boks is doing well. Therefore, we don't know how long Boks will last even though it appears he is ready to sue the City. Even if he goes, there is no reason to believe Tony will appoint anything but a putz. I am sure there will be no national search. He might make Linda Barth the GM. There is absolutely no indication that Winograd will ever be called on.
However, as I reported before, there is a very pro-animal candidate to replace Weiss in the 5 precinct for Council, Paul Koretz: paulkoretz.com
With Zine, Cardenas, Rosendahl, Alarcon and Koretz on Council, perhaps the Mayor might do something. If Tony is going to remain as Mayor for another 4 years, Council will not oppose his decision to keep Boks.
No one thought Paul had much of a chance six months ago; he had no money. Now, or the five candidates he is second. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that all the LA animal community to support him with money and volunteerism.
He has 300 major and minor endorsements:
Nate Holden (ret.)
Joy Picus (ret.)
Bob Ronka (ret.)
Joel Wachs (ret.)
Mel Levine (ret.)
Jerome Waldie (ret.)
Phil Angelides State Treasurer (ret.)
John Chiang State Controller
John Garamendi Lt. Governor
Betty Yee State Board of Equalization
Rick Auerbach Los Angeles County Assessor
Lee Baca Los Angeles County Sheriff
Ed Begley Jr.
AND, Rich McClellan who gives Paul the highest endorsement.
You can see the complete list of his endorsers on his website. You can sign up to volunteer at:
Paul sent this email to me after I volunteered to work events:
Thanks for the offer! I may take you up on that.
Fundraising-wise things are going pretty well. As of the June 30th report, I was in last place of the five serious candidates and trailing all by 35K to 40K. As of the Sept. 30th report, I raised $70,000 during that period, and passed all but one candidate, whom I am slightly behind! I out fund raised everyone during that period by 20-40K each.I still have a long way to go, with about $150,000 to raise in the next four months, but it can be done.
I have the best campaign consultant and most of the key endorsements in the race. Hopefully I can pull together a number of volunteers to walk and phone for me in the last few months.But the campaign overall looks very viable and I have a good shot.
Paul KoretzCandidate, LA City Council 5th District, 323-966-5942Please visit my website: paulkoretz.com
Alley Cat Allies Attacks County Over the Rancho Cats
Join Alley Cat Allies in urging LA County Supervisor Don Knabe to lift a feeding ban for the cats who live at the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey, CA, and put an end to the 'catch and kill' scheme.
Use the message below to ask Mr. Knabe to work with the local caregivers and feral cat groups to maintain the successful Trap-Neuter-Return program already in place.
Feeding bans are inherently cruel to cats and are counterproductive. Volunteers have provided food and veterinary care out of their own pockets, and have carried out an aggressive, humane Trap-Neuter-Return program to stop reproduction.
Furthermore, trapping the cats and taking them to a shelter - where the only positive outcome for an animal is adoption - makes no sense. Feral cats are members of the domestic cat species, but they are not socialized to humans and are not candidates for adoption. Feral cats are almost always killed immediately in animal shelters.
Several volunteers are caring for cats at Rancho Los Amigos. Learn more about the situation by watching this YouTube video made by a local group.
Tell LA County Supervisor Don Knabe that you do not agree with this cruel approach and place an immediate moratorium on trapping.
Learn more about what Americans view as humane treatment of feral cats.
Here are more specific employees and emails in Knabe's Office to email and talk to. I guess this situation would be at the Downey fieild office, so call there. http://www.knabe.com/staff.html
Knabe's Chief if Staff is Curt Pederson Curt Pedersen
Chief of Staff
And the head of the Downey Field office is:
An email to these two guys will be 10 times more effective as a general form letter email to Knabe's office. They hate to hear complaints coming directly from the public and have to explain themselves.
Daily News Article on Chick's Audit
By Rick Orlov, Staff Writer
City Controller Laura Chick took the city's engineers to task Thursday for underestimating the cost and improperly designing eight new animal shelters authorized by voters in 2000.
The result, Chick said, was less space for animals and up to two-year delays in opening most of the shelters approved under Proposition F, a bond that allocated $154 million for shelters.
One, the Northeast Valley shelter, is still closed to the general public for adoptions, while another in South Los Angeles is not scheduled to open until 2012.
"This is extremely disconcerting since a major goal of Prop. F was to provide centers which fostered greater public access to increase animal adoptions and community involvement," Chick wrote in a letter to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the City Council.
Councilman Dennis Zine, who serves on the Public Safety Committee overseeing the Animal Services Department, said the audit confirms his impressions of the problems with the shelter program. Zine authored the motion that authorized Chick to audit the program.
Zine was outraged earlier this year when he learned of problems, sending his staff out to take pictures of dogs exposed to rain in shelters. The department was forced to build a cover to provide shelter for the animals.
His anger was at the need to spend an extra $180,000 out of the bond fund to correct errors.
"My concern is the management of Animal Services and the problems that came to us from employees and the general public and resulted in a waste of public money."
