Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Honest(y) Recommendation

This story written by Patricia J. Ruland is a must read. She has a previous story where she has referred to the "No Kill Equation" as an infomercial. Ms. Ruland points out how the opposition is silenced with threats of lawsuits. Also noteworthy is that Ms. Ruland has discovered that the Winograd resume is inaccurate in stating his experience in animal control.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Back and Ready for a Fight

Los Angeles Animal Services is in total chaos. In March this year employees submitted a letter of no confidence to the Mayor. Animal Services is a department and a department head is appointed and answers only to the Mayor, not the City Council. This letter was basically ignored by the Mayor. But the City Council has now taken note and special meetings this week brought all of this to light.

LAAS is run by Ed Boks. Boks had claimed on his resume that he brought Maricopa County, AZ to no kill and was on the way to no kill in New York City. He was hailed as the savior of LAAS by the majority of the humane community. The only ones who knew the truth about him was oddly enough, the ADL-LA.

For the first year it appeared that all was well with LAAS. The numbers given out by Boks were showing considerable improvement and that LA was on the road to no kill. The ADL-LA was still insisting that all was not the way it appeared and continued to hound the City into hiring Nathan Winograd. Then the end of the year numbers were submitted and the story changed.

There are many blogs that have all the sordid details of this fiasco in LA, I won’t repeat. What I want to do is compare Ed Boks, a proclaimed “guru of no kill” and Nathan Winograd, another proclaimed “guru of no kill”. The similarities are there and they are disturbing.

Boks and Winograd, both, suffer from over inflated egos, neither will allow themselves to accept any responsibility when it comes to mistakes and failures. The documented demise of Boks makes this very clear. Winograd only takes credit if it is good, never if it is bad. Look at Philly, he first proclaimed it a success, now he yells the loudest that it is a failure. And his reasons for it failing were things he did not take into account when he did his consultation. The aging facility should have been enough to determine that going “No Kill” was not a good idea at that time. It would appear from Winograd’s accusations why Philly failed that certain things must be in place before one can achieve success. He is real big on yelling commitment. He determines commitment in financial terms, throw enough money around and it will happen. Sorry, Whino, that hasn’t proven quite true. Rancho Cucamonga, CA was definitely committed if that is the standard. They pay to the tune of $12+ per person per year for their commitment and still can’t make it work.
Boks and Winograd, both, fail to identify resources that might make their plan work. Winograd in Rancho, failed to identify any “North Shore League” that could take one third of Rancho’s animals like they did for him in Tompkins County. Rancho itself has little to nothing in the way of “rescue” groups, they would have to come from other areas. Boks is claiming a tremendous increase in “rescue” groups under his “New Hope” program but yet the number of animals these groups have taken out have fallen and continues to fall.

If you do read the blogs about Boks, you note that Boks is in denial about everything. And same with Winograd. He is in denial about his true animal control experience or rather lack of it. I have yet to hear the Whino admit anything is wrong or needs changing with his program. He offers no disclaimer that certain criteria must be met before his program has a chance of working. He sells his program to those totally unprepared to carry through on it nor do they have the means to carry through. The only one I know of that had the ways and means was the Rancho Cucamonga shelter.

Rancho has a beautiful shelter in a prime location. Most places would give all to have such a shelter. The City of Rancho owned the building but contracted with the County of San Bernardino for field services and shelter staff. The “No Kill” program was installed and within three months, the shelter was overcrowded with crates and carriers in the hallways. They had an outbreak of ringworm and failed to notify the public who may have been exposed. And did the people respond, you bet they did. Public surrenders increased from 50-100 a year average to over 4000 a year. Owner surrenders increased as well but many of the public surrenders were actually owners who wanted to avoid the staff’s hard looks, lectures, and surrender fees.
The surrenders were so bad that the director announced in two newspaper articles that they were not no kill. Staff has left in record numbers blaming poor management. Volunteer hours were reported on the city web site as only 10 hours average a day. It is plain to see that staff was overwhelmed and became burned out. Rancho has an average of 400 animals a day when the shelter was designed for about 100-150. Rancho taxpayers now pay $12 per person per year for animal control. Considering that most are paying under $3 per person per year, this says how committed Rancho is and was to go “No Kill”. But it didn’t happen, couldn’t happen.
Boks has also enjoyed the support of the City of LA as far as funding goes. They have opened new shelters during his tenure. Vets have been hired. Yet LA can’t make it work either. The argument is that the management is incapable.

