Rumor that Barnette is already on city payroll or will be back paid absolutely untrue: CAO

For over a month I have been receiving emails that Brenda Barnette is already on the City payroll, or will be back-paid once starting to her June 17, 2010 appointment date despite Barnette's declaration she is not yet on the City payroll.

The people passing these rumors cite the Mayor's appointment letter stating her appointment was effective June 17, and that her salary review was waived by the EERC as proof she is on the payroll as of today or will receive pay from June 17 at some point.

They cite:

My response to their speculation was that the document only pointed to her time of appointment, not when she actually started and was on the payroll. They refused to accept my argument and held tenaciously to the notion that Barnette is paid as of now.

To settle the issue, I called the City Administrative Office and was eventually connected to Susan Ozawa, who is an analyst in the Employee Relations section  of the City Administrative Office. Ms. Ozawa's phone is: 213 978-7637.

She told me the appointment date has nothing to do with when an employee actually starts receiving money. 

Ms. Ozawa stated that Kathy Davis is still functioning as Acting GM until August 15, 2010,  when Brenda Barnette begins her employment at LAAS.

Buddy the dog will be on "Good Day LA" tomorrow morning

Buddy the dog will be on "Good Day LA" tomorrow morning with Jillian Barberie on the "Adopt a pet" segment on Fox 11 at 8:45 a.m. Wish me luck! I need a good home!

Buddy the dog

A New Post by Nathan Winograd

On the Heels of Defeat, a Great Victory

July 23, 2010 by Nathan J. Winograd 
For the last several months, I’ve been like a little kid, bursting to tell a very exciting secret. Today, thankfully, I can let the cat out of the proverbial bag: This morning, the Governor of Delaware signed into law the most sweeping, progressive companion animal protection legislation in the United States. The law was modeled on the No Kill Advocacy Center’s Companion Animal Protection Act and spearheaded by the non-profit No Kill shelterFaithful Friends, in Wilmington, Delaware.
Like Oreo’s Law sought to do, the Delaware Companion Animal Protection Act mandates collaboration between shelters and rescue groups. A shelter cannot kill an animal if a rescue group is willing to save that animal’s life. But that is just the beginning. It also makes convenience killing illegal—shelters can no longer kill an animal when there are available cages or the animals can share a cage or kennel with another one. Specifically, the Delaware CAPA states:
Animal shelters shall ensure that the following conditions are met before an animal is euthanized:
(i) The holding period for the animal required by this chapter is expired;
(ii) There are no empty cages, kennels, or other living environments in the shelter that are suitable for the animal;
(iii) The animal cannot share a cage or kennel with appropriately sized primary living space with another animal;
(iv) A foster home is not available;
(v) Organizations on the registry developed pursuant to §8003(d) are not willing to accept the animal; and
(vi) The animal care/control manager certifies that the above conditions are met and that he/she has no other reasonable alternative.
The law also requires posting “all stray animals on the Internet with sufficient detail to allow them to be recognized and claimed by their owners,” requires shelters to maintain registries of rescue groups willing to save lives, and requires shelters to post statistics (intake, adoption, reclaim, transfer and killing rate).
It is groundbreaking, revolutionary legislation which will save the lives of thousands of animals every year. And not only proves that No Kill advocates can successfully legislate shelter reform, but that we can do so without a single large animal protection organization being involved, a fact which begs the next logical question: why haven’t I talked about this important legislation before?
While the No Kill Advocacy Center worked with supporters on the language of the bill, we did not discuss it publicly, fearing that the large animal protection groups would work to undermine its passage, just as they did in New York, just as they did in San Francisco, just as they tried to do in California in 1998 (Hayden), and just as they try to do everywherereform advocates are trying to end the systematic killing of animals in their communities.
We knew that the merits of the bill would be immediately obvious, in fact, common sense, to Delaware legislators, who would be inclined to pass it were there not supposed “animal protection leaders” insisting that saving animals rather than killing them is a bad idea. And we were right: because the Delaware Companion Animal Protection Act passed the legislature unanimously. I repeat: there was not a single vote in opposition, not one. Why?
To legislators, to the Delaware animal loving public, to the shelters and rescue groups who participated in the passing of this bill, there was nothing controversial about it. No fear mongering about hoarders, no fear mongering about dog fighting, no fear mongering about overcrowding, no fear mongering about costs, no fear mongering about notice requirements being unfair to small rural shelters, no fear mongering about anything. The bill mandates that animals be given every opportunity for life, and no one thought that would be a bad or controversial idea. In other words, there was no HSUS, no ASPCA, and no Best Friends. It seems that in order for shelter reform legislation to be allowed to pass, the supposed leaders of the animal protection movement itself can’t be involved.
While the law is now the most progressive companion animal protection legislation on record in this country, and can only be considered an unqualified victory for the No Kill movement, some of the No Kill Advocacy Center’s recommendations were not accepted. Nonetheless, Delaware, the first state to ratify our nation’s constitution, continues to lead the way in embracing the legislative framework necessary to ensure justice. And we will build upon this framework in the coming years to strengthen protections for animals even more.
Kudos to you, Faithful Friends, for being true to your name, and our deepest gratitude to the animal loving citizens and legislators of the great state of Delaware. One down, 49 to go.
To arms, my fellow activists, to arms! It is time to storm the state capitols with the power of our ideas, a belief in the righteousness of our cause, and the understanding that only through legal protections for shelter animals can we ever hope to end their needless killing, sustain it indefinitely, and finally build a truly humane society.

