Alarcon Moves to Make Boks Resign

Councilmember Alarcon introduced a motion in Council today to make Boks resign via a vote of no confidence. It was seconded by Tony Cardenas, Bernard Parks, Greig Smith and Dennis Zine.

As soon as I can find the video, I will post it.

The Motion:

The City of Los Angeles faces a continuing crisis in the management of the Department of Animal Services by its General Manager, Ed Boks. These problems range across a gamut of issues: facilities, management and operations, and priority setting and follow up. These problems have caused a severe problem for the City in implementing its laws, policies and procedures.

The people of Los Angeles have responded to the uncontrolled growth of cats and dogs and a high euthanasia rate in the city with support for Proposition F to upgrade and build new shelters. Unfortunately, today the new and much needed Northeast Valley and the Harbor shelter facilities are unused or underused due to lack of proper planning and management.

The City of Los Angeles adopted one of the nation's most comprehensive "Spay and Neuter" Ordinance in 2008 (179,615). Since the adoption of the new Ordinance, as anticipated, there has been a significant and welcome increase in the demand for spay and neuter services. Rather than be prepared to address the increased demands, Boks unilaterally suspended the City's programs, causing confusion about the city's goals and its commitment to becoming a "No Kill" city. Upon being challenged, he "unsuspended" a part of the program, without any reasonable explanation of the original decision or the turnabout, other than as a response to a budget cut. Mr. Boks did not consult with the City Council, Animal Services Commission or the Spay and Neuter Advisory Committee.

Mr. Boks embarrassed the City by a promotion called "Hooters for Neuters" to raise funds for the Department. In 2008, Mr. Boks created and pushed the idea of a pit bull training academy to be run by ex-convicts. In both instances, Mr. Boks took unilateral action. Furthermore, upon examination, the decisions were found to have been made in private, without regard to City policies or practices. When challenged, these actions were reversed without any adverse impact.

Los Angeles pays its general managers very well. In return, the city asks general managers to adhere to city laws, policies and procedures, to consult with the public and city advisory committees and to keep elected city leaders apprised of any significant changes in their department's operations and processes.

Mr. Boks has consistently failed in his responsibility. He should know better. Because of his actions as described above and in the media, how can the City of Los Angeles have confidence in his ability and desire to do the best for Los Angeles? Obviously it can't.

I THEREFORE MOVE that the City Council adopt a vote of no confidence in Ed Boks, General Manager of the Department of Animal Services and call upon him resign this position immediately.


Anonymous said...

Good to have you back in the fray, Ed (Muzika)--you too, Boks.

Any self-respecting buffoon would resign and not be forced out--But that would be a self-respecting buffoon with possibly other options.

Which will look better better on your resume when you apply for that combo preacher/used car salesman job in Palmdale--
"I resigned for personal reasons, " OR "They ran my a$$ out of town...again?"

Anonymous said...

Ain't gonna happen. The mayor isn't going to buy into this. Don't be insane.

Get used to Boks. Go try to work with him and stop hating everything he does. I thought that Hooters fundraiser was a great deal.

Anonymous said...

There are no job opportunities for Ed Boks. He tried to find a job before he was fired but couldn't. He's since hired his own attorney to try to get a golden handshake out of the city. It'll be more like get out of town money. He's stuck in his condo upside down. He owes more than it's worth, monthly nut is $4,500 when that same condo rented for $2,500 before he bought it. Knowing what type of person Boks is he'll just dump it on the bank, maybe run home to Arizona and work at his kids' bars.

hermine said...

Of course I want to see the inept Boks out of here, but what I REALLY want is a reversal of the loony law of forced surgical mutilation OUR OUR PETS. The same nutcases who think ear cropping and tail docking is horrible, believe it is FINE to yank out the reproductive organs of our dogs and cats which are PRIVATELY OWNED, in a genocidal frenzy cloaked as a mere sadistic cult! Let them go be neutered if they think it is such a hot idea. Boks can be first in line, and he can take his pal Wayne with him.

