17 October 2012

Letter to Wendy Gruel and Eric Garcetti, running for mayor of Los Angeles:

Dear Wendy and Eric,

Several years ago, taxpayers voted over $200,000,000 to rebuild LA’s Animal Shelters.  Yet, during the past 5 years, despite a new pro-animal general manager, there really has been no progress towards no kill.  The current save rate is still about 60%, no better than under Stuckey in 2005.  Seven years have passed, hundreds of millions spent on new shelters, more employees added, and absolutely no progress towards no kill.

Nathan Winograd, the nation’s foremost guru on no-kill, and a personal friend of mine, opined that there never will be progress towards no-kill in LA unless two things happen:  We have a dynamic, coalition building, Animal Services GM, and whoever the mayor is, that he or she get 100% behind the goal of making LA no kill by backing up that GM with whatever is necessary to make the city no-kill.

The largest problem seems to be the present kill-culture built into our shelter system, without the GM having the power to fire at will as some of the worst employees are both union and civil services protected.

Other cities across the country have gone no-kill even in these economically difficult times, though generally they are much smaller systems.  However, their success does show No-Kill can happen.

In fact, if Animal Services were decentralized, served by the seven separate shelters regarded as seven separate animal care systems, run independently, yet cooperatively, perhaps by separate non-profit groups, allowing all current deadwood personal to be laid off or shifted to departments where they could not kill animals, we could perhaps see rapid advances towards no-kill.

Wendy and Eric, I am asking you both, can either of you be that mayor who makes no kill happen in LA by standing behind a truly No-Kill goal and No-Kill General manager, doing whatever is necessary to make No-Kill happen?


  1. there was Hanuman , now there will be Muzika , the God lover of cats !
    you make my heart burning , i love you Lover of the cats !

  2. Very good letter Ed.

    The kids and I visited our local animal shelter today. We try to go at least once a week so the kids can play with the kittens. In the shelter right now is 2 year old cat with her 6, 8 week old kittens. It was hard to not bring them home and even harder to resist the puppy dog eyes and heart felt pleadings of my 5 children who made promises of being the best pet care takers in the world if...

    While the children were playing with the kittens, or maybe it was the kittens playing with the children...hard to tell which, I had a talk with the two girls who care for the animals that come in.

    I was concerned with their statistics in regard to the number of animals they put down and the ones that are adopted.

    I was stunned at what I found out. See, I have a weakness. I usually believe the best of people and of situations. I was sure my findings would match what I had imagined they were. After all, they were nice people, the shelter was clean, and I always saw someone walking a dog. (You can keep quiet now Ed!)

    I found out that of the 550 cats that they had taken in since the first of the year, over half of them had been put down. My emotional reaction was so intense that I began to lose consciousness, when one of my daughters got my attention by calling my name.

    After a minute or so I was able to continue the conversation. I remarked at how terrible this was. She said that it was not easy for them either and went on to tell me that the feral cats are caught in traps and brought to the shelter where they put them down.

    I asked, "Why, why would someone catch a cat just to have it killed?" She told me that there are a lot of horse owners here in Northern Virginia and the cats feces and urine on the grass causes the horses to get a pancreatic disease. So the horse owners catch the cats and have them killed.

    I felt so saddened, so hurt, nauseated even. My kids had a hard time processing what they heard. They had many questions that I had nor have answers for.

    I feel so helpless...

  3. Ed, I think the real mark of your attainment is your ability to endure your followers' endlessly self-indulgent comments.

  4. it seems most courageous to sign when we do criticism !


  5. I think you are right Sylviane...

    I made the comment that says, "Including yours anonymous."


  6. coucou miss Lila !
    thank you to answer ... In the same time i think that anonymus is in part right , we speak very much about your "self-indulgent", always "me" and my minds , "me" and my sufferings but i think we have to do that in first and see it before to make all that disappearing in the so marvellous love presence of Edj . I would like so much to become only love and forget all that shadows and surely it is the same wish for you !
    when i am writting you i am listening "pilgrim heart" with Krishna Das , it is so beautiful , it makes much softness in the heart !
    much love for you