Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ed Boks welcomed "home" by Prescott, AZ.

"As for Mr. Boks' Prescott roots, those of you who were around back in 1976 might remember the old Sears & Roebuck that used to be located on the square. If you happened to purchase an appliance from that old Sears more than 30 years ago, their bright young manager of appliance repair, Edward Boks, might have helped with the service on that machine.

Welcome, Mr. Boks, from the board, staff, volunteers and animals of the Yavapai Humane Society. Glad to have you on board!"

Read More

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pam Ferdin and ADL LA Give Official Blessing for Brenda Barnette's Appointment!

 by Jeff de la Rosa

 Yes, it is snowing in the Matrix. There are some interesting insights on Phyllis Daugherty's negative campaign against Brenda Barnette as pick for the new G.M. of Los Angeles Animal Services; and also some thoughts about  emails supposedly being circulated by "a candidate" who was not chosen. Not positive who that is so no names from BW either (except for the one we know).

For the overwhelming most part, ADL says Barnette is absolutely the right pick. We are encouraged to compliment the Mayor's team and ...(well, that part I can't participate in).... and join together to rally around Barnette. Okay. If the harshest critic of this Department says "go"...I will go...and be observant, yet hopeful.

As I've said many times although skeptically...I want Barnette to be "the One." Here's hoping.

From ADL-LA:


June 23, 2010 12:23 AM
ADL-LA members have spent not one, not two, not three but FOUR days now talking to people from the Seattle Humane Society (SHS) regarding Brenda Barnette, our Mayor's choice for the new LAAS General Manager. Two of our ADL-LA members took off work for one full day just to make as many phone calls and get as much info as possible from employees, volunteers, rescuers and administrators who were willing to speak to them. We have basically put Brenda Barnette under our microscope. So with all the humility we can muster, we have to say that even though ADL-LA members personally scorn Jim Bickhart, the Mayor, Jimmy Blackman and others who have for years been complicit in the slaughter of animal inside LAAS, we must now give credit where credit is due. They were absolutely correct in their choice for the new General Manager and their choice seems to imply that they are ready and willing for major positive change and a new vision, a LIFE SAVING VISION, for the homeless and lost animals of Los Angeles.

From all our research, which we began right after we heard that Barnette was going to be appointed by the Mayor in an LA Times blog last Wednesday night, we have learned that not only did Jim Bickhart, the Mayor, Jimmy Blackman and anyone else who was behind her appointment make the most intelligent choice, but it's a monumental choice that will finally accelerate the LAAS shelters from being evil killing dungeons into the beacon of a life affirming sheltering system. +/- Read more...

ADL-LA was able to speak with many individuals including volunteers, employees and rescuers who work or have worked with Barnette on a daily basis and we even spoke to one of the individuals involved with the superb and large foster network program that Brenda Barnette set up herself and which has been so successful in saving the lives of hundreds upon hundreds of animals who would otherwise be dead right now.

In fact, in complete contrast to what we were told by employees in NYC and AZ regarding how inept, disorganized and duplicitous Ed Boks was while in charge of the homeless and lost animals of their cities, we have gotten irrefutable evidence and information about Barnette's programs that she set up with the Seattle humane community, the public and her employees which has saved the lives of thousands of animals since Barnette was appointed CEO of SHS in 2006. This is why (and we can't believe we are saying this,) but we at ADL-LA are asking our readers and supporters to e-mail Jim Bickhart, Jimmy Blackman and Mayor Villaraigosa and thank them for doing something that will save the lives of THOUSANDS of our city's homeless and lost animals. Their
e-mails are at the end of this post!

Unfortunately there are a few people, (there always are) who ironically have NEVER even worked with Barnette or even MET the woman who are circulating confusing, nasty and false e-mails about her. It is quite incongruous that all the people we spoke to that know Barnette personally and/or have worked along side Barnette at SHS and at ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation) have said nothing but amazing things about her. Yet a minority of so called animal welfarists here in LA who don't even know the woman, spreading nasty and completely false information about her. They definitely have their own personal axes to grind and it saddens ADL-LA tremendously (and the animals inside the LAAS shelters right now,) that a small minority are putting their ego's and their misinformation BEFORE what is best for the lost and homeless animals of LA. It's no wonder why many view LA's humane welfare community as a bunch of competitive, mean spirited, negative individuals who want change, yet fear that very change. Some have even called the animal welfare community here in LA 'kooks' who will never "get their act together!" We must prove these people WRONG! We can and MUST "get our act together" and get behind a woman who will not only be the first female to be appointed as General Manager for LAAS, but who is one of the most progressive, humane shelter leaders in the nation.

