Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dear Commissioners (and Brenda Barnette):

Dear Commissioners-

I think you know that the animal community in Los Angeles is less than enthusiastic over the lingering doubts about Brenda Barnette's methods of attaining lower kill rate numbers. I have been contacted by numerous people in the community and also many supporters of my dog, Stu who remains in your impound system after 5 years of lies, broken promises and back room dealing.

While I am certainly willing to give Ms. Barnette a fair chance to show us what she intends to do-- and how-- and I don't care "what kind of clothes" she wears or "which church" she attends, I do care about the creepy tone of the various councilmembers' comments on the "pit bull problem." As you know, the problem is not within these wonderful creatures, it is in the back yards of those who breed them for profit and the cruelty of fighting.

Below is an email from the "open door" shelter from which Brenda Barnette has come which you have no doubt seen. This email was sent from Seattle Humane on the day of Ms. Barnette's appointment to GM of LAAS.

Please be advised that any similar policy, or plan to export pit and pit mixes to other cities to be killed there or the institution of in-shelter temperament testing will not be tolerated in Los Angeles. As a so-called "student" of Winograd's No Kill philosophy it is abhorrent that Barnette would have ever practiced what you read below. We are watching and listening. For many, many years the Board upon which you sit has forbidden temperament testing in our shelters and you must continue to do so. For the moment, we are at peace with the department and although Pamelyn Ferdin has decided to turn in her conscience, the rest of us have not done so.

Finally, while recorded versions of your meeting are useful for anyone who has the time to wade through hours of audio, written minutes which are promptly posted upon approval by the Board are essential for the public, especially now. You have allowed your Board secretary and Ms. Barth to keep the minutes of your meetings from the public for at least 4 months. Please have all approved minutes posted to the city's website without delay.

Thank you.

Jeff de la Rosa

P.S. For Winograd's opinion of this sort of testing, please see

Sent: 6/18/2010 1:15:01 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time
Subj: RE: Relinquish a dog


With any Pit Bull or Pit Bull mix we place for adoption embassadors to the breed. This means that the dog cannot have any previous history of aggression of any kind. If the dog does not have a history of aggression than the dog will recieve a behavior assessment after it has been surrendered to our shelter. During that assessment our behavior program manager and behavior team assess the dog's temperament. If the dog passes the behavior assessment then we place the dog out for adoption. If the dog does not pass the assessment we will not place the dog up for adoption. There are no rescue organizations that work with us and pit bulls . If the dog is not an adoption candidate with us the only option is euthenasia.

We do have a callback option. With a mandatory donation of 200$ at time of surrender we give you the oppportunity to claim your pet if he/she is not an adoption candidate with us. That $200 is not refundable.

We would like to speak with you about your dog's temperament and our policies before scheduling an appointment. You may leave us with a phone number where you can be best contacted.

Thank you,

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