CDOC Dogtalk said...

We should remember a couple things. The disastrous MSN bill which is causing a huge increase in owner turn-ins and therefore an increase in euthanasia was sponsored by Cardenas and Alarcon, not Boks. All of the proposals initiated by Boks have been for things would might even have helped.

There are many many things that Boks should have done differently; including standing up to the City Council on the ordinance. But this is an Alarcon/Cardenas show; not an Ed Boks show!

When we are either firing or smoke bombing our AC Directors, I don't imagine there is a long line of competent people wanting to come to LA.


Anonymous said...

Terrific, now let's see if the mayor will listen. I think he'll have to...or he'll take all future screw ups of Ed as his own screw ups for not listening to the city council. Now the mayor can say he had to listen to the city council.

Anonymous said...


April Fools.

Anonymous said...

To CDOC, BOKS brought the MSN ordinance to Cardenas and Alarcon along with Judie Mancuso. It did not come from the councilmembers, it came from Ed. Ed has a background being closely connected to the animal rights extremists. One of the reasons he was hired. The mayor thought if he hired "one of them" the protests would decrease.

Ed needs to go, and there are plenty of people who would be willing to do his job, the city just has to open their eyes to hire the right person...and make the hiring a TEMPORARY position until the new person proves that they've got the chops.

Boks = Death said...

Can we please keep in mind that the people who most vehemently oppose mandatory spay/neuter (for example, equating it with "mutilation") are those who somehow stand to gain from their animals, either by selling them or through competition.

I don't agree with using s/n as a club against those who care for feral cats. While I strongly believe in TNR, I don't believe that mandatory spay/neuter should be used as a backhanded way to intimidate people who care for strays.

I have also heard, from people of varying levels of credibility, that s/n can be hazardous for some breeds if performed too early, but it's easy enough to get a vet's letter deferring the procedure until the appropriate age.

But as for breeders, and those who get their amusement by using animals as a means of human competition -- they are part of the problem.

It is completely illogical to say "I love dogs" when every day dogs are dying while you continue to create more dogs. In that case what you mean is "I love only certain kinds of dogs, and the hell with the rest."

That kind of love is what keeps West Coast Rendering in business boiling up the dead bodies of our homeless cats and dogs.

Anonymous said...

To Boks=Death. I'm afraid I have to disagree with you. There are many kinds of competetion for dogs that the dogs LOVE..go watch an agility match or obedience. Those dogs are thrilled to be there. Dogs even love confirmation matches. People who love their dogs, CAN involve their dogs in these types of "competitions" and still love their dogs as long as the dog ALSO loves it.

The GOOD BREEDERS are not who are supplying our shelters with animals (and no, I am not a breeder.) Good breeders ALWAYS take responsibility for any animal they produce. They have contracts stating the animal MUST come back to them if it doesn't work out with the new home. They care for their animals as part of the family, take great care of them, do all health checks, don't over breed and as I said...offer contracts and take the animal back into their home for the life of the animal. If one of their animals wound up at a shelter, they would be first in line to get him or her out.

There are people on this planet who will NEVER rescue an animal. For whatever reason. They want to know what they are getting in size, temperment and health from a breeder or they want to show the dog or their family always purchased animals. That's okay.

There are plenty of other people who do adopt rescue animals (I would say most do.)

The focus is always on adoption and needs to be more on stopping the never ending influx of animals to shelters...and they are not coming from responsible breeders, but back yard breeders, puppy stores etc. Those are the populations that need to be addressed and stopped.

It is an ongoing feud between wrong parties. In order to put energy where it belongs, that needs to be understood.

Ed Muzika said...

How do you pass laws which discriminate between "good" and "bad" breeders and put the latter out of business without affecting the former at all?

This is sort of like passing laws against bankers that only impacts the "bad" ones and leaves the "good" ones untouched.

Can you recommend a set of laws that will "go after" "bad breeders" and will not affect "good breeders?"

Anonymous said...

Great question Ed. First, no animal should ever be sold in a store. That helps to put puppy mills out of practice.