Winograd always relies on that argument to explain away his failures too. The fact is that the program itself is flawed and no one is capable of pulling it off. Rancho proves that all the money in the world, being in an affluent community, and commitment doesn’t make it work in an open door shelter.

Boks claimed to have made two other cities/counties as no kill. Winograd has claimed to succeeded at making some no kill. The truth is coming out and this isn’t quite true. Winograd lays claim to making Tompkins County SPCA a no kill when actually they were trying to achieve this prior to Winograd and were close. Winograd always uses San Francisco as an example. First, SF doesn’t handle that many animals to being with. But there are several shelters that service the whole of SF and one needs to look at these shelters before calling SF a true no kill city. That leaves Nevada and Charlottesville. Both are non profits and don’t share info with the public. Rumors abound about both of these shelters.

So the similarities are there. The claims of successes which are questionable at best. The egos that won’t admit failures. Both are masters at manipulation of the media. Both are masters of giving people what they want to hear. Both make no kill look doable and good on paper. Both claim to be the only way to achieve no kill.

Personally I am not looking for the second coming of Christ as being in our shelter system.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Pook Is At Rainbow Bridge

Yesterday I had Pookie, my guinea pig, euthanized. The vet had done all he could do and the Pook just didn't get better. He couldn't eat properly because of a severe malocclusion. The Pook lived to eat. His favorites were cucumber, tomatoes (Romas), and eggplant. Feeding him was the highlight of each day.

Pookie was a shelter piggie. He came in with a large bust of a cavy breeder in Riverside, CA. There were over 130 piggies, most pregnant at the time, so the number rose to about 200 piggies in the shelter. I only had room for one. On my way to the shelter, I asked myself how I was going to be able to pick only one and how do I do that. I decided to let my piggie pick me.

So I put my hand in cages and waited for one to come up. Piggies are prey animals and their first instinct is to run. They did, except for the Pook. He came up and he was mine. And no piggies could want for more. He enjoyed a large pen in a dedicated room for piggies, had all the fresh veggies he wanted, and enjoyed the company of several other piggies. And he was NEUTERED.

Cavies (guinea pigs) are considered a disposable pet. They cost $5-20 in the stores. They are sold for snake food. People eat them too. But it is cheaper to let them die and get another, thus disposable. Vets for piggies are expensive, they are considered exotic animals. The Pook had had an abscess on his jaw a few months ago, probably had something to do with this problem, and his vet bill was high. I could have bought 50 piggies. But his life was precious to me and worth the money.

Just a reminder that the shelters don't only have cats and dogs, they also have piggies, rats, birds, and almost anything else. But it is most sad for these "disposable" pets because their value even says don't bother using the gas to take them to the shelter. I guess what I am trying to say is that every life, no matter what it "costs" or if it is free, is important and valuable. Pook was only $5 at the shelter but he brought me millions in enjoyment. I will miss him terribly.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Looney Tunes

I would not normally ask my readers to visit the Whino's blog site but I am going to do just that.
I am referring to the Whino talking about the movie on chihuahuas released by Disney. He is getting more and more extreme with his rantings. We all know what happened with the Dals when Disney released the movie. Now in CA, it is estimated that half of the Dals born are deaf because of all the backyard breeding to supply the demand from the movie. In one day I picked up three lactating Dals within a one block area, all had been turned loose and obviously had had puppies. One was deaf. No one claimed them at the shelter.
I have been aware and have watched the Chi population grow at our local shelter. Unfortunately many had severe genetic problems. Now there will be a rush to breed enough for the supply that will be created by Disney.
Read his rantings. As you read, think about breeders reading this. It is promoting breeding basically. Telling us that if we had his "No Kill" equation in place, nothing would happen. Trying to make us feel guilty. Yet he doesn't want the public to feel guilty about themselves and the problems they cause by not altering, etc. Where does this man get off? And if he doesn't get off soon, lets throw him from the train. So much damage from such a small man.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Look in the Future For King County

As I gaze into my crystal ball, I see bad things for the King County shelter animals. Actually I just do my research and these things are predicted for the future of King County.

