Recently Nathan Winograd mischaracterized a portion of an email from me as suggesting LA’s spay/neuter law is a failure. This is typical of the divisive sniping endemic in all of Nathan’s self-aggrandizing philosophy.
The email quotes a portion of an email that says, “we can’t hide from the fact that veterinarians are raising their prices to a point where people cannot afford the services regardless of vouchers or financial assistance. We need some innovative thinking in addition to more mobile vans.”
Identifying this problem and developing a response is appropriate, and I am thankful that the Coalition for Pets & Public Safety took this admonition to heart and recently added another spay/neuter vehicle to the several already serving Los Angeles. Yet Nathan attempts to malign these types of strategic initiatives by obfuscating the facts with this slanted narrative: “Ed Boks made headlines in his support of a California sterilization law, Assembly Bill 1634. During legislative hearings, Boks admitted that the legislation was more about expanding the bureaucratic power of animal control than saving animals when a Senator asked: ‘Mr. Boks, this bill doesn’t even pretend to be about saving animals, does it?’ To which Boks responded: ‘No Senator, this is not about saving dogs and cats.’
Nathan conveniently quotes only the first portion of my response. The entire quote was, “No Senator, this is not about saving dogs and cats ALREADY IN THE SHELTER, it is about saving untold lives in the future by ensuring they are never born.”
Nathan then transitions to attacking the results of a successful spay/neuter ordinance in the City of Los Angeles, claiming I “demanded more officers to enforce it, and was granted over $400,000 in enforcement money to do so, money that was taken away from truly lifesaving programs. The end result was predictable. Almost immediately, LAAS officers threatened poor people with citations if they did not turn over the pets to be killed at LAAS, and that is exactly what occurred. For the first time in a decade, impounds and killing increased – dog deaths increase 24%.”
This is a horrific lie! What is the reason for such sensational fiction? In fact, LA Animal Services’ budget was reduced after the passing of this ordinance, and the department was the only City department at risk of a layoff of officers. While the dog euthanasia rate did increase 6% over the past year (NOT 24%) the intake rate also rose from 31,082 to 31,953 as a result of the economic down turn NOT BECAUSE OF THE ORDINANCE. All across the United States shelters are experiencing an increase in intakes as a result of the economy, but it seems to serve Nathan’s business purpose to vilify LA’s spay/neuter law.
After much tortured reasoning, Nathan claims I fault the spay/neuter ordinance for his exaggerated claim regarding an increase in killing, quoting an email from me that said, “the failure of our programs… explains why no progress has been made in reducing cat intakes in recent years.” He deliberately misses the point – I was NOT criticizing the spay/neuter ordinance, I was pointing to the failure of LA’S spay/neuter voucher programs and suggesting a restructuring of the programs to better target animals most in need. In fact, the number of cat deaths has actually decreased 5.6% since passage of the spay/neuter ordinance.
Nathan continues: “…to defray blaming the spay/neuter law for increased impounds, Boks and his killing apologists in Los Angeles… blamed the economy. But the data did not bear out the claim. While the City of Los Angeles had one of the lowest foreclosure rates (1.79) at the time, it saw killing increase following the passage of its spay/neuter law.”
Nathan has the luxury to pick and choose facts that support his presuppositions. He shoots his arrows and then paints a target around them. While the foreclosure rate for the entire City of Los Angeles might have been 1.79%, the animals most at risk in Los Angeles come from the East Valley and South LA where foreclosures rates have been as high as 2.23% compared to the national average of 2.04%.
Nathan personifies Oscar Wilde’s tenet that, “It is not enough that I succeed; my friends must also fail.” If he would spend as much time helping communities as he does sowing strife we would all be that much closer to achieving No-Kill.