Thursday, May 28, 2009

Board Meeting Report-May 26, 2009, Part II


This part deals with my dog, Stu. His case was not on the agenda, but several wonderful souls turned up to speak on his behalf during Public Comment (Item 5).

Well, it's hard to say what happened. The following people spoke and the letters from Marie Atake, Carole Davis and Jane Garcia:

Zizi Zarkadas, rescuer and all around bad girl, arrived on time (I did not) and patiently sat through the whole appeal hearing and the tedious meeting for more than 2 hours and but had to go back to work before the Board got around to public comments at nearly 9:00 p.m. Thanks, Z.

Me-the usual. I asked what had happened to Quincey's motion! I asked for a real negotiation, because that's how settlements are achieved-you sit down and talk about it. And I asked for a new hearing. What are they afraid of ? Let's have a hearing, with witnesses, this time. I told them I would never let them forget Stu dead or behind bars and that I would haunt them to the end of time.

Elle Wittelsbach , Strangest Angels Rescue, activist and photographer: read Marie's letter (wonderful) and Carole's email(excellent) and expressed how wrong she felt this is. That she works with fractious animals all the time and that this incident with Stu was not Stu trying to hurt the "victim." (those messages from Atake, Davis and Garcia will appear here shortly-stay tuned).

Pam Holt, RVT, activist and rescuer: Heartfelt and penetrating, as she can be, Pam is a long time Stu supporter and single- handedly responsible for the success of Stu's MySpace page. She told of how she was just bitten by a dog at the Mojave (Cindy Bemis) rescue and that it comes with the territory. They are dogs and will act like dogs to protect themselves or out of fear. She said that the rest of Stu's life behind bars is wrong at that he should come home for his last few years...

Laura Beth Heisen, attorney, Spay/Neuter advisory committee Chair, G.M. candidate: read Jane Garcia's letter (which was very, very good. Thank you , Jane). Then LB stated that she has never spoken on this case but felt compelled to now. She said she does not speak for me or Stu but for Justice...that she does know me or Stu (other than seeing me at meetings) know the law and her knowledge of the law tells her, and should tell the Board, that the procedures (and former A.G.M, Commissioner and current Deputy District Attorney Debbie Knaan) were way out of whack and that Due Process was obviously violated. She found it disturbing that the City would not take the word that Stu is not dangerous from Bobby Dorafshar --whose input they have previously sought and trusted on other issues; and in whose care has Stu has been entrusted.

Phyllis Daugherty, mainstay and dedicated animal activist (yes, she is)- I believe she suggested our new City Attorney might have a different take on this case, if given the opportunity to review it.

Almost all mentioned City Attorney Elect Trutanich and that he should be consulted on this.

Following the comments, Irene Ponce called for Quincey's motion (See May 25, 2009 post on this blog) to be on the very next agenda. The NEXT agenda. Kathy Riordan said she would support that and she asked why Danielle Vigil's (harassment by an LAAS Captain,who revoked her rescue privileges tied to 501(c)3 Diamonds in the Ruff ; and Mary O'Connor's (her tea cup Yorkie, an emotional support animal, was stolen by an LAAS employee at the North Central shelter) were not on the agenda. Barth sidestepped, as usual , and said there was information in the commissioners' "packets" about "those issues. ??"

With what seemed to be a very positive feeling (toward Stu coming home ) among the 3 commissioners present (Riordan, Quincey and Ponce) I am confused as to how the City Attorney came up with what he said the Board had asked him to propose:

Mr. Delarosa[sic],

The Board of Animal Services Commissioners has requested that the Office of the City Attorney propose the following settlement offer (subject to approval by City Council) to you: in an effort to avoid the euthanasia of Stu, the City will permit Stu to be maintained in a secure facility (i.e., private sanctuary, kennel, and/or approved/licensed trainer) that is approved by the Board. The City will require a release from the facility. In addition, as part of the settlement, the City will require a general release from you in addition to dismissing the subject appeal. If the parties are able to agree on the terms of the settlement, it will be presented to the necessary Board, Committee, and City Council for approval. Time is of the essence. Once an agreement is reached, the necessary Board, Committee, and Council approval is required before the Court of Appeal renders its decision.

Thank you.
(From Todd Leung, Deputy City Attorney)

There is video available which I am getting and will post clips of at BoardWatch when I have the video and time to cut it up. I also button-holed Bernard Parks who made an appearance, explained myself and he assured me someone in his office would look into it. (?) I spoke to Aimee Gilbreath (Gary Michaelson director) and she was flabbergasted at the whole Stu deal. Wondered who I had pissed-off (hmm...who did I miss?).

Thank you all again. I wish I could say that it was the last time I will ask for your support for Stu, but I don't believe it will be the last.

NEXT: Part III , the rest of the meeting.

Board Meeting Report- May 26, 2009; Part I

This meeting was held Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. at a library at Western and 39th St.

The need for a change in meeting schedules and venues.

