News Index > Sortable News 10/06 - now > July 2008
Jennifer Pryor to Ed Boks - LA Calif.

First a note from ADL-LA:

If you log on to this web site, NKE nokillequation.html  you can see that No Kill Solutions has programs, policies, and protocols which have been proven to decrease the kill rate and drastically increase the adoption rate in the city shelters where they have been implemented. Why should Jennifer Pryor or her "steering committee" (mentioned in her letters below), who are NOT experts in this field, try and reinvent the wheel?

If Ms. Pryor or her steering committee want to know how to implement multiple, daily off-site pet adoptions, she should consult No Kill Solutions. NKS has already implemented these and other programs at many municipal city shelters across the country, and have successfully and drastically increased their adoption rates.

If NKS has done the work of coming up with step by step instructions and formulas on what is needed and how to implement these types of programs, why wouldn't Ed Boks "inner circle" be taking advantage of this information? Is it ego? Is it lethargy? Or is it a case of not wanting to make Ed Boks mad? This lack of immediate action by Boks, the City, and those within the humane community is simply allowing more animals to be killed every day; therefore we all have the blood of these animals on our hands.

So our question for all of you reading this post is, what can YOU do about the fact that Villaraigosa and his staff refuse to carry through with the pledge made in late 2005 to hire No Kill Solutions to come in and consult, hire a general manager who would spear head the implementation of these No Kill programs and work closely with No Kill Solutions to make the city of LA No Kill? Nathan Winograd has stated many times directly to the humane community, and has apparently even told individuals like Jimmy Blackman personally, that if the City was interested and showed some level of sincerity, he would not only help them recruit a true leader who is able to implement the No Kill Equation, but if they hired the right person he would help that person through his consulting work to make LA into a No Kill city.

But Winograd has also made it very clear to the LA humane community that in order for him to consult and help LA become No Kill, there would have to be some show of commitment by the Mayor's Office to really make this No Kill model work; and as of this time, there is NO such commitment from the city.

We suggest to all of you that we must be more proactive in helping these poor suffering animals who are being killed inside LAAS; and the ONLY thing that is holding back a victory for these animals is YOU! If you are willing to demand that Villaraigosa keep his 2005 pledge then this will happen.

On the STOP THE KILLING web site there are all the addresses, e-mails and contact information you need to get in touch with ALL the big-wig "targets" and remind them CONSTANTLY that they work for YOU, and that they'd better start doing the right thing for these poor animals. Just go to and click on targets and go from there. There are also effective demonstrations that take place, which unfortunately only a very small minority of individuals have the courage to participate in. So it's really up to you. If you're content doing the same thing you've been doing for years, with few positive results to show for it, maybe you ought to start thinking about a new strategy!


If not YOU, then WHO?

If not NOW, then WHEN?


Pryor's most recent letters to Boks:

I just got off the phone call you made to me regarding my last email and I feel somewhat manipulated.
Here is why:
You called and asked me to "help you euthanize the dogs" and when I suggested that that was better than warehousing them where they fight and get sick then you suggested that the Steering committee, of whom on this email there are 4, never followed through on concrete suggestions who would fund. I suspect that Pnina, Randee, Kari, Lawrence and myself will challenge that remark.
( For example, we agreed to have a volunteer based education program on weekends for the general public and we also suggested Special Events for adoptions/rescues).

But most disturbing to me Ed is that you are now blaming the management of East Valley.
Allow me to enlighten you: the East Valley New Hope program and management is one of the most rescue friendly shelters. How I know this is because Pryor's Planet pulls from there a lot.. More importantly is the fact that the CRISIS is not just occurring at East Valley but it is just as alarming at North, South and at Harbor, a brand new shelter.

You are placing the blame on your subordinates, hard working people who are the back bone of LAAS.
I would humbly suggest that you might begin taking some responsibility; yes, foreclosures are another part of the equation but the overcrowding in the shelter is certainly exacerbated by the housing crisis but absolutely not solely responsible and certainly not due to a lack of management, it is coming from the top because of the numbers game.

In closing Ed, I find the fact that you called me personally rather than addressing the many people whom I have been including in these emails, disrespectful to those on this email and myself. I most definitely had the impression you wish me to be quiet. I cannot sit in silence as I, and many others, watch this catastrophe unfold nor will I ever be quiet until the conditions in the shelters improve. Again, I must remind you Ed, the issue is that this is Los Angeles Ed and NO KILL will take many years to achieve and certainly, warehousing will not expedite it.


Jennifer Lee Pryor

Respectfully, please don't reduce this to 'a shelter problem'....your workers are dedicated individuals who work to the bone to keep up, they always have been!
This is a systemic problem which starts at the top. You are the one who needs to understand, we can only achieve NO KILL through education and outreach; no matter how many shelters you build, they will fill up and you will be warehousing as the case is now!

When we had the "steering committee" meetings we offered to create educational programs and multicultural outreach programs to the public that would be run by volunteers at no cost to the department.
You never took us up on it.
We offered adoption fairs to increase adoptions, you never took us up on that!
I can go on, however, I am quite sure you get the point.

To resolve this agonizing crisis, it must come from you Ed, not the shelters, nor the hardworking staff.

Jennifer Pryor

7/11/2008 11:48 AM

I understand your quest to make the city NO KILL, however, without an education /outreach program in our community; you are actually warehousing the animals. I have been to the shelters, there are up to 5 to 6 large dogs in a kennel and over ten small dogs in puppy cages. This has reached crisis proportion.