One of these individuals spreading untruths about Barnette we are very saddened to say, was a candidate for the GM position who obviously didn't get the job. She began spearheading a witch hunt against this superb and progressive shelter leader immediately after hearing the Mayor's decision. ADL-LA admits that this candidate is very knowledgeable about LAAS and has great ideas, and suggestions regarding reducing the killing inside our six city shelters, BUT. . . . she has no track record of ever doing it herself. Barnette on the other hand has a PROVEN STELLAR RECORD of implementing programs, policies and procedures in conjunction with employees, volunteers, a huge foster network, rescuers and even the PUBLIC that has brought the Seattle Humane Shelter to a 92% SAVE RATE! The numbers, and we have checked them out thoroughly through the Asolimar Accords (and they DON'T lie) show her save rate as consistently being between 91% and 92% for the past three years.

It would take ADL-LA hours to type in all the quotes and information we have obtained on this lady and needless to say it would be way too long for one post; so we're going to have to send them out in a series of posts. So here goes installment #1!

From what we have found out Barnette is a female shelter LEADER who is nationally recognized and who not only has the skill set to implement live saving programs and think outside the box, but has the vision as well. So please delete any e-mails from those people who have never worked with Barnette or have axes to grind with her personally and who are attempting to obstruct her appointment. ADL-LA says SHAME ON THEM! Not ONE of these obstructionists has ever run a shelter or better yet, turned a high kill shelter into a shelter that now saves 92% of the animals they take in (and they are an OPEN shelter by the way; they don't turn ANYONE away.) Instead of our entire humane community rejoicing and rallying around the Mayor and Ms. Barnette, a few bad apples are trying to spoil her stellar reputation of saving more animal lives on record than practically any other shelter in the of nation.

This time around the Mayor has chosen a winner to lead LAAS and he's handing her to us on a silver platter and we should all rejoice, not only for the animals whose lives WILL BE SAVED by having such a capable leader at the helm, but for ourselves. In fact some people from other states who know of her abilities are actually JEALOUS that Los Angeles was able to get someone of Barnett's caliber to run our city shelters! They want her!!

So we give you two of the many quotes we have gotten over the past four days.
This first one is a quote from Amber Yoo who worked along side Barnette for three years at SHS. We will be sending out more quotes in our future installments.

" I have worked closely with Brenda for three years at Seattle Humane and I can confidently say she is one of the nation’s best leaders in animal welfare. The numbers speak for themselves. She took an aging, overwhelmed shelter that was high kill, killing many of the animals it “rescued” and transformed it into a cutting-edge community center that saved 91.5% of the animals that came through its doors. She did this by inspiring the staff to embrace a no kill philosophy * and by engaging the community in its mission.

Wonderful things happen when you have a leader who inspires staff and engages the community in creative, life-saving solutions. Soon we were able to expand our concern from the animals coming through our doors to the animals in our region. We traveled several times a week to other shelters in the community and rescued animals from death row.

As our life-saving reputation grew, the community called on us to help in emergency situations. In June 2009 we rescued 90 American Eskimo dogs during one of the largest puppy mill busts in the country. Brenda immediately reached out to the volunteer foster network she had established. When the rescue van pulled into the driveway, we literally had a line of foster families waiting to take them home. The foster families provided the one-on-one attention that these scared and neglected dogs needed in order to learn what it was like to be a cherished pet. Today, all 90 dogs are happy, healthy and loved.

The volunteer foster network is one of many examples of how Brenda engaged the community in our mission. As Brenda always says, foster homes “literally expand the shelter walls—allowing us to save even more lives.” For example, only 150 cats could comfortably be housed at our shelter, but thanks to our foster network, we were able to care for upwards of 400 cats at any given time.