As with spay and neuter it's about education. If we say ALL breeders are bad, we don't differenciate between those that are responsible and those that aren't and the term "responsible" should be the key word, not "good" or "bad" probably.

First there are sales tax laws on the book that the person selling animals to pay the state sales tax. That needs to be enforced. Second, microchipping should be a requirement to sell any animal in the state, listing who the breeder as well as who the new owner is. That way if the dog winds up in a shelter the BREEDER will be responsible for the dog and should be at least billed for his/her care. Those thinking it would be "fun" to breed a litter would be those affected, the responsible breeders would be at the shelter getting the dog out. It's definitely something to think about. I do know that there isn't a soul who loves animals who wants to see them end up at the shelters or euthanized.

Huge breeding bans and laws only provide MORE of a market for the puppy mills and back yard breeders who are virtually underground and punish the responsible breeders.

Even in Los Angeles with MSN and a $100 intact dog license fee, all you have to do is go onto craigslist and see how many people are selling litters of puppies there-even though the site says "no breeders." If anyone in L.A. (or state sales tax people)were enforcing such things...they have a very easy way to do it.

I am not for breeding legislation, it is highly costly and doesn't help the animals. As I said to both AKC and Judie Mancuso when I found out tens of millions of dollars had been spent on passing and fighting the state MSN bill, "do you know how many spay and neuters that could have paid for???" If both sides had used that money for good rather than fighting, we certainly could have created a lot more change for animals.

Ed Muzika said...

So your answer is sales tax and microchipping but animals shoudl not be sold in stores?

How are you going to enforce tax and chipping on people using Craigslist and selling on the sidewalk?

What about licensing?

If a breeder is not licensed, how do we know he/she is microchipping and collecting sales tax?

If a breeder is all cash and carry, and not sold in a store, what control or even recognition they exist, does any agency have over them or their operations?

Shouldn't licensed breeders have their facilities inspected, and some supervision to make sure the animals are microchipped with proper info, such as their breeding source on them verified, otherwise we would need sting operations to see if they were complying.

In any event, you need a lot more regulation of the breeding industry.

Anonymous said...

It is VERY easy to find breeders. There is so much that can be done, but my point is that if what was already on the books NOW was enforced (going after sales tax and licensing) the situation would be much better.

If one looks on line, in the paper etc...those are the people that are causing the problems. The issue is no one is even doing what is simple, cheap and how do we mandate MORE when the most base issues can't be addressed?

Ed Muzika said...

Are you willing to accept that responsible breeders will be licensed and inspected as well as have a business license, and that their premises be inspected annually in order to be able to be called "responsible" breeders?

And, without these, they cannot sell animals either directly or indirectly?

That is, what is it that "responsible" breeders will do in terms of regulation in order to be able to sell dogs and cats?

Or, are you saying we just take a few random laws that might impact bad or irresponsible breeders and enforce them even though there is no manpower to do so?

How do you chase down a seller on Craigslist to see if they collected sales tax and paid it to the state?

I just can't accept someone who says they are a responsible breeder but won't accept any regulation of the industry.

Bankers had poor regulation since president Ron and look what happened.

Or, are we to accept someone's word they are a responsible breeder

hooligan said...

I encourage all of you to look into what Bill Bruce is doing up in Calgary, Canada. He runs a successful shelter system that is proactive & that works with the community, breeders as well as rescues, & he has an extremely low shelter population as a result. HIs program is
All based on intimately knowing & understanding his demographics:
friendly, non-punitive approach
low/reasonable license fees
licensing amnesty
sometimes free licensing when an animal is adopted
on-line & telephone licensing using credit cards+
up to the minute accurate data re licenses & data
considering/researching lifetime/one-time license fees, based on 10 year life expectancy, payable in installments, with unused portion transferable to another pet
no rabies requirement for licensing
tattoos also acceptable as PID in addition to chips
virtually immediate return of lost animals with ID ($40 charge when staff “handles” an animal)
one litter/year at no addition charge, but beyond that requires a business-type license
no limit laws
no MSN
no BSL
immaculate shelter with constant air flow exchange to address health & odors
big, multi-lingual ongoing education programs in schools & community w/departmental staff teachers
low-cost/no-cost spay & neutering
custom vans equipped with internet
bicycle patrols
working with breeders & breed rescues
financially self-sustaining department – fees retained & not into general fund
happy staff/employees
working with local humane society
don’t turn down/reject any animals
reasonable hours of shelter operations

How amazing it would be for LA to be a genuine model for change!

