Animal Services Replies to Previous Post

An official from animal services sent the following to me regarding the complaint by the volunteer cited in the previous post:

Hi Ed,

I'm always reluctant to take an "anonymous" complaint at face value. Much of what is written comes straight out of the ADL handbook for fomenting more animosity towards us. That being said, I would be more than happy to meet with this volunteer if you can find out who it is.

As for the foster program, I have never heard an LAAS employee telling someone that they couldn't be a foster. We NEED fosters. The more the better. You can't imagine the number of kittens coming in. This last weekend alone was insane.

It is true that we will not foster out sick or injured kittens. We have more than enough healthy ones that need to be fostered first. Also, since we don't have enough fosters to take every kitten, we are often forced to choose between fostering out a 4 week old litter versus a very young litter. In these cases, we are always going to choose the older group first. They have a MUCH greater chance at reaching 8 weeks of age, they are easier for a foster (especially a new foster) to take care of, and it allows the foster to end up fostering a greater number of kittens over the same period of time.

In fact, I think it would be great if you would be so kind as to do a post stating that we are always in need of fosters and that anyone who is interested can go to our website (, fill out a foster application and bring it to the shelter of their choice. I guarantee you that they will get called within a week!


Anonymous said...

There is no name provided for the poster who would be "more than happy to meet with this volunteer...." Is that an oversight?

The poster's reluctance to take an "anonymous complaint at face value" is preposterous. The Dept. also refuses to accept that much of what the ADL writes comes from "inside" sources (not from a "handbook") who ask to remain anonymous because they fear retaliation, just like the writer of the subject letter. Chances are, if "management" knew who wrote the letter and the volunteer didn't first discuss with Mr. Sorkow (referenced in the letter as "unreachable") what was witnessed, the trauma that was suffered, and the intent to write about it, that person would likely be fired as a volunteer (yes, management does such things) in any case.

Apparently, the now ex-volunteer seems to have enough knowledge about retaliation from management and employees to know better than sign her name to any document. Yes, this is our government at work. No way could this volunteer be making any of this up. Much of what is written has been witnessed and overheard by others, and the Dept. has been apprised of much of it many times before.

Except for a few really great employees at each of the shelters, the majority rely on volunteers (who are the hearts and souls at each center) to clean up the messes in the kennels, socialize the animals, and introduce them to compatible individuals/families. And despite the hours a volunteer may spend with an animal, there are employees who will attempt to dissuade an adoption based on an animal's reaction when first dumped in the "shelter." It's against "guidelines" to argue with a technician, so you have to simply wonder why that animal isn't just taken in the back room and killed. Thankfully, many adopters are savvy enough to see through such pretense.

It's past the time that the Mayor get savvy and do something to help clean up the crisis in the city pounds. And the crisis stems from much more than the public and irresponsible pet owners. It stems just as much, if not more, from lack of management skills, incompetent employees who have unions to back them, and what appears to be an unwillingness by LAAS to even consider positive changes. It is even suggested by the poster that you, Ed, do a post stating that LAAS needs fosters. Yeah, Ed, if no one fills out an application to foster, the Dept. can put the blame on you.

Anonymous said...

"Much of what is written comes straight out of the ADL handbook for fomenting more animosity towards us."

What ADL handbook is that?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone taken a tour of LAAS Admin. Services. It is like a country club up there. Many of the employees have no pets, don't care about animals, take two hour lunches, and spend time surfing the internet out of boredom. Until this work environment changes and these employees are held accountable, LAAS will always remain a department that operates in the 19th century. They certainly have employees who look and act like they have been there that long.