Another way Brenda involved the community was by partnering with local rescue groups. In 2008, Brenda’s vision of a community-wide partnership to save lives came to fruition with the first annual “Catapalooza”. Seattle Humane hosted six organizations in a community-wide, family-oriented, fun-filled cat adoption bonanza and in two days found homes for 146 orphaned kitties.

Ultimately, by uniting the community in our mission to save lives, we began to break adoption records. For the fiscal year of 2008-09, our adoption rate was the second highest in Seattle Humane’s 113-year history. That same year, we also experienced the lowest return rate ever – which means we were making quality, long-term matches. When I left Seattle Humane, this trend was continuing. It seemed like every month, we were breaking an adoption record.

As I said above, wonderful things happen when you have a leader who inspires staff and engages the community toward creative, life-saving solutions. If the community of Los Angeles' goal is to save as many animal lives as possible, then Brenda is the leader who can make that vision a reality.

* There were only two scenarios where we considered euthanasia: for those animals who were so sick that they could not be saved and for those who were a danger to the community. The decision to end a life was extremely serious—and always saddening."

This next quote is from Lisa Simmons who was the Executive Assistant when Barnette was Executive Director of Pets in Need (1998-2003)

"Brenda Barnette is a true visionary in the animal welfare movement. As Executive Director of Pets In Need, Brenda implemented a number of programs that today are incorporated in most shelters striving to reduce and end the killing of our companion animals.

Under her direction, Pets In Need became one of the core shelters in the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program, a program training veterinarians and veterinary technicians how to best practice humane, progressive and compassionate shelter medicine.

She started a program where the shelter could help those community members who were feral cat caregivers wanting to practice TNR. Cat traps and trapping training was provided at no charge, and a list of low to no cost spay/neuter feral cat clinics was provided.

She also created the foster kitten program which saves on average 500-600 kittens annually. Many of these kittens come from feral cats. Brenda created other successful programs that saved the lives of hundreds of our animals. If you need more information please let me know. Los Angeles is so lucky to have Brenda as their new general manager."

Please send thanks to:

ADL-LA Disclaimer: Nothing contained in this publication is intended to encourage or incite illegal acts. Some of the information in the posts have been received anonymously and ADL-LA cannot make any guarantees for the accuracy of these reports. Any views or comments stated in this report are not necessarily the views of ADL-LA.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Phyllis Daugherty Digs In and Unearths Brenda Barnette's Other Records

Amidst the flood of glowing adoration of our new General Manager, there is one voice standing clearly in opposition. Keep in mind, that Phyllis has described the Board of Commissioner of L.A. Animals Services as "a bunch of rescuers" who are "unqualified."

The comments in response to Ms. Daugherty's article are very interesting. A link is provided at the end.

Villaraigosa: AKC Rep Brenda Barnette New L.A. Animal Services Top Dog


Opinion by Phyllis M Daugherty
(14 Hours Ago) in Politics
After a year-long, nationwide search he called the most intensive he’s ever seen, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced on June 17, 2010, that Brenda Barnette, CEO of the Seattle Humane Society, is most qualified to make the City’s policy decisions regarding the lives and welfare of the dogs and cats living in Los Angeles and how they will affect residents.

