DAW MINUTES  2-19-06

Charlotte Laws introduced General Manager of Animal Services, Mr. Ed Boks to the meeting. 
Ed Boks spoke and answered questions for roughly 90 minutes. 

He covered the Animal Services Budget. Boks reports that he is optimistic Animal Services budget will be increased
for next year.

He announced that five new shelters will open in 2006. Two additional new shelters will open in 2007. This will give LA a total of eight "gold rated"
shelters, buildings that will really double as community centers.

DAW President Charlotte Laws and LAAS GM Ed Boks

Boks announced that they are in process of revamping the LAAS website. Website will make it possible for people to select pets for adoption online.  Web Address: www.laanimalservices.org

People will have improved access to animals. There will also be an improved hotline as well as a "New Hope Alert." Animals "most at risk" will be identified.

Boks announced that a foster program for animals is needed. Once animals have been rehabilitated, they can come back into our adoption program.

The Anti-Cruelty Task Force under the command of Lieut. Danny Pantera of the LA Police Dept has already put three or four violators in jail.

Also on the website and slated for improvement: Spay and Neuter program. 

DAW Meeting attendees in Feb 2006

LA shelters are currently taking in an avg. of 125 animals per day.

(Secretary's note: 125 x 365 = 45,625 per year; if  this figure is accurate, then under Director Stuckey, if the shelters were killing 44,000 (?) animals per year -- then something like 97% of the animals in city shelters were being killed. This would seem to be an important figure.)

Boks spoke about new "STAR" program (Special Treatment and Recovery) "We're looking at working with vets who will offer alternatives to euthanasia.

Boks says he will soon be appointing an Asst. Gen. Mgr of Animal Services He is also seeking applicants for a high-level marketing/communications position.

He reported on recent event at the Improvisation with a fundraiser he attended..

Boks reported on two badly injured animals that were not euthanized. Animals can now be seen on Channel 35.

A new program in which seniors, 55 and over, can adopt for free.

Boks said that there are animals "that will always have to be euthanized," the very badly injured, etc. He said he hoped to establish the sort of standard a "loving veterinarian" would use.

He reported that small breed dogs "fear biters" will not be automatically placed in jeopardy of euthanasia.

Boks favors a spay/neuter breed specific policy.

Rich Mc Clellan spoke in favor of bringing "animal behaviorists" into the process. Boks reported that he is trying to get a grant to work with animal behaviorists.

A self-policing program: Boks reported that in 10-15 years "I've only had to inspect two New Hope partners." (Both were hoarders.) He felt that hoarders could be eliminated by the use of a smartly designed questionnaire.

DAW George Shea referred to situation in Oct. 2005 in which Torrance Animal Control entered home of Red Enright and euthanized 217 out of 220 pigeons. Shea expressed the opinion that, despite fact that Enright was obviously hoarding, Torrance Animal Control acted with undue haste and brutality. DAWS members were prepared to take all of Enright's pigeons and had Torrence Animal Services given DAWS more time, many if not all of the pigeons could have been saved. Shea expressed wish to Boks that LA Animal Services would act with more restraint during his time as Dir. of Animal Services.

Boks referred to "Media hold" situations: "Let people know that you can put
a hold on an animal."

A question: Can people bringing in injured (abused) animals be reported? Answer; Yes.

Question from Reseda DAW Missy Woodward: Can you provide us with assistance with
neighborhood councils?

Boks responded that he will provide DAWS organization with official letter from his office to present to neighborhood councils.

Missy Woodward: How do we coordinate these events?

Sherman Oaks DAW Marlene Goodman: We are working with Dept of Aging & Dept of Disabilities. No free senior dogs are available to us.

Boks reports his office is working with the Sam Simon Foundation to get senior animals into senior homes.

Atwater Village DAW Beatrice Shapiro asked Boks if could attend event Pet Adoption event they have scheduled for Feb. 26.  Boks responded in the affirmative.

Boks made commitment to DAWS organization that he will assist them with letting DAWs help get spay/neuter vouchers into various neighborhoods?

Coby Siegenthaler reported about TV show in which all the dogs offered for adoption were taken.  This was closed circuit TV show originating in Beverly Hills.

Landlord/tenant issue and Gary Michelson's plan to bond animals to the extent of $5000-$10,000 so landlords will be more likely to accept tenants with pets.

Boks: "I love programs that don't require legislation."

Valley Glen DAW Charlotte Laws: "We could have a committee to work with Director Boks on various issues."

Valley Village DAW Scott Sorentino: How is new Animal Services budget different from previous budgets?

Boks: Current budget is $18.5 M.  We are requesting new budget of $25 M. We want to increase holding capacity by 300%. We'll be able to hold animals longer, etc.

Boks reported he is trying to put together a private fund-raising arm: Friends of Animals Series. He also expressed hope there will be financial assistance facilitated by DAWS.

DAW president and Valley Glen DAW Charlotte Laws asked why Boks has not taken a position on the relocation of the elephants to a sanctuary. He could take a leadership role on this.

Boks stated that he is not willing to take a position on the placement of LA Zoo elephants in appropriate sanctuary, says that the issue is not under his control. His responsibilities are "limited to companion animals."

In response to question from Lake Balboa DAW Lisa Reveen, Boks said his office was looking into increasing the number of cats permitted in homes.

Boks announced he would like to take DAWS on a tour of one of the new shelters.