Animal Services officials said they agreed with Chick's findings on the problems of delayed openings at shelters.
"Animal Services shares the controller's disappointment that we are unable to open our new Mission Animal Care Center this year due to unforeseen budget constraints," Animal Services Director Ed Boks said.
"However, this unanticipated situation turned into a blessing during the recent fires when this location provided shelter for hundreds of evacuated pets while their owners became refugees from their own homes."
Officials with the Bureau of Engineering disputed some of Chick's findings, saying they believe the shelter project has come in on budget.
"Despite many challenges, including the unprecedented escalation in construction costs, we were able to deliver the program within budget and the facilities are a great asset to the residents of Los Angeles," said Engineering spokeswoman Cora Jackson Fawcett.
"We appreciate the input of the controller and we'll make every effort to implement as many of her recommendations as possible."
Chick said her auditors found problems at the beginning of the process.
The Bureau of Engineering began well when it came to program management. But, she said, its estimates for building costs were too low, forcing a redesign of the shelters.
"Animal Services and the Bureau of Engineering did not fully explore the impact of these changes, especially with stakeholders, which resulted in facility problems which could impact the welfare of the animals," Chick said.
It turns out it wasn't neighbors that turned Ron in, it was a rescuer who had taken 3 of his kittens over a 2 week period of time.
I really can understand. To see 10 or more kittens with URI may have been traumatic, but rather than help, she complained of animal neglect or felony neglect to LAAS, who then raided Mason.
As a result, at least 25 cats were killed.
So beware of your animal friends. I don't know, maybe the woman would be happier knowing the 25 cats were killed rather than have a cold.
I really couldn't tell from the medical records I got through request for public records whether they were sick or not. In the impound summary, the reason given for euth was either irremediably suffering or "ill." No medical records were given to me to the cats who were killed, only the cats that actually were tested and treated. That is, they hid a lot of data from me.
This is from Stray Cat Alliance.
Dear Felines Friends:
As many of you have been following, LA County Animal Control has been ordered by County Supervisor Don Knabe's office to get rid of over 100 fixed, healthy stray and feral cats living peacefully on the abandoned grounds of Rancho Los Amigos. They give ridiculous reasons like the plague and rabies, both of which the County's own veterinarian has stated basically these disease do not exist in cats in California.
The country has fenced off the abandoned buildings where the cats have lived for years. They have boarded up some areas and are planning on boarding up some more. The County gives ridiculous excuses, i.e. they will leave 2 holes not boarded up for the cats to escape but the truth is we don't know if those holes are accessible to all places.
Please read the blog for more information and a statement by Dr Patricia Meredith, MD, PhD on this misleading medical information.
PLEASE call the Office of Don Knabe and politely ask them to work with TNR groups to have the cats co-exist and to stop the non sense of trapping and killing the cats.
Tel: 213-974-4444 Fax: 213-626-6941
Please do NOT let the Office of Don Knabe send you to Animal Control. Animal Control is ONLY taking orders from Don Knabe's office. ONLY public pressure will stop this slaughter.
I just spoke to the office and the nice lady said the same old same old. Then she said she would give my message to Aaron Navarez. I said he is Animal Control and has NO power and to PLEASE pass my message to someone who works directly with Mr Knabe. She said she would try but Officer Navarez just called me back. We have to get through to people who can do something.
PLEASE call and get all your friends to call too but please read the blog first.
This blog will be updated daily.
Please contact us at email@example.com after you have contacted County Supervisor Knabe's office so that we can keep track of correspondence.
This is definitely a situation calling for civil disobedience--of couse I am not advocating it--but if I were, it would be in this situation.
I am sure many of you out there feel the same way. Time to get some wire cutters and crowbars to remove boarding.
Here is the URL for numerous photos of what Knabe is doing.
Here are more specific employees and emails in Knabe's Office to email and talk to. I guess this situation would be at the Downey fieild office, so call there.
Chick's Audit of the Shelter Construction Projects
Great Work By Animal Cruelty Task Force
The LAPD's Animal Cruelty Task Force announced today a successful break up of a profitable dog fighting ring in South LA. Since February 2007, detectives have looked into the location on the 600 block of West 85th Street where they say they found "mistreated dogs living in horrendous conditions at the residence" along with "equipment used in the training, breeding and exercising of the animals." 17 dogs in all were rescued and two men have already been arrested, tried and convicted.
Click on the address above, and it goes to google maps, which also provides a street view. You can click on that to see what the actual location looks like.
Life After Daisy
I found a new street kitty near where I feed, alone and living in a tree. At first I thought she was a kitten because she was so small.
Feeling her, I realized she was skin and bones and maybe an older cat with kidney failure. I started feeding her alone; she was not part of any colony and apparently stayed alive by eating some hard kibble left each night by someone feeding a small groups of cats a half block away.
Since she was so small she got only the leftovers.
At first she did not eat much of the canned food I gave her, but as she got stronger she is eating more and more, now close to three 6 oz. cans a day. She has become a real lover ball and I am making room for her by installing a temporary isolation cage for her in the garage.