Barnette’s other job in Seattle is Legislative Representative for the American Kennel Club (AKC), which she stated at the media conference, amounts to merely hitting the “forward key” when the world’s largest purebred dog-breeding registry sends her information on issues to oppose or support. 
Wow, that caused a collective gasp by the small group of invitation-only spay/neuter advocates present, most of whom were longtime animal devotees who celebrated with Lakers-style cheers and tears in 2008 when  Councilman Richard Alarcon spearheaded, and the City Council passed, what is termed the toughest spay/neuter ordinance in the country. At a recent  news event at the West LA shelter,  “CA SPAY” license plate availability was announced, a concept introduced in Sacramento by Los Angeles-area Senator Alex Padilla. These plates are adorned with the artwork of  celebrity heartthrob Pierce Brosnan,  which  should  make any female  with even residual hormones willing to pay $50 extra to a statewide spay/neuter fund for an on-the-road reminder  that spaying or neutering stops the  breeding which results in companion pet overpopulation and euthanasia.
The timing and animal-shelter venue selected for  the Mayor’s  media event regarding Barnette could be termed  insensitive, if not intentionally torturous, for employees and others  present,  as a  handful of animal-shelter-worker union reps and  labor leaders  held up bright pink papers reminding the Mayor  that at the same moment he announced Barnette’s appointment to her $170,000/year (plus benefits) gig, the Personnel Department was handing  layoff notices to 14  Animal Services employees, including eight license canvassers who stretch a meager $35,000 a year salary to  feed  families and pay rent. This is not out of character for Villaraigosa, who a few months ago held a high-dollar, catered pre-Oscar party in his taxpayer-provided estate while employees begged for their jobs outside.
In a June 18 article ,”Mayor nominates outsider to run L.A. Animal Services,”  L.A. Daily News reporter Rick Orlov quotes the Mayor proclaiming, "Barnette has one of the nation’s strongest portfolios in animal shelter management, effective pet adoption and public education.” 
So, let’s explore what, other than her long AKC affiliation, set Barnett apart and what elevated her above a reported 120 other candidates with municipal and/or private animal sheltering and varied management experience. We need to recall that the Mayor hired an expensive Northern California search firm to aid his staff in compiling the “desired qualifications,” but, ultimately, the only mandated requirement for the GM position was a valid CA driver’s license, something Ms. Barnette undoubtedly intends to address soon.
The 2008-2009 Annual Report for the Seattle Humane Society states that a total of 5,979 dogs and cats were admitted for the entire year (less than L.A.’s smallest San Pedro shelter) and 4,652 were placed. A notation alerts us that over 3,000 animals were placed in foster situations and some may still be awaiting homes. This is a limited-entry facility (SHS calls it “adoption guaranteed”) which can selectively accept relinquished pets and which takes in a few strays from several small cities.  Such agencies traditionally avoid impounding potentially or obviously sick animals to control spread of contagious diseases and medical expenses.
By contrast, the six new or recently expanded Los Angeles City animal care centers took in 54,110 unwanted, stray, abandoned, sick, ill and injured dogs and cats last year.  Of these,  they returned-to-owner or re-homed 31,750--one of the best statistics in the nation for an open-entry municipal shelter (which means “no animal turned away”). This “save rate” is especially commendable considering that many of the animals have demonstrated unsafe, aggressive behaviors before or after entering the shelter, which makes adopting them to a new owner inadvisable, or they have serious or terminal physical challenges that cannot be remedied.
When asked by a reporter at the press conference how she plans to improve adoption rates in Los Angeles, Brenda Barnette answered that she had only about 1,000,000 people in Seattle to be involved with fostering and other programs, and there are 4,000,000 in Los Angeles; therefore, more people will be available to help. She seemed to miss the point that those 4,000,000 people dumped almost 55,000 pets last year. When pressed for more details, she didn’t offer any. 
As he prepares to hand over one of the world’s largest public animal care and control systems and a vital Los Angeles public-safety agency to someone whose work history shows only experience in donation-based nonprofit organizations and who has no governmental-budget or municipal-shelter management experience, perhaps the Mayor should look at some of the areas where Ms. Barnette seems to have run into some snags before.
 A 9/25/09 Seattle Post-Intelligencer article entitled, “Humane Society says it can pick up slack in animal control – but how?,” quotes Ms. Barnette declaring: "The Seattle Humane Society is absolutely committed to taking care of the animals in King County," Chief Executive Brenda Barnette said in a statement. "Our board, our staff and our volunteers are dedicated to this."  However, the Post continues, “Barnette struck a much less optimistic tone last month, when she told reporter Chris Grygiel there is "no way" the agency could take care of an additional 10,000 animals a year in operations that could cost $5 million annually. "We just couldn't do it," she told Grygiel.”
In an update, Barnette indicated that, in response to the possible closure of the King County Animal Care and Control shelter, “… the Seattle Humane Society shelter can double its dog capacity overnight by not offering boarding care services. Plans have also been drawn to bring in portable units to handle significantly more cats.” However, she added, “I do have one huge concern…Executive Triplett mentioned stray hold as part of the animal control component. We are not amicable to receiving dogs (or other animals) after KCAC has held them for 3 days, due to disease control and unnecessary stress on the animals.”