Laurie Mandel (?) from the Pet Adoption Fund shelter in Canoga Park briefly addressed the group. She spoke about design of new shelters that will provide better facilities for mothers and litters of cats.

Taya Shapiro talked about Valentine, the rescued dog who just had leg amputated at Studio City Animal Hospital.  She asked for donations from DAWS and supporters as the cost of the surgery was $3000.  Her
cel ph # -- 818-926-2600.

Ed Boks provided the group with his e-mail address: eboks@ani.lacity.org

Venice DAW Sara Mannes inquired as to whether students at Pierce College could get credit for veterinary training courses.

Boks reported that Western College now has a reverence for life program and that they have a no-kill policy, also that the Director of Field Operations is now responsible for Animal Control side of training.

The newly appointed Dir. of Shelter Operations is Nancy Moriarity.

Boks is also looking for an HR Mgr. He added that he is restricted to other city depts. in his search.

Also, he will have a "red flag" policy regarding identifying people who come to animal shelters for inappropriate reasons: i.e, coming in looking for pit bulls.

North Hollywood DAW Gary Baratta offered to provide Boks with the names of every neighborhood council president. Also creating a memo of understanding with various city depts.

Charlotte Laws discussed the current proposal before the LA City Council to move the site of a new animal shelter in South Central and award the location to a retail furniture dealer who has provided campaign funding to Council members, such as Rocky Delgadillo and Bernard Parks.

Boks says: "Let's get animals out of shelters as quickly as posible."  DAWS members can contact Nancy Moriarity with shelter-related questions.

Boks also reported that he wants to create a Feral Cat Council.  "TNR" approach. DAWS program great way to introduce TNR.

Debbie Kanaan of Board of Commissioners spoke. Management Commission. We oversee Dept of Animal Services. How DAWS can assist both the Dept. and the Commission.  She feels DAWS should become an arm of the Dept. "You have an official title and you have some clout."  DAWS need to know what the Commission is working on. We are trying to raise both the kitty limit and the dog limit.  City Council needs to understand the importance of what we're trying to do. "WE NEED LETTERS FROM YOU."

Boks offered to visit all the neighborhood councils. Debbie Kanaan said she would like Boks to send letters to all the neighborhood councils re the DAWS program.

Boks would like DAWS to go to neighborhood vets with stacks of license applications: $10 to license altered animals, $100 to license unaltered animals. "Let's enforce licensing."  Have vets push it. We could use you DAWS to write letters to City Council.   DAWS need to be knowledgable about Animal Services agenda. Debbie will provide e-mail:  kanaan@sbcglobal.net

The Board of Commissioners meets every other Mon. at City Hall. Can Commission meetings be televised?  It is up to the Mayor. Jim Bickhart who was at the meeting was asked to take this idea back to the Mayor.

Kanaan: We can use you DAWS to go to Senior Centers, etc. to advise re senior-to-senior programs. She wants pet stores to be required to sell only altered animals.

Boks: We are seeking a public information officer. We do not yet have a marketing director. "Til then, we need you guys."

School credit will be offered to animal volunteers.

Operation Safety Net. Any number of pets are left behind. 

Referral Network to all types of services available to the community.

Popular question: "Where can I take my animal?"  "Do you really want to
take your animal to a shelter?"   (A committee that can help us with that?)

George Shea issued reminder to all DAWS to e-mail monthly reports to him by Feb. 28. He also reminded attendees at meeting to sign the sign-in sheets.

Former Silverlake DAW Rich Mc Clellan:  How can DAWS help the city w no-kill?

Heads of various committees named:

Scott Sorrentino:  No-Kill Committee

Lisa Reeven:  Tenant--Landlord Relations Committee

Missy Woodward: Community Relations Committee

Rich Mc Clellan: Platform Committee

Tiffany Krog: Legal Committee

Kris Kelly: Animal Cruelty Committee

David Hernandez: Elephants Committee

Kris Kelly: Animals Are Not Property Committee

Charlotte Laws: Political Affairs Committee

Platform Committee is meeting Sun. Feb. 26  at 6 PM  Shalom Printing.

Rich Mc Clellan is with Animal Legislative Network -- spoke re Hayden Bill and Animal Adoptions. also re candidacy for 45th Assembly District seat of Christine Chavez who is running on an Animal Welfare platform. She is in need of donations & volunteers.  Her Animal Welfare Campaign office is in Silverlake.

Charlotte Laws announced that David Hernandez is running for County Supervisor and spoke about her upcoming meeting in Sacramento to try to establish a state animal commission. This will be her second meeting to discuss the issue with the Governor's senior advisors.

Ideas discussed about how DAWs can help...

1. To convince City Council that the budget for LAAS needs to be sufficient
2. Have animal adoptions, etc. at Neighborhood Council events
3. Get stakeholders involved as volunteers, fosters. Help recruit.
4. Talk to the vets in our areas and ask them to provide some services to
LAAS for free or at a discount.
5. Talk to City Councilmembers about animal issues that need to passed (such
as raising the limit of cats - the commission has voted in favor of this)
6. Help with ideas for policy.
7. Write letters to public officials when necessary and ask Neighborhood
Councils to take a stand on such issues.
8. Act as "turn in counselors." In other words, talk to the public who show
up at the shelters with an animal that they want to relinquish.
9. Advertise LAAS programs
10. Help with resources for the public (DAW website, Neighborhood Council
websites, flyers, etc.)

Meeting was adjourned. Date of next meeting to be announced later.