Amazing Video!!!

I can't figure out the original source for this video, so go to Ady Gil's facebook link:!/ady.gil?v=wall&story_fbid=112510078800425&ref=notif&notif_t=share_reply

Phyllis Daugherty Opposes a Rational Increase in Pet Limits for Dogs and CatsContinues To Thwart Progressive Animal Reform

Phyllis's logic always envisions a worst case scenario as opposed to realistic or best case outcomes. Her arguments don't even make any sense. As it is dogs are not allowed to roam free or bark. Even one dog jumping a fence or barking is illegal. The number does not matter.

Email Council saying you do support a pet limit increase.

Below is her protest letter to Council about increasing the number of allowed animals in residential households using illogical reasoning.

420 N. Bonnie Brae Street
Los Angeles, CA 90026-4925
(213) 413-6428/4 13-SPAY(PH/FAX)
e-mail: animalissu@aoLcorn

July 2, 2010
Councilmember Bill Rosendahl Councilmember Paul Koretz Los Angeles City Council
200 N. Spring Street
Los Angeles CA 90012

-V7              rv

Animal Issues Movement hereby submits opposition to any attempt to increase the current dog limits per residential property in the City of L.A. The City of Los Angeles wisely allows only three (3) dogs. Almost every jurisdiction in the country allows only this number or less.
IMAGINE LIVING NEXT DOOR TO FIVE (5) PIT BULLS, OR ANY OTHER ANIMAL-AGGRESSIVE BREED, AND HAVING THEM JUMP OVER FENCES INTO YOUR YARD TO KILL YOUR PETS OR ESCAPING THROUGH GATES INTO YOUR COMMUNITY. FURTHER IMAGINE HAVING FIVE (5) PIT BULLS—OR ANY OTHER BREED OF LARGE or NOISY DOG (even Chihuahuas can create tremendous noise in multiples)—on EVERY PROPERTY IN A BLOCK AND ON BOTH SIDES OF THE STREET. As we know, barking is contagious and the cacophony of barks would make life for the community one of constant, uncontrollable noise.
Also, many of the most popular dog breeds today cannot be safely kept in multiples because of territoriality or animal-aggression. Imagine the lives of cats that might be kept in the same property or on adjacent properties.
·           Increasing dog limits has been defeated soundly several times in the past by a large contingent of homeowners' associations, apartment associations, and realtors, who would again unite to oppose it.
·           It also was opposed by the Zoning Dept. because of the dangers, noise and enforcement problems it would create and the potential deterioration of residential neighborhoods.
If the Council wishes to have LA Animal Services explore the feasibility of developing a program for microchipping and registering up to five (5) SPAYED/NEUTERED indoor-only cats, that should be presented to them for study of the impact on the Department and the increased staffing required to maintain records and perform inspections if necessary. It is still highly unlikely this will make a substantial increase in adult cat adoptions. And there is the possibility that it will create an even greater market for kittens—most of which will not be altered.
The answer to reducing the shelter population is not by merely passing out more animals to people who may potentially abandon them again because the cost is too high to maintain them. AIM can provide current charts regarding the cost per year of maintaining cats and dogs and also animal limits allowed in surrounding jurisdictions.
Although undoubtedly this motion were well-intended, in reality adding more animals to the residential population at this time when Animal Services is reducing its staffing will have a diametrically opposite effect than intended.
·                  THE REASON ANIMAL OWNERS ABANDON OR RELINQUISH ANIMALS IS BECAUSE OF POOR JUDGMENT IN THE COST, CARE OR RESPONSIBILITY OF PET OWNERSHIP. TO BELIEVE THAT ALLOWING THEM TO HAVE MORE ANIMALS WILL REDUCE THE PROBLEM IS OBVIOUSLY A FALSE PREMISE. Those who can least afford animals are the ones most likely to attain more than they can safely and financially handle. Many responsible owners already slightly exceed the current animal limits (3 dogs/3 cats) and LA Animal Services does not investigate unless there is a complaint.
·         To allow up to ten (10) animals per residence would merely encourage hoarding and result in more animals suffering, dying in horrific conditions or being ultimate impounded in poor condition. This proposal would allow ten (10) total dogs and/or cats to be maintained per single residential lot. Can you imagine living next door to the noise, waste, odor, fighting/killing and confusion of ten animals in one yard and in EACH yard?