As you know or don't know, Los Angeles City has declared they are "No Kill", I use this one because the programs are the same, the numbers are the same, the deceit is the same. This week there was a very important meeting called by the City Council due to a outpouring of animal control employees saying they have no faith in the current management of that agency. It is truly rare for the humane community and animal control to come together in such a fashion as they are doing in LA City.

So what is in store for King County? Let me outline the ways to get to "No Kill" based upon the testimony of the LA City AC employees.

First cut back on field services. I'll use Rancho Cucamonga as an example again. Keep in mind that the Rancho program is Whino-grad's program but it sounds similar to LA because they are the same for all practical purposes. Rancho Cucamonga ACO's only picked up about 600 dogs in 2007. That's less than 2 dogs a day for three ACO's. Can't kill them if you don't bring them into the shelter. But the public made up the difference by surrendering over 4000 animals. Now either the public is picking them up off the streets or the public is actually owners surrendering their own pets as strays. This number does not include recorded owner surrenders. This is an example brought up at this special meeting in LA City. Keep in mind these are city employees, not activists talking.

Resources are not the issue, it's deployment of existing resources. It's alarming that there is only one enforcement officer for 1M people. The enforcement unit was disbanded so fewer animals would be collected from the street, just so he (Boks) can say we're no kill, fewer animals picked up, fewer to deal with. Who suffers?; animals and public. It's not acceptable.

Another way to achieve "No Kill" is warehousing or in other words, let the animals kill themselves. That way you don't report them on euthanasia records. According to a public records request, Rancho Cucamonga had a 600% increase in dead in kennels while LA is still debating how high theirs actually is, right now they say 125% increase.

Warehousing is not acceptable. Dog runs are made for 1-2 dogs. They put 7 in the runs. Dog fights, employees have to break up the fights.

Another ACO describes how "No Kill" gets the numbers that look good on paper.

I'm one of 32 ACOs, Boks, Barth, Davis, all they have done is play a numbers game, animals in our care are in dangerous conditions. Boks said he'd make the city no kill in five years, instead there has been a 37% increase in euthanizaton. He put a moratorium on behavior related euthanasia, why? He's flip flopped between warehousing to avoid euthanasia and euthanized to avoid warehousing. We euthanize only for behavior or medical, never for time or space, it's just a number games. It doesn't help animals get out alive, but does stroke the ego of Ed Boks. These games diminish the quality of life for animals and employees. Boks hoards and warehouses, the shelters are overcrowded, cramped, It's a ticking time bomb.

Yet more insight into the "No Kill" numbers game. One more way to achieve "No Kill" is to refuse animals at the door. Although the "No Kill" shelters deny doing this, the other local shelters will gladly tell you that the turn aways show up on their doorstep.

ACO, 29 years, I take care of the database Chameleon, statistics, the numbers are accurate but the interpretation of those numbers, maybe not. No kill, it's an impossibility, obviously, no kill numbers exclude animals sick, injured, behavior unsuited, if you take them out, that's what he's using, no one can be no kill unless they don't accept all animals that come in the door.

A former vet tells of the desperation of getting the animals out even at the risk of the public.

Katie: I had a difference of opinion with the GM in respect to infectious diseases. He wanted us to foster animals with giardia, coccidia, scabies, if someone got ill from those animals, it's not good.