Apparently in making her initial offer Ms. Barnette was not experienced enough to realize that disease control and stress are, unfortunately, the norm for every large municipal shelter, whether the General Manager is amicable or not. At its confirmation hearings, the Los Angeles City Council must make sure Ms. Barnette is fully aware that L.A. Animal Services is mandated to pick up and hold strays for owner redemption and to protect public health and safety. Many of these animals are, or become, ill and spread disease. However, in contrast to a private humane society, they cannot be turned away for that reason.
L.A. Animal Services also provides law enforcement, cruelty/neglect investigations, and emergency response to animals during major fires and other disasters. These are critical areas of expertise which Ms. Barnette’s may also lack. This is a serious concern, because in order to gain the support and trust of employees who are often at risk, the head of the Department must be competent to make quick, experienced decisions in life-threatening situations for officer, animals and public safety. 
On September 17, 2009, there was another indication that Ms. Barnette lacks basic familiarity with  legal mandates regarding animal-health issues. A Bakersfield TV news broadcast, “Controversy Over Kern County Dogs Transferred to Seattle Arises,” reported that volunteers had driven a total of 188 small dogs to the Seattle Humane Society in WA without vaccinations. According to the report, the CEO of the Seattle Humane Society, Brenda Barnette, said she was not aware the dogs needed vaccinations until she was advised by the Washington Department of Agriculture of this violation.  
This brought public outrage that animals from the local King County shelter were not being given a chance to transfer to Seattle Humane as Barnette had previously agreed. Critics claimed that bringing in out-of-state dogs reduced the number of homes available for local animals, which would then be euthanized.  An e-mail response from Barnette stated that the animals in the King County shelter were sick and that is why Seattle Humane brought dogs from out of the area. Also, the Animal Control Officers’ Guild blogspot, claims, “…Barnette keeps repeating she will not take our animals because they are ‘diseased.’”
According to L.A. Animal Services Interim GM Kathy Davis, volunteers from WA have driven to Los Angeles in a large truck three times this year to take a total of 180 small dogs to the Seattle Humane Society. The Los Angeles dogs were spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and provided with health certificates (at Los Angeles taxpayer expense) before transport. Ms. Davis said another sixty dogs are scheduled for a future trip. She also confirmed that Seattle Humane did not reimburse any of the costs. However, the Seattle Humane Society website states dog adoption fees are from $199-$275, and Ms. Barnette announced that all the dogs were quickly adopted.
These are not the only controversies in which Ms. Barnette has been embroiled.  Shortly after she became head of Seattle HS, and with no municipal animal-control experience, Brenda Barnette became a member of a Citizens’ Advisory Committee which hired an outside consultant to evaluate the King County animal shelter, serving Seattle and surrounding areas. There was no denial by King County personnel that improvements were needed at the shelter, but management and employees contended that much of the problem was created by inadequate funding and long Council-mandated holding periods for animals which were not adoptable, in an attempt to make the shelter “no kill.” This practice results in overcrowding, fighting, injury and continual disease outbreaks.
Instead of attempting to develop ways to assist the shelter, the report indicated that the King County shelter should have its funding revoked in favor of a private partnership;  i.e., “privatization.”   The Seattle Humane Society then began negotiations to take all the animals housed at the King County shelter.  In a preliminary agreement, Brenda Barnette  agreed to take all animals for  $200 each.  This later changed to $400 per animal, pending a $2-million grant from the County to expand Seattle Humane Society facilities. 
In a press release dated 12/11/09, the Animal Control Officer’s Guild demanded release of public records regarding the actions of the Advisory Committee and stated, “One of the advisory committee members heads the Seattle Humane Society, and resigned after the emails were requested via a Public Records Request.” (ACOG Press Release, 12/11/09).
After a tough battle, the efforts of shelter employees prevailed. On June 15, 2010--two days before Ms. Barnette’s Los Angles appointment was proclaimed by Villaraigosa--the Seattle Times announced, “King County budget panel OKs animal-control restructuring,” and reported that a county spokesperson stated, “…closing the county shelter and sending animals to the Humane Society was "not an option”…”
We will never know whether a different outcome regarding the shelter might have made a last-minute change in Ms. Barnette’s decision to leave Seattle. According to the Seattle Times, she was still asserting on June 16, 2010, that Seattle Humane could take all the animals.  And, it appears other efforts to dismantle the shelter and privatize animal care services continued to the last minute.  A group called “KCACC Exposed” replaced the advisory committee on which Ms. Barnette originally served; and, in a June 14 letter the co-chairs wrote to former King County Councilman/now County Executive Officer Constantine, “…over the past three years, we have worked by your side to create instability in the system, for the very reason that a broken, failing system should not be stable.”  This is a very strange statement and raises the question of what benefit there was in destroying the County shelter system—and to whom?
A comment posted on the Seattle Post Intelligencer news site by keejay  explains why there is need for concern about privatizing public animal shelters and adopting a “no kill” philosophy. He writes about one of the members of the group trying to stop funding for the County shelter:
“Note what Claire Davis proposes hidden away in her recommendations in the Community Stakeholder review.  ‘county should open up the county code and reevaluate the regulations related to licensing, pet limits, and special that the county can ensure that none of its existing regulations are inhibiting the development of a model, No Kill program.’ 