CF No.10-0982                                                                                                                           July 2, 2010
Page 2
Although we have a spay/neuter ordinance, LA animal Services reported recently that the number of licenses of unaltered dogs has increased at a much higher percentage than those of altered pets. As a matter of fact, because owners who wish to maintain unaltered dogs much first obtain a breeder's permit, the number who could now breed is in the thousands.
Although introduced as a well-intentioned effort to help rescuers or to provide more homes for rescued animals, in reality allowing more than three dogs per household creates serious noise, conflict between both animals and neighbors, sanitation and public health and safety issues.
1.     Some residents "take in/rescue" animals from the streets and are given stray and unwanted animals, which they believe they cannot refuse. They often become "hoarders" and lose the ability to care for the animals and do not spay/neuter nor provide appropriate medical care because of the costs. Increasing the limit numbers enables "collecting" animals and encourages them to not relinquish someone's lost pet to the shelter where it can be reclaimed by the owner. It also subjects animals to months—or even years—of living in squalor, dehydration and malnutrition, and living in their own waste because the hoarder is either afraid to place it in trash bins which might reveal the number of animals or does not have the time to clean.
2.     Animal control officers have historically NOT punished nor harassed individuals in regard to the number of well-maintained animals they keep as pets, UNLESS there are complaints by neighbors, in which case the issue must be addressed regardless of zoning or legal limits. (Any attempt to claim otherwise should require proof by the claimant that harassment occurred.)
1.    BREEDERS who usually keep a number of breeding adults and a large number of puppies/kittens on the premises. This would allow them to increase their non-taxpaying business in a residential zone.
2.    DOG FIGHTERS who keep numerous pit bulls chained on their properties for fighting and breeding purposes. (Note: Often the animal limit is the ONLY way to gain entry to a property to inspect and curtail this activity.)
1.        The residents of the City. BARKING DOGS IS THE #1 COMPLAINT TO LA ANIMAL SERVICES. (I know from personal experience how disturbing and how quickly the quality of life can be diminished by neighboring dogs that bark continuously.)
2.        Property owners who might have neighbors with a large amount of animals that create a nuisance or health/safety risk and negatively impact the quality of live and property values in the community.
3.        The public that already suffers from daily dog attacks on both humans and animals (the Council needs to be more accurately advised of the magnitude of this problem.) IN FACT, COUNCILMEMBER KORETZ COMMENTED AT A PUBLIC MEETING ON JUNE 2, 2010, TO THE VICTIM OF A DOG ATTACK, "DOG ATTACKS ARE INCREASING AND WE DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT."
4.        The Mayor and Council, who would receive an increasing number of complaints about animal-related issues, including noise, odor and DANGER.
5.        The animals of this City would not benefit from being adopted by people who have no idea how to control a "pack" of dogs (a mentality that occurs in dogs in multiples.)
6.        Police officers who are frequently forced to shoot animals in order to enter properties to assist humans or conduct investigations. (The greater the number of dogs, the more danger to the community and to law- enforcement.)
7.        LA Animal Services, which would receive far more calls for dog bites and injuries from dog/cat fights in homes.
8.        Also, the children who would no longer be able to walk or play on the streets and the pets who could no longer be safely taken for a walk without threat of attack.
As Councilman Koretz stated at the June 2, 2010, meeting, the City cannot handle the problems it already has because of owners not controlling their dogs. This ordinance would merely create more problems, more danger and more suffering by both humans and animals, and we respectfully enter this opposition.
Phyllis Daugherty 