Now read the newspaper articles about this historic meeting. In all my years I have never seen the humane community and animal control employees united in such a fashion. And they all agree to one thing, the animals are suffering under "No Kill".

What does it take to make people realize that this is not the right path? How we chose to stop the euthanasia in the shelters makes the difference between whether animals have to suffer unnecessarily or not. Are we willing to "sacrifice" some animals by overcrowding and letting them kill each other or go crazy from kennel stress and then deemed not adoptable. There's more ways to manipulate the "No Kill" numbers than the accountant for organized crime knows.

The Philadelphia Story should be enough to convince but obviously it didn't make any difference to the King County Council. How many failures do they need before they see the light?

It could be the same story as the one in Rancho. The Rancho Council used animal control as a scapegoat. People just don't seem to get it, who exactly to blame here. Reminds me of the wife who beats up the other woman, excuse me, but the other woman didn't do anything, she's a victim too. Beat up the husband. And the husband in this case is the elected officials. Animal control is a victim too, just like the shelter animals. Animal control does as much as it can with what it is given to do with. The elected officials hold the purse strings, they dictate policy, they are the ones to blame. King County Animal Care and Control is a scapegoat for the King County officials, plain and simple.

Let these Whinonettes have it. Yes, animals will suffer but there are always sacrifices in war. When the time comes and all comes out to the public about the ignorance displayed by these elected officials, their time will end. It won't take long, Rancho went down within three months. When this happens, the taxpayers will end up paying higher taxes because a new shelter will then have to be built, no other choice. It may be the way to obtain what is right and should have been all along. We just need to remember the animals that had to die along the way to get there, animals that didn't have to suffer, but did because of misguided people.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

No Sashimi for Rover

A friend of mine brought me some fresh salmon last night and warned me not to give any raw salmon to my dogs. I thought this strange until she told me about "salmon poisoning". I research this subject and found this information. Pass this along to others. With the raw diet fad, people should be aware of this. Always learning something new, must still be alive.

Salmon feed on snails that carry a fluke that contain a bacteria that is harmful if ingested by dogs. This complicated process is called "salmon poisoning" and occurs if a dog eats salmon raw. The salmon may be fresh caught, or found by the dog in refuse piles. Any part of the raw salmon can contain these flukes and bacteria, but the head and "guts" contain the most....and are the discarded parts that dogs usually find near fishing areas and campgrounds. Freezing, cooking, and smoking kill this bacteria.
Although cats are not susceptible to this poisoning, it is not recommended that raw fish be fed to them. People are not affected by the flukes or bacteria.
Symptoms of salmon poisoning begin 5 to 7 days after ingestion of the raw salmon and can include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and swollen lymph glands. Diagnosis is made by the history of exposure to raw salmon and by examining a fecal sample for evidence of flukes. Although salmon poisoning is easily treated with antibiotics, diagnosis can be difficult because the symptoms often mimic other diseases like canine parvovirus. The best cure is prevention. Never feed your dog raw fish or fish parts, and watch your dog carefully if you take him fishing or to areas where others have been fishing.

We Can't Dance Any More

This is an eulogy to two wonderful blogs/friends that have recently passed into the underground.

I search everyday looking for comrades in the fight against "No Kill". The Oreo blog and the KCAS blog brought a light into my day. Both so well written and their followers were well versed. Not many blogs do I learn from, but I have learned much from these two. And I was so excited that these blogs were bringing the truth to the table for all to see.

But both have now had go underground to protect themselves and their loved ones. It is the death of truth and honesty, of caring and action. Blogs such as these were the best defense against the personal agenda of "No Kill". But slowly and surely, the "No Kill" agenda is shutting people such as these two down. Then when that is done and his is the only voice heard, our shelters will become nothing more than holding pens for animals.

I don't blame Oreo and KCAS for taking their blogs off except for invitation only. Fighting this fight can be tiring and burdensome. I have experienced the full force of this movement, I lost my home because of it. I am now underground and still fighting. I can do this because I don't have family to think of, except for the four legged and winged family. I am doing all I can to protect them because they too, have been threatened. I would have stood my ground if it weren't for them. And recently my name and address was put in a major newspaper with a call to "seek and destroy". I did have to send a cease and desist order to this paper. And also have been threatened with two lawsuits just for presenting public records.