Anonymous said...

By day, I am an attorney who makes about $250,000/year in total compensation (including benefits) from the corporation for which I work.

My true love is dogs, and it has been so since I was a child in KY. My dad hunted and bred Labs and had other dogs at various times. My best friends as a child were my dogs. That love continues today. My dogs never stab me in the back or cheat me. They love me unconditionally.

I have shown dogs since about 2000. I do all the health and genetic testing I can do to improve the two breeds I have. My incidence of deafness in one breed is about 5% -- compared to an overall average of 16% (it is related to the white-spotting gene).

People want my puppies, because they are healthy and well adjusted. They are raised in my house – not in a barn on wire floored crates with hundreds of other breeding dogs – like the puppy millers of the mid-west and PA. Yet it is the puppy millers that the laws promote. The puppy millers are licensed by the USDA – and they are maintained in deplorable conditions. The puppy millers do not do any health and genetic testing. The puppies from puppy mills are not socialized and can never truly be socialized if they don’t get it during the critical readiest period before they are 8 weeks old. Most puppy millers tear their puppies away from their moms at 5 weeks so they can be transported across the country. They miss the critical period of 5-8 weeks, during which time the moms train the puppies and the puppies learn how to get along with each other.

Conscientious breeders raise their puppies in their homes and they are properly socialized.

Conscientious breeders always want to take a puppy back if it doesn’t work out. Most times it works out if the breeder properly screens the new families.

I have only had two dogs brought back – one for a family that broke up and lost the house – and the other because the father got a job out of town and could no longer care for his daughter’s dog during the week.

I give an incentive for buyers to bring my dogs back if the need arises by offering a $100 bonus for return instead of giving them to a shelter in my contracts. Of course, that doesn’t happen generally because I properly choose my new homes.

I microchip all my puppies. I would gladly pay a percentage of my puppy sale price into a general fund, the purpose of which would be to maintain unwanted dogs until new homes could be found. I believe all breeders who sell a dog should pay to support this type of fund and that a substantial fine for a first and second offense would provide the incentive to comply – as it does with so many other laws regarding other matters. You can eliminate “backyard” breeders by such enforcement. Offers of “rewards” for reporting violators would quickly reveal who the violators are and the laws could properly take care of the violators. Those are the people who should have their dogs spayed and neutered – not the conscientious breeders who produce healthy puppies for the public who demand them.

Backyard breeders do not show their animals and do no testing. They just want to “make a buck.” Show people spend more on their animals than they make. They truly love animals and want to produce healthy, happy puppies for people who want to buy them. Animal rightists mischaracterize show people to enhance their own hidden agendas. We are not crazy people who are making money off our puppy sales. I run at a loss every year. I do this because I love dogs and want to make sure that purebred dogs continue to exist and that they become healthier with time.

Shelter turn-ins are not from good breeders or show people. They are from puppy millers who produce unhealthy and unsocialized dogs and from “backyard breeders” who also produce unhealthy dogs.

Moreover, a common misconception is that we have too many unadoptable dogs in our shelters. The truth is that local animal rightists bring in dogs from other areas to overpopulate the local shelters for news media coverage to enhance their hidden agendas. This happened recently in Orange County, where they had too few animals in the shelters and imported many from another area in the desert so they could point to the overcrowding. That is pure and simple fraud being perpetrated on the public!

Most animal rightists do not truly love animals – they want to eliminate them from the planet. The head of one large well-known organization that makes millions and kills over 90% of its rescues has publicly stated that his goal is “one generation and they are gone!”