ADL Report on Brenda Barnette's Meet and Greet

The evening started off with about 200 people filling the community room in West Hollywood. The creator of the “Mutts” comic strip had his “Shelter Stories” comic strips showing in the background in celebration of Los Angeles’ selection of a progressive and proven shelter leader dedicated to saving more animals’ lives.  The talented, funny and delightful celebrity voice over actor Michael Bell was the "Master of Ceremonies."   

Christi MetropoleFounder and President of Stray Cat Alliance – a wonderful local group that helps stray cats -- introduced Council Member Paul Koretz, who was already known by most in the room as being light years ahead of other council members in his understanding of the need to treat our city's homeless animals (as well as ALL animals) with respect, justice and compassion.  Christi began by telling everyone that Paul Koretz has been a leader on animal welfare issues for over 20 years, from when he was a West Hollywood Council Member, to when he was a State Assemblyman, to his present position as a Los Angeles City Council Member.  Among his many victories for the animals, Koretz is credited as having led West Hollywood to becoming one of the most progressive cities for animals in the country with his ban on declawing, and his law that makes it illegal to evict senior citizens or the disabled for having small pets in their apartments.  As State Assemblyman, Koretz authored more animal-friendly legislation than any other member, including bills banning ear/tail docking, aerial gunning of wolves, hunting bears with dogs, disposing of “surplus” live chickens in wood chipping machines, among many other hideous practices.  In his role as one of the Los Angeles City Council Members, he authored LA’s ban on declawing cats and created “Feline Friday” cat adoptions at Friday Council meetings.  Most recently, Koretz stalled off the closure of one of the LA animal shelters convincing his fellow Council Members to wait until the new GM is appointed to see if she can save it instead of shutting it down now. 

Next it was Paul Koretz’s turn to introduce Brenda Barnette.  Paul Koretz told everyone that he asked the Mayor, and the Mayor agreed, that Koretz could take an active role in the selection of the GM given his record on issues involving animals.  Koretz explained and assured everyone that it was a very thorough and exhaustive search with no stone left unturned as to Brenda Barnette as well as the other applicants and that Mayor Villaraigosa made the absolute correct choice for the new General Manager of LAAS.  Paul Koretz talked a little about Brenda Barnette’s background, experience and prior successes in turning around shelters so that under her leadership the shelter she headed was saving more animals’ lives.  Paul Koretz concluded by saying that he was confident that Brenda Barnette was the best choice to help Los Angeles save more animals’ lives, and he urged everyone to support his candidate for GM, Brenda Barnette.  (ADL-LA applauds Koretz for being a true leader and for stepping up to the plate on this critical issue for the animals!)
When Brenda Barnette got up to speak, she made a joke about all the false accusations flying around saying "If half the things I have heard about myself in the last two weeks were true, I wouldn’t want me heading the shelter either!" The audience laughed and it showed Barnette as someone that not only can deal with controversy, but deal with it without being punitive or negative.  Everyone we heard from said that they found Barnette to be delightful, down-to-earth, honest and not afraid to say that she did not know an answer.  This is a summary of some of the key points we were told she said in her presentation and in the Question and Answer session that followed.  [ADL-LA was told that many of the questions were along the lines of when-did-you-stop-beating-your-wife but that Brenda nonetheless answered them with grace and class and, when appropriate, humor and by the end of the evening the overwhelming majority of those in attendance realized that they had been given mis-information about who she is and what she is all about.]