My thoughts have been that if enough people started standing up to the "No Kill" agenda then maybe it could make a difference. Now, with these two blogs have to resort to going underground and not being open to the public, I am beginning to think I will never be able to go home again. These two blogs gave me hope and now it is gone.

Oreo and KCAS will continue to be in my prayers, I pray for protection for them and theirs. I do the same everyday for myself and mine. I will continue to read them because they contribute so much to my work and life. But it is with a heavy heart. Anything I can do to help them, I do hope they will ask. Thanks for what you have done, Oreo and KCAS, I believe that you have made a difference.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Credibility - Not in His Book

The other "blogger" has posted this morning about KCACC and the new hateful website that was recently set up to condemn the shelter animals to more death.

Does this blogger have a dictionary? I suggest that he look up credibility since he doesn't seem to know the meaning of the word. The vet he quotes has no credibility at this point. But again this blogger doesn't care, he counts on people with no idea what is happening to take him at his word and BELIEVE. Now ignorant people will read his blog and think wrongly of KCACC.

This blogger is supporting a vet that has engaged in unethical medical practices (prescribing medication for himself under his dead dog's name) and cruelty/neglect to animals. He is supporting a group that has also been engaged in unethical practices of placing pets with hoarders. The cruelty these animals faced because this group wanted to be heroes. So both the blogger and this newly formed "group" are supporting and pushing unethical practices, unethical people, and cruelty to animals. All this has been documented.

Not only does this person support breeders, legit or backyard, now he is supporting people who have been documented as being part of cruelty and neglect to animals. Tells me he is losing support himself with the humane community and is turning to those who don't care about animals for support. And of course, they will support him.

This blogger hears the death rattle of this movement. The slow death of the "No Kill" equation is not soon enough for the shelter animals that are having to endure the ignorance of people who support this movement. But their lives will not have been in vain, it only serves to strengthen the resolve of those of us who truly care. Let it be known that we will defeat you, we will bring about "no kill" the right way, and your name will be forgotten with time.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

For The Beginner - "No Kill" 101

On the wonderful blog,, there was a comment that I found interesting and disturbing. I just had to put in my two cents worth on this subject. Now there are two opinions as to this commenter as to whether they are sincere or whether they are a "plant". To fill you in, there is a "hateful" website just recently to go up in the King County, WA area. As you may or may not know, there has been a great support group for keeping the public shelter open and they have been fighting against the Winograd report. In my opinion, they have proved their points about the Winograd report and more.

I would like to being by stating that negative publicity for a shelter dooms the shelter animals. A responsible family man will not take his family to a shelter when he thinks his family will see horrible things. He will go to a rescue group and adopt. Does this help the shelter animals? The public does not come running to "save" these animals, they run the other way.

But for this commenter, seems she is just now entering the game and thinks that the supporters of the shelter are radicals as opposed to the new site that is trying to destroy the shelter. She has leanings toward the Winograd program and his followers. I really can't understand why if she has read this blog and did her followup. I will be the first to admit that Winograd's program looks doable on paper. But when faced with reality it turns into a program that creates more suffering than necessary and is not sustainable as proven by a track record.

I ask this commenter to look at the only truly open door, publicly owned shelters that have adopted the "No Kill" equation. These are the shelters subject to public records requests and thus, the only shelters where we can learn the truth. Non profit shelters are NOT subject to the public's requests. They rely on donations for doing a good job and therefore, they don't talk about the bad. No one donates for doing a bad job. So the truth is not known until it is too late, such as the case in Philly or Lied, NV.

When I started researching Winograd's program, I went to the alternative newspapers, they investigate better than the dailys. I went to the minutes of meetings for cities and counties and found information of bad service. I didn't rely on the website proclaiming success. I called and personally talked with people in the area who were "in the know". It was a long and tedious process but it told me that the "No Kill" movement was not to be believed and was doing more harm than good in many ways.