We have thousands of animal lovers in our state. The animals in shelters would be quickly adopted and taken care of for their natural lives by these animal lovers if the counties would relax the limits for animals in our communities. The existing laws against nuisances would handle any problems with barking and smells if those problems arose. ALL the animals in our shelters would be adopted if, instead of a 2 or 3-dog limit in our cities, we adopted a 6 or 8-dog limit. Moreover, the people who have more dogs than the official limit would gladly license their “illegal” dogs, which would increase the revenue of the shelters.

For example, I own almost 12 acres in a rural community, and I make lots of money to afford taking care of more than my city/county permits. I could easily provide for a hundred abandoned animals and pay for help to assist me in caring for them. I would gladly do that since I love animals. Yet, my county has a 6-dog limit where I live, but they allow 8 bovines/acre and 3 horses/acre and many other types of animals. What is the logic in that? Those laws were passed by dog-haters!

Animal right activists are focusing on the wrong front in their war. Most of the animals in shelters are from the puppy millers – it is proven. They know that the fight against puppy millers is hard with their lobbyists so they try to eliminate honest and ethical breeders because they really do not love animals!

What is the sense of allowing puppymillers with USDA licenses to mass produce puppies that are unsocialized and unhealthy and maintain 500-1000 breeding dogs who never see the light of day, never get out of their wire-floored cages, and breed them every heat cycle until they are no longer needed and are unceremoniously killed, while spending so much time and money to eliminate breeders like me who love animals, keep them in large outdoor runs during the day, inside at night, and only breed them once every year or two for health reasons?

So, in summary, the solution is:
1. Eliminate the puppy millers who do not do health/genetic testing and produce the puppies who end up in the shelters (eliminate USDA control since it merely rubber-stamps puppymillers).
2. Relax the per-dog limit so people who love animals can adopt more and take the burden off the county.
3. Eliminate euthanasia by introducing a general animal-welfare fund from a fee on puppies sold to maintain the shelters until new homes can be found (and lifetime care for those than are unadoptable).
4. Mandate microchipping to be able to track the animals who end up in the shelters and go after those that cause the problem, and collect a fee on each puppy sold to maintain the program.
5. Go after the back-yard breeders who do not do genetic/health testing and fail to pay their fees to the general “animal welfare” fund and not the conscientious breeders who do health testing and find proper homes for their puppies. The backyard breeders do not show dogs, and the good breeders do generally show their dogs or do performance activities with them, such as agility, obedience, rally, and earthdog.

All problems have a solution if people properly approach the problem.

Name withheld to avoid retribution from the authorities…

Ed Muzika said...

How do you eliminate backyard breeding? I have not seen your plan for eliminating the bad breeders either. You just say do it. AND, who will be doing the eliminating? City, state, feds? What departments and what laws will be used to eliminate them?

1. Eliminate the puppy millers who do not do health/genetic testing and produce the puppies who end up in the shelters (eliminate USDA control since it merely rubber-stamps puppymillers).

2. Relax the per-dog limit so people who love animals can adopt more and take the burden off the county.
3. Eliminate euthanasia by introducing a general animal-welfare fund from a fee on puppies sold to maintain the shelters until new homes can be found (and lifetime care for those than are unadoptable).
4. Mandate microchipping to be able to track the animals who end up in the shelters and go after those that cause the problem, and collect a fee on each puppy sold to maintain the program.

A $10 fee on each sold dog say with 50,000 sold a year is only $500,000, not much money to fund such an enforcement program on a state level. A $100 fee might work, but even then $5 million is still a tiny program. How many breed dogs sold a year in CA?

5. Go after the back-yard breeders who do not do genetic/health testing and fail to pay their fees to the general “animal welfare” fund and not the conscientious breeders who do health testing and find proper homes for their puppies. The backyard breeders do not show dogs, and the good breeders do generally show their dogs or do performance activities with them, such as agility, obedience, rally, and earthdog.