“Do you know what that means? Take AWAY animal control laws, like breeder licensing, pet limit laws (that prevent hoarding situations). Watch the puppy mill breeders, dog fighters, and hoarders escalate with NO LAWS to deal with them.

“You want to see more dog attacks? The dog fighter breeders will increase and get worse with relaxed or no regulations. And King County citizens and animals will pay the price.”

Ms. Barnette has also been beleaguered by labor issues at Seattle HS.  According to a press release issued on October 20, 2009, by the Animal Control Officers’ Guild (ACOG), “The SHS with around 70 staff has had over 60 employees turnover in the last 18 months, this is over 75%!  Staff fears this high rate of attrition is not just the nature of the job, but from a complete lack of attention to training, employee retention and morale by management leading to a lack of continuity in care of animals.” A 10/29/09 posted comment states, “ Their labor turnover rates were understandable, albeit quite high, when their new CEO first started, have continued at an alarming rate to this day…What really hurts is the subtle retaliation in spite of promises to the contrary.”
Facing further furloughs at L.A. Animal Services and loss of all licensing canvassers could seem a crippling blow to new GM Brenda Barnette’s efforts to raise revenue for the agency;  however, a letter to the editor of the Kent Reporter on 10/16/09 from Sgt. John Diel of the ACOG stated, “…Brenda Barnette also stopped selling King County pet licenses starting the beginning of 2009.  This realizes a loss of around $100,000 dollars to the King County Animal Care and Control Program!”  Ouch, that does not bode well for the L.A. City Council’s new push to have Animal Services vigorously pursue dog licensing revenue.
Although she downplayed it at the press conference, Brenda Barnette and her daughter, Mary Alice Davis, are apparently deeply involved in dog shows and purebred dogs, which casts serious doubt on her ability to create coalitions with the vast Los Angeles rescue network which abhors more pets being added to an existing overpopulation—intentionally or by accident.  Barnette and/or Davis’ names appear on numerous Internet dog show rosters as breeders and/or owners of various dogs back to 2003.  On May 22, 2007, they both were approved for Active Membership in the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America, and Brenda Barnette’s name appears on the announcement of the March 13-14, 2010 AKC trials of the Seattle Kennel Club as the AKC Legislative Representative.
While working in San Francisco as a program-development director for the SPCA, Ms. Barnette also served  as President of the Board for the  Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center Project (CCP).  But it is alarming that, according to her current social and professional networking sites, Brenda Barnette does not list strong interests or affiliations other than those related to purebred dogs and kennel clubs. Most animal-control managers boast a string of involvements in national and local animal-control/humane organizations, which is essential to keep up with changes in the industry and legislation. There is righteous concern if, as the “top dog” at Los Angeles Animal Services, Ms. Barnette’s position on local ordinances and state  legislation continues to be dictated by the AKC.

Did you make it though? Read the comments.


35 Dogs Await Ed Boks's Genius at New AZ Post.

...and 32 cats. Well, how much harm can he do there? Last reported Executive Director salary is from their 2008 IRS Form 990:


View available animals...


In more interesting Arizona news, Chuck D. Calls Jan Brewer "A Hitler."

Share this blog...

Share |