I think she is pretty old, although each day she seems healthier and healthier.
After she comes in and settles down, I'll take her to a vet for blood tests and whatever else she needs and then introduce her to the two other cats. I'd like to give her a year or two of love before she dies.
A Dance of Compassion
One night two weeks ago, I went around the corner of the alley where I feed, where there are 5 houses across the street from the schoolyard. I stayed there for an hour and a half. I repeated the process two times more over the next two weeks at slightly different times to better watch what was going on. I watched over periods from 9 pm to 11:30.
What I saw was amazing.
Each night I saw an average of 11-12 cats in the alley with 6 houses on each side, and one short block of five houses around the corner, across from the school yard. My stable colony of 5 may have had as many as 6 additional visitors over 3-4 nights. They came in after the colony fed, and usually there was no food left over, but they came anyway.
During that same period I saw 4 feeders feeding this group of 12 even though 3 feeders (including me) fed the alley cats at different times and 2 fed the schoolyard cats at different times. Therefore, at some colonies 3 feeders were feeding at different times, and at the schoolyard site, 2. One one feeder overlapped the two colonies. Each had their own section or neighborhood so to speak.
Most feeders left a fairly small amount of food, not nearly enough to sustain the colony alone. Perhaps they would have left a lot more as I fed first and fed well.
I went with one of the alley feeders one night 6 months ago to see what she did. She fed 13 different colonies. At 2 locations, at least one other feeder fed them at different times. She did not practice TNR but assisted when some TNR group volunteered to help them. I was amazed to find at one location ,at the back of a large parking lot with two restaurants, they (she and another "cat lady") had a permanent feeding station which they claimed had been there for 10 years. One of the cats allegedly had been there for that entire time.
I know of a fifth feeder in the same area who is mostly retired from feeding, and had also fed those same alley cats in the past. She still fed other colonies out of the immediate area and also nearer her house.
I am sure I missed both some cats and perhaps a feeder. Some cats appeared to be indoor-outdoor house cats out for additional feed. Many were fairly tamed .
A black cat observed in both locations may have been "community" between the 2 colonies or there were 2 different black cats. I think there were two.
Who could know the true number without tagging and trapping?
It is obvious from the short observation that the number of cats on the streets on LA must be astronomical and the number of feeders far, far higher than anyone imagined. There was about 1 feeder for every 3-4 cats, and about 1 outdoor cat for every 1-2 households.
I have no idea how representative this is of the residential city overall.
Given that LA has about 4,000,000 people and 1,800,000 households, there may be as many as 1.2 million street cats, housed, strays and ferals in residential areas. I think Merritt Clifton would guesstimate a far lower figure and the Stray Cat Alliance about 3,000,000.
My "guestimate" does not take into account blocks where there are people with "too many" cats, feral and inside/outside domesticated cats. If 1 block in 10 has someone with 25 cats, this would substantially increase the number of outdoor cats. My guess is that there are households where there is an outdoor population of 6-7 cats every 2-3 blocks.
How many residential blocks are there in LA? Then again, there are all the non-residential blocks with supermarkets and restaurants that attract cats, and how many are fed in parks?
Given these observations and calculations, there is no way that street cats will ever be brought to zero as long as so many feeders and cats are on the streets without a massive TNR effort. Even with a massive effort, progress, according to the literature, will be very slow.
Given that only a small percentage of feeders actually also practice TNR, there are always kittens being born, but from what I hear, there is a high mortality rate.
Knowing these people and their attitudes, even if feeding were made illegal, the feeders would continue to feed—no matter what.
I cannot see any solution to ending the pain of cats living in the streets other than an oral vaccination/chemical treatment that lasts a few years. Oral vaccinations, or chemical methods, could either by pill, or included in food. If the latter, there needs to be a chemical/vaccine with a wide latitude of toxicity.
I saw an estimate that anywhere from 5-10% of housed cats become strays each year, and colonies add about 16% new cats each year due to these new strays. I think LAAS guesstimates there are 700,00 housed cats in the city, making about 50,000 new cats added each year, even while many colony cats die from injury, disease or starvation.
TNR efforts would need to continue for years, albeit at a diminishing rate, until it gets down to about 5-10% of what it is now. A high percentage of the new strays are already sterilized.
I was most amazed to observe the psychology of feeders. They will stop at nothing to continue to feed and protect colony cats, despite neighbor harassment, intimidation, official intimidation by Animal Services or police, or even lack of transportation. Nothing stops them.
I was also amazed by the “dance” of the cats and their feeders, with schedules, cat migrations to feeding stations and between sites at various times, and the bondings and behaviors occurring between the cats and their caretakers. Many feeders zip and and out to avoid contact with hostile residents or hiding from them that a colony exists and is being sustained in their midst. Others stay with a colony long enough to pet or play with the cats.
Animal people are the most amazing—if not always rational--people in the world. They are an essential and unrecognized component of the conscience of Los Angeles. Legal and legislative efforts to control feeding would be ignored and a new class of misdemeanor criminals would be born.