Brenda Barnette opened by saying that she has a collaborative management style but that there is one goal that to her is non-negotiable –saving more animals’ lives!  [ADL-LA notes – this is the first GM who has made saving animals’ lives a priority!]  She made it clear that providing more low cost and free spay/neuter in LA is critical and that her personal view is that there should be a zero tolerance of any type of animal cruelty in Los Angeles. 

Barnette talked about her background, including that she was part of the team led by Richard Avanzino that helped San Francisco to become the very first No Kill city in the Nation.  [ADL-LA notes that No Kill Leader Richard Avanzino endorsed Barnette’s candidacy for the GM of LAAS!] When Barnette became the CEO of Seattle Humane Society four years ago, it had a 77% Live Save Rate, meaning that for every 100 animals entering the shelter, 77 left alive.  She described some of the life-saving programs she implemented to dramatically improve the Live Save Rate, such as expanding the foster and volunteer programs, increasing grants/fundraising so as to have special funds for extraordinary medical needs of animals, and creative and innovative “marketing” [our word] of shelter animals so as to find them great homes.  Retention of animals in their homes is something she focused on with programs such as providing two weeks of free dog training to all people who adopted dogs from her shelter.  She also launched programs to make people think twice before abandoning their best friend – such as speaking with a trained counselor before turning in an animal.  By doing this, many times the counselor and guardian could work together so that the animal remained with his family. (She gave as an example, if the animal was being turned in because she always had accidents in the house, suggesting a dog walker during the day frequently solved that problem.)  We were told that Brenda spent a lot of time describing various life-saving programs that work in Seattle but that she said that every community is different, meaning that just because a program is successful there does not mean that it is the right program for Los Angeles.

Brenda Barnette went on to talk about her advocacy of pit bulls while a few communities in Seattle are trying to ban "bully breeds."  Brenda Barnette has been an outspoken advocate for Pit Bulls.  Seattle Humane has ongoing promotions for Pit Bulls and Barnette has published numerous articles in the local print media opposing breed bans and defending Pit Bulls.
Barnette dispelled all of the false and mean-spirited statements being circulated about her (and about the people rejoicing because LA appointed her).  She stated clearly and unequivocally that she is not a breeder, explaining that although her past is different than many of ours in that she arrived by a love of certain breeds, the fact that she bred a few litters is definitively in her past.  She poignantly said, “I also used to eat meat.”  She showed photos of many of the puppies she fostered over the years, and told a touching story about why she has dedicated her life to saving animals based on observing one of her little foster puppy’s strong desire to live (which he did). 

She also corrected the false rumors that Seattle Humane is not really an Open Door Shelter, another misguided effort circulated by a few to try to minimize her tremendous accomplishment in Seattle.  Seattle Humane is an Open Door Shelter!  It takes in all animals, not only the “cute” and “adoptable” ones.  It does not single out any breeds for better or worse treatment than the others.  It even takes in all of Renton Animal Control’s stray animals, meaning that the Renton Animal Control officers drop off their city strays and (after the three-day hold) those animals are spayed or neutered and treated like every other Seattle Humane animal.  Contrary to rumors that there are two sets of books, the Renton City animals are included in and comprise part of Seattle Humane’s Live Save Rate which tracks the total number of animals that enter the Seattle Humane as compared to the total number that leave there alive.  When asked about the statement on the website that an appointment is needed for guardian-turn-ins, she noted that if you keep reading you will see that the website also says that if the guardian has an emergency then they can come right in. She also explained that the guardian is the one who gets to decide if it is an emergency.  When asked about the rumors that animals will be turned away if the guardian does not pay a $ 200 turn in fee, she explained that the shelter requests a donation when someone abandons their best friend but it is not required.  Many people do not make any donations and the average donation last year was $23 per animal.  Each year there is an Annual Convention for shelter leaders across the country which is also open to the public.  As the CEO of one of the few Open Door Shelters in the Country that have achieved a 90% or better Live Save Rate, Brenda Barnette was invited to speak at the upcoming No Kill Annual Convention’s elite “90 Percent Club,” an invitation she had to decline because she will be packing in order to move to L.A.!