Many cannot get to their food, others hide their cubbies in terror, the older ones are paralyzed with fear and all are unable to sleep at night. It is unsafe for the dogs, it is unsafe for the staff and more importantly, LAAS has become inhumane.

The ideal of NO KILL is phenomenal, however, it will take far more than simply stopping putting down animals in order to achieve it. Ed, you must begin listening to people and do something about it.

NO KILL cannot work by ware housing.

Jennifer Lee Pryor

First, a note from ADL-LA:

ADL-LA applauds Jennifer Pryor for FINALLY being assertive about the horrific atrocities going on inside the six LA shelters under the leadership of Ed Boks. In the past, Jennifer was supportive of Boks and one of his biggest allies when he first arrived on the scene here in LA. In fact, she was critical of ADL-LA for not giving Ed Boks more of a chance (ADL watched him for six months before becoming an outspoken critic of his failure to implement the programs required to stop the needless killing of companion animals). Another individual, Shannon Keith, a prolonged Boks supporter, refusing to allow during a press conference/toy drive she organized, two ADL-LA members entrance to the East Valley shelter to ask Boks some hard hitting questions about his previous work history. The press release sent out regarding Keith's event stated how wonderful Ed Boks was as General Manager of LAAS and other misconceptions regarding him. For the animals being slaughtered inside LAAS, this was a grave disappointment to activists throughout LA. But, those opposed to Ed Boks simply focused on exposing him and refused to allow those who were protecting him to get in their way.

Unfortunately, an individual who ADL-LA thought was an animal protectionist, is not only remaining silent about truths she knows regarding Boks, but went as far as to state that if she ever went "public with things she was told by Ed Boks, he would be fired from LA immediately." This individual has never come forward because of her own self-interests that include a personal relationship with Boks.

ADL-LA's question for all of you reading this is: How many animals were MURDERED while some, like Jennifer Pryor, were giving Boks "a chance", long after his intentions and methods were obviously ineffective? If it were YOUR dog or cat, or any other family member imprisoned inside LAAS when Boks took over, and with your knowing about Boks' history of being incompetent and failing to implement easy No Kill solutions at his previous jobs, would you have been so open to giving him a chance in LA???

Thousands of animals who could have been adopted through daily off-site adoption venues and other easy, cheap or free outreach programs implemented by Winograd's No Kill Solutions at other city shelters could have saved many of these innocent lives. But this was not to be. Unfortunately, this is STILL happening since it appears now, almost THREE YEARS AFTER Boks was appointed by Villaraigosa and his staff, that the most basic, practical and standard programs included in Winograd's No Kill Equation have NOT been implemented here in Los Angeles.

We should ALL feel guilty for allowing this slaughter to have continued and not risen up more strongly to demand that Boks be replaced two years ago. This is, unfortunately, exactly what many Germans did during World War II. They simply wanted to give Hitler a chance and then stayed silent when they realized the mass murder he was undertaking. Are we really going to allow this needless and senseless killing under Boks to continue? We should all ponder this question and come to our own conclusion, which will indeed bear witness to our character, our compassion and our wisdom.

If not YOU, then WHO?

If not NOW, then WHEN?



From: Jennifer

Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2008 10:01 AM
To: Ed Boks
Subject: As per our phone conversation Ed!..overcrowding and inhumane conditions at all the LAAS shelters!


You accepted the position of General Manager of LA Animal Services and pledged to be the architect of a no-kill Los Angeles . Your incompetence and lack of vision (not the staff�s) has left you with no alternative other than warehousing animals, which has become so extreme as to be inhumane.

True "no-kill" reserves euthanasia ONLY for animals who can NOT be rehabilitated. You, however, do an "end around" by warehousing animals until after a time, healthy and treatable animals become "irremediably suffering" or "aggressive" and are killed. Statistically you look like you have done your job. After all, no animal was killed for "time and space". But let�s be honest, Ed, this is a numbers game played out on paper. The animals are dead, and the majority were healthy or treatable when they were impounded into your "care."

You told me you are working on a "responsible" plan for the "alleviation of the stress" of overcrowding at the shelters. I just went on the LAAS website and saw your so-called "responsible" plan --- you have nearly TRIPLED the number of redlisted animals on the New Hope Alert List. Great solution, Ed!

Given the current crisis at the shelters, I understand the need for euthanasia. What I don�t understand --- what none of us understand --- is the need for inhumane warehousing of animals while you are doing NOTHING to increase adoptions, increase owner retention, and implement educational and volunteer outreach programs (even programs created and presented to you by the humane community at no cost to the City). In addition, promised spay/neuter services are still not operating.

In an article you wrote some time ago, you stated "No-kill is achievable only if we work together to implement bold new strategies and interventions that get results." Inspiring, but empty words when not followed by ACTION. You have managed to alienate everyone who has offered you help (including me), and instead of taking responsibility, you blame your staff and the public for the overcrowded and inhumane conditions at the shelters. Stop pointing fingers, writing blogs, and schmoozing with the entertainment industry at every opportunity and start doing your job. Animals are suffering and dying, Ed, and no matter who you try to blame it on, the buck stops at YOUR desk.


Jennifer Lee Pryor
Director, Pryor's Planet

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