Let me first say the all Animal Services Board meetings should be held in the evening. Attendance at the regular Monday City Hall meetings is always dismal and consists of Phyllis Daugherty (to her credit), Jim Bickhart, the Mayor' and Aimee Gilbreath, Executive Director for Gary Michaelson's organization (always looking snappy with great shoes, too); parties to appeal hearings, and sometimes, me. Oh...and Laura Beth Heisen. Cool as we all are, for going to these Monday shindigs, we are not representative of the City of Los Angeles nor are we representative of the concerned-about-animals public and various organizations (Rescues). Putting aside that Gary Michaelson is responsible for Boks coming here, his work and sizeable donations in the area of spay/neuter are commendable. And the Gilbreath outfits and shoes are always a treat.

Even a 6 p.m. meeting is difficult for any working person (or sane person) to attend. This last one was difficult for Secunda and Khero, Commissioner and President, respectively, to attend. Anyone (Ross Pool and Linda Barth) who thinks that 6 p.m. at the height of Los Angeles traffic rush hours is a good time for a meeting is out of their mind. Consider the source. One can only assume that inaccessible meetings are by design. Yes, it's easier for Barth and Pool to leave 221 N. Fig at 5 and arrive at the meeting at 6, but they are the only people for which this is a conventient or accessible meeting time. Yes, I'm paranoid.

So here's my proposition: At least one meeting per month should be held "off campus" (outside City Hall, because they would charge a fortune for a night meeting). City Council meets regularly at the Van Nuys location which is set up for City meetings, with video, audio, etc. I will look into this and see what can be done to allow LAAS to use these facilities. The question has always been cost. On Tuesday, there was much to do about the limited availability of the meeting venue. "We" had it for 4hours, with that 4 hours beginning at 5:30 for set up. With an appeal, which took nearly an hour (or more) scheduled, this left real meeting time of only 2 hours. Huh?!

Security is required (usually an LAPD officer, at overtime, I'm sure) at a cost that has been estimated at $400 (I stepped out for 5 minutes during Tuesday's meeing and had to convince this LAPD officer that he should let me back into the library. He seemed to think that one could not leave and return to a PUBLIC MEETING. I let him know. He caved and let me in. So cost and venue are the issues. I'm sure that if a vote were taken by the Board, that my proposition would pass. The meetings on Monday's are not convenient for working attorney, Tariq Khero;or for working agent, Ruth Ann Secunda. Okay, Kathy Riordan is not a morning person, so 10:00 a.m. sucks for her, too.

Next, Part II: What happened at the meeting?

Monday, May 25, 2009

City Attorney (the old one) offers "Stu" Life without Parole.

Last April 14, 2009, Animal Services Commissioner, Archie Quincey introduced the following motion:

"At the next meeting (4/27) , I would like to make a motion that the Board direct the City Attorney to withdraw opposition to Jeff's de la Rosa's appeal in the Court of Appeals; and to direct the City Attorney to request that the Court of Appeals return the case to the Superior Court; and direct the Superior Court to issue a Writ of Mandate which shall order this Board to set-aside the decision declaring the dog, Stu as dangerous. I make this motion because the hearings in our Department were unfair and violated Due Process. This has gone on long enough."

Well, following that, the Board held a "closed session" on April 27, 2009. That's when they throw everyone out and talk to their "attorney." In this case, the City Attorney is Todd Leung, who lost to me in Court on my other dog, Maeve--same reason-Due Process was violated in that they refused to summon my requested witnesses and thereby did not afford me a fair hearing before depriving me of my "property." That's the 14th Amendment at work. After 3 years, Maeve is exonerated and according to Boks and Linda Barth, "the case is closed." Great, but what about Stu?

Stu Supporter, Marie Atake with Stu
(The only Commissioner to ever meet him. Atake quit the Board of Commissioners
partially because of the unfair treatment in Stu's case and impound)

Stu's hearing was held back to back with Maeve's (see forthe full story) by the same Hearing Examiner, George Mossman. Mossman also refused to summon the same witnesses for Stu's hearing, but that doesn't show in the record before the Court, because he didn't actually speak those words at Stu's hearing..only at Maeve's. Such is the rule of evidence. My first lawyer did not catch that the record for Stu was defective; neither did the second lawyer; and had they done that, they could have corrected the record in the Superior Court and Stu would most likely be home by now, having been deprived of a fair hearing before being sentenced to death.

For the last several months, I (and other Stu supporters) have been lobbying the Board of Commissioners to settle this matter before the final hearing in the Court of Appeals on June 18, 2009. With a defective record, I could lose the case and Stu would then be killed based on Stuckey's last word before he left with the door swinging. Boks picked up where he left off and made Stu out to be a vicious terrorist of a dog and tried to make this into L.A.'s own Whipple case, which it is not, by any means.

Experts and trainers (including New Leash on Life's and K9s ONLY's Bobby Dorafshar and Richard Polksy, Ph.D. ) have examined and evaluated Stu. He is "not dangerous", they say.