Pets may be the next frontier of health reform

updated 7/19/2010 2:41:36 PM ET
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — While states across the nation grapple with national health care reform, a new population of patients is gaining attention in California: Fido and Fluffy.
Many feline and canine companions face health care challenges similar to those that confront humans. Veterinary care costs are skyrocketing as pet owners are offered a sophisticated menu of potentially lifesaving services, including kidney dialysis, sonograms and chemotherapy.
U.S. consumers spent more than $12 billion on veterinary care in 2009, according to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Few have health insurance for pets
Yet only about 1 percent of pet owners have health insurance for their animals. Those who do often don't understand what the policy covers and what it excludes in an industry that has faced little regulation or even attention — at least until now.
Democratic state Assemblyman Dave Jones, who is running for state insurance commissioner in the November election, said some of the same practices being corrected by the recently enacted federal health care overhaul are used by pet insurance companies, including denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
Jones has introduced a bill that would make pet insurers post detailed information on their websites so consumers can see exactly what is covered and what is not. They could then compare options, just as if they were buying insurance for themselves in a post-health reform world.
"A number of pet owners have complained to me that they bought a policy, and they weren't told about pre-existing conditions," said Jones, who has two cats, Dragon and Blanca. He said others have attempted to buy policies but were told that because of pre-existing conditions in their pet, they couldn't get pet insurance.
The bill also would mandate that an insurer disclose whether it will reduce coverage or increase premiums based on claims filed in the preceding policy period.
According to pet insurance companies and animal advocacy groups, Jones' effort is the first of its kind in the nation. The bill passed the state Assembly and a Senate insurance committee. It currently awaits hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee.
'An outrage'
Pet insurance varies widely depending on the company selling the policy. Just as with human health insurance, policy holders pay monthly premiums. Most pet policies require owners to pay the bill in full and submit a claim to the insurance company for partial reimbursement.
That's where confusion can comes in. Many policies state they will reimburse policy holders a percentage of reasonable and customary costs, but pet owners say veterinary charges can far exceed what the insurer considers reasonable.
"The time when you figure out how your insurance works is when you are in the throes of an emergency," said Jennifer Fearing, senior state director for the Humane Society of the United States.
That was the case for Gary Lucks, whose dog Bodie was diagnosed withcancer at age 10. Lucks spent about $5,000 on Bodie's diagnosis and treatment. He expected to be reimbursed about 85 percent of the cost, but said he was paid back only about one-third.
"It was just an outrage," Lucks said.
Lucks, an environmental lawyer who lives in Oakland, wrote a complaint to the company and eventually was paid the 85 percent reimbursement. He then took the money and paid his research staff to write a policy paper and asked state lawmakers to take a closer look at the industry.
"There needs to be full disclosure, so the unwary consumer is aware of what they're paying and what they're getting," Lucks said.
In addition to making each company list those details prominently on its website, Jones' bill would add pet insurance as a separate line in the state insurance code.
In California, like most states, pet insurance is included in the miscellaneous category of property and casualty insurance. By making it a distinct coverage area, proponents hope consumers will be able to more easily research complaints against providers.
Website seeks to help
One tech-savvy pet owner, Michale Hemstreet, stymied by the variety of pet insurance options, created a website,, where customers can compare veterinary insurance plans and write reviews. He said the website has about 35,000 visitors per month.
On the site, one pet owner complained that although she had been paying for ongoing pet insurance for her cat, the insurance company refused to renew her cat's policy after it developed hyperthyroidism, calling it a pre-existing condition. Hemstreet said some companies consider a health issue pre-existing if it developed in the previous year, regardless of whether the pet was covered at the time.
Jones' bill initially sought to ban pet insurers from denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions. But the pet insurance industry pushed back, saying the provision would make coverage more expensive for everyone.
"The problem with that is that nobody would buy pet insurance until their pet gets sick," Hemstreet said.
Stripping the provision from the bill prompted Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), the nation's largest pet insurer, to support the legislation. It also is backed by the ASPCA and the Humane Society.
The bill will help transparency in the industry, said Curtis Steinhoff, spokesman for VPI. "We'd rather have people know what they're purchasing so that they're not surprised when they go to use it."