The question still is how do you separate bad and backyard breeders from good, conscientious breeders, and then, how do you design laws that will put the first out of business and not the second?

Mostly you talk about good vs bad breeders and how they operate, but you do not spell out how to end the bad and keep the good.

Anonymous said...

Separating the good from the bad doesn't happen overnight. The good and the bad will eventually sort themselves out. It is a process not an event.

Microchipping will trace who sold what. If the dog ends up in a shelter, then it can be traced if the original seller paid into the animal welfare fund and if genetic diseases were disclosed to the buyer. So, if backyard breeders want to be "legit" they would support the fund and microchip. If they're selling unhealthy and unsocialized dogs, the shelters will start to accumulate their dogs that will be hard to place and will be able to trace them via microchip. That will be evidence to shut them down.

The next GM said...

Currently anyone who SELLS animals in the state of California MUST have a buisness license and pay sales tax. How easy is it to go through the classifieds and internet and make appointments with people to "see their pups" and then ask for a copy of their buisness license? Fine them for not having it and report them to the state for sales tax evasion.

Responsible breeders will happily comply with this.

Ed Muzika said...

You can't shut them down without a law. Even if you identify one with a high shelter return, what law did they break that you could shut them down?

You have to pass laws about performance, identification, etc., with enforcement funding.

That is, you are asking for a more sophisticated identification/enforcement mechanism than required now, as well as the fund to support animals in a breed sanctuary until they are re-adopted. This sounds like a lot of money.

You see, I do not object to breeding not people buying breed dogs. If you could draft a bill with all the costs figured out, lic fees, sanctuary fund, taxes, etc., I'd support it-maybe.

Ed Muzika said...

AND, the backyard, irresponsible breeder will get a license and will collect sales tax the next time, and thereby become "responsible." A beginning, but probably puts only one-time breeders out of business.

Cash transactions in the state that are not taxed are a large part of the ecoomy. Who is going to enforce it as it is not being that well enforced now? Enforcement requires will and also funding.

The next GM said...

IF animal control were run effectively in Los Angeles, the laws already on the books would be enforced.

A HUGE part is education and community outreach. I think those us of involved in rescue are so burnt out and can't see an end in sight, so I understand the desire for more laws, but they are not proven to work.

The wheel does not need to be reinvented. There are a/c in the country and Canada that are succesful at addressing these issues. It's just modeling our own a/c after these programs and adjusting them for local concerns.

Ed Muzika said...

I think you don't know what you are talking about.

"IF animal control were run effectively in Los Angeles, the laws already on the books would be enforced."

What laws "already" on the books could Animal Services enforce that would get rid of bad breeders?

You talked about sales taxes, but AS does not enforce that. What other laws could AS enforce that it has not enforced to stop bad breeders?

You just made that up. It is a Republican style knee jerk reaction which really means don't pass any more regulatory laws that impact me.

You say there are a/c in the US and Canada that are successful in addressing these issues.

Which ones are you talking about and what issues are you talking about? Getting bad breeders out of business by enforcing sales tax collections?

What if we found a place where "these issues," whatever they are, are better handled and they do it with mandatory spay/neuter, what is your position then?

What successful a/c are you talking about and how did you measure success?

I think you made this up.

Anonymous said...

A/S DOES control licensing and that is where it starts. There is no one in Los Angeles enforcing licensing. No one. Their needs to be dedicated employees and/or volunteers to canvas the community and enforce the licensing laws. So if they have proof their animal is altered, they'll pay $15. If they don't they'll pay $100 unless they s/n their animal. That is #1.
If there is proof of puppies, then they are turned into the state tax division. If there is proof they are selling puppies, then they are turned into the local business licensing division.

San Francisco has a very successful situation and no MSN. New York's numbers are getting better by huge numbers and there is no MSN (and by numbers I mean less intake, less euthanasia and more adoptions) Calgary Canada has a very successful situation with no MSN.

There will always be people who fall through the cracks, always...but you do what you KNOW works and go from there.