In 5 years of being with me , he never hurt another animal or a human, until he was left with my former girlfriend/assistant when my mother was on her death bed in Ohio. Tatiana did something to cause a fight to break out in which Stu was injured-his ear was torn. Ignoring my instructions to let him out of the locked small office to chill out , she went in and closed the door behind her, and then cornered Stu. Then, she attempted to slide a harness over his torn ear, when he already was wearing a collar. He apparently bit her, though we are taking her word for's probable that he did. He bit her twice on the same arm and retreated to a corner, so said she on her first explanation to me. However, once her mother convinced her to sue me for $6 MILLION (she settled for $300K), her "dog-bite" lawyer instructed her to weave a dramatic and tearful tale for Animal Control which included her being "dragged" back and forth across the floor by a, supposedly, death-seeking Stu. "I knew he would kill me." "I was screaming...I had to crawl out of the room after playing dead."

Well, not even that story persuaded the Hearing Examiner. He found Stu to be "NOT DANGEROUS" and reasoned that Stu had been provoked. But Captain Helen Brakemeir stuck her big thumb in the pie and before the report from the Hearing Examiner could even get to the GM, she wrote what is now known as The Brakemeir Memo, in which she disagrees with Mossman and lobbies for Stu to be killed because it was a "mauling" and he is "dangerous." Stuckey, who had just been asked to resign, rubber stamped the letter written by Brakemeir.

Now, four years later, it seems that someone in the Mayor's office (or perhaps Debbie Knaan, because I exposed her for having ex parte communications with appellant parties and witnesses while she was already selected to be a "quasi judge") still has it in for me and will not allow the Board to do what the Board seems to want to do--put an end to this nightmare and send S
tu home.

The City Attorney's offer is this (in an email...not even a letter):

They won't kill Stu as settlement of the case (and my lawsuit against the City), but he cannot come home. He must go to a "sanctuary" or "approved kennel." Basically, he will spend the rest of his life, like the last 4 years, confined. He does not deserve that and has not deserved any of this. If you agree, then please come to the Commission meeting on Tuesday May 26, 2009 and tell the Board they are wrong to listen to the City Attorney. Especially since the City Attorney has just lost his job!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009
6:00 P.M.
Exposition Park
Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Regional Branch Library

3900 South Western Avenue.
Los Angeles, CA 90062
click for Google map

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Off-Topic but a worthy subject and a worthier cause...

Many of you are familiar with The Kris Kelly Foundation (KKF)

KKF does very fine rescue work and goes the extra mile in ensuring that abused animals get rescued and placed in forever, loving homes. Now Kris needs our help in 2 ways:


BABY (before) BABY (after)

and Luna...

  1. to rescue a rescue dog- cost about $500.
  2. to recover financially from a false pledge of financial responsibility for two mange-ridden dogs who were brought back from hell, by KKF at a cost of about $3000.
The stories which make us ask for your help (as if the photos above aren't enough...):
  1. "Belle" is an adult Bearded Collie mix who was abandoned by her family after a divorce.
She was rescued by KKF by way of Linzi Glass ( and placed in a successful foster situation. After a time, Belle's fosters needed to move out of the country and gave her back to KKF. KKF placed her in boarding temporarily until a new foster could be found. An opportunity for Belle to receive training and some real fresh air arose and Linzi took Belle out to San Bernadino County to hang out with the Great Pyrenees Rescue of So Cal. Since then, the owner of GPASC has promised to return Belle, said she was ready for adoption and then it turned crazy.

The woman began to call Belle "evil" and threatens now to have the dog, Belle, killed by her vet. This woman is at the end of her rescue career and seems to be a bit overwhelmed by her over 100 dogs on her property with no visible staff. KKF must now go to court to get an order for Belle's return. The initial filing fee for the case is $350. Further court costs will bring this to at least $500; and due to situation number 2 (below) funds are tight. Please donate at the Chip In box above.

2. The Downey Two: Baby and Luna.

KKF rescued "Baby, " a Min Pin mix when she was 1 month old. She was suffering from mange and would have been killed at the Downey pound. The second dog, Luna, is a Chihuahua who also was in danger of being killed due to her medical condition. Because of the the dedication of KKF and KKF volunteers, both dogs are now healthy and in foster homes. A well-known and very wealthy woman and multi-hyphenate (author- etc.-etc. NO. IT IS NOT CAROLE DAVIS! Carole does what she says she will do. ed. 6.2.09), who is involved in puppy mill eradication pledged to KKF all of the cost of the treatment for the Downey Two. About $3000. Now however she refuses to honor her pledge. KKF held a rummage sale last weekend and was able to raise some money, but the vet care for the Downey Two is not fully paid. Please...I know times are tight. Whatever you can do , no matter how small, will help.

All monies will first go to the rescue of Belle from this unstable woman, because a Court Action must be filed as soon as the filing fees can be raised which are less than $400... After that, the money will go to the fund for the Downey Two.

This post and donation plea is done with the cooperation and consent of The Kris Kelly Foundation. All donations go directly to the PayPal account of The Kris Kelly Foundation.

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