Winograd fights against new legislation regarding spay/neuter and in the same breath says he supports spay/neuter. It is said that mandatory spay/neuter will increase impounds and thus, increase euthanization. Maybe so, we really don't have much to make that determination. Oh yes, his camp throws out a lot of stuff to support their side but if you look closely you will find that this propaganda is just that, propaganda. Although we estimate that 30-40% of the shelter population are purebreds, deliberately bred, Winograd is now the darling of the breeding industry. How does this help? Stopping legislation that would curb this population can only be defeating reducing the shelter population and will probably cause it to increase.

Winograd's statement that there is no pet overpopulation has caused more damage than we could have ever imagined. The elected officials are now saying if there is not a problem why do we need to address it? If there is no overpopulation, then lets throw our spay/neuter program out and use the money for potholes. For years I have fought to get government to sponsor spay/neuter programs and using the overpopulation of pets to convince them. Now that is changing because part of the humane community has set Winograd up as "guru" and he says the opposite. Those of us who have worked tirelessly for decades to reduce the shelter animals, and according to all information it worked beautifully, are having our work degraded and called worthless by Winograd's unfounded statements. Look at the figures over the years and then tell me that spay/neuter doesn't work. Population, both human and animal, have increased yet shelter animals have decreased.

I saw the days when animal control was the sheriff taking the unwanted dog or cat to the landfill and shooting it. I have seen the gas chambers and they still exist. These are the shelters we need to work on for changes. Rancho Cucamonga was the shining star of the Inland Empire in California. They no longer are. Their budget went from $770,000 a year to over $2 million when they adopted the Winograd program and they still can't make it work. He yells they aren't committed but they have shown commitment to the tune of over $12 per person, per year whereas the recommended amount is $5-7 per person per year. The public surrenders have gone from 50-100 a year to over 4000. Public surrenders were nice people picking up strays and bringing them into the shelter. Now it is owners bringing in their pets as strays to avoid the hard looks of a "no kill" staff, a lecture, and a surrender fee. There are repercussions to every action and this is one to "no kill", to take the pet to where they "don't kill them". The poor pet is left without a history or a name. Taking the responsibility off the public as the problem such as Winograd states leaves them free to not alter, have those litters, keep the kids entertained, and then take them to the "no kill" shelter. It is deceiving the public and making them even more lacking in their responsibility to alter. Since the open door, publicly owned shelters are subject to public records, the truth has come out. Winograd's program has volunteers as it's backbone. Rancho is only averaging 10 volunteer hours a day. You can say it is because of a lack of commitment to solicit volunteers but I say that it is being unrealistic to place all your program on the backs of unreliable volunteers which most are. There are good ones but they are few and far between.

Another problem I have with Winograd's program is that he doesn't believe in educating the children, the future pet owners. He says to educate the adults instead, they are the ones currently with pets. We all know that recycling became a household word because of the programs directed at children, and same here. All I have seen from the Winograd program is a lack of interest in the future.

Opposing legislation that can serve us in the future by saying it will increase shelter population now is irresponsible. If people can give up their pets so easily because they have to alter them by law can mean one thing, they don't care for the pet to begin with. What kind of life does their pet have? It is tossed outside or chained up. There could be some surrenders like this if mandatory spay/neuter is introduced. But at least give these poor pets a chance at getting another home. I would venture a guess that in most parts of the country, one can find help financially for spay/neuter. I don't see this as an argument against mandatory spay/neuter. And yes, it can be enforced, if nothing else complaint driven. Give the public something to sink their teeth in and they will become the enforcers. It's the future we need to see here, not get stuck in the present such as Winograd is.

Winograd's program is not the answer, if it was, then more shelters would be on board. I suggest that you go to the East Bay SPCA website,, and read their take on the subject of "no kill". It is realistic. Do your research but do it with both eyes open.