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15 December 2007

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT FOR AB1634 - CALIFORNIA'S "UN-HEALTHY" PET ACT

Recently Amber, a California Healthy Pets Act blogger new to the scene (and to California) wrote " Bill Hemby Chairman of PetPAC has lied so many times about AB1634 California's Healthy Pets ACT that we lost count."  Since my curiosity was piqued, I thought I would click on the link.  What to my wondering eyes did appear but a sad-faced doggie behind bars with a message "HE NEEDS OUR HELP."

Now, that's a surprise.  It is a similar sad-faced doggie just like the ones "used" by the Humane Society of the United States when they are soliciting for their donation du jour.  We all know by now the woman-behind- the-man-behind- the-bill, but please add PETA and the Humane Society of the United States to the list of organizations working fast and furious behind the scenes of California Assembly Bill 1634 to remove Fluffy and Fido from the family photo!
 
'Tis the season so I read on.  New blogger (obviously drinking kool-aid from the California Healthy Pet punchbowl) writes:  "LET'S SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT." 
 
Imagine my disappointment when new blogger failed to accomplish her goal.  She presented "lies".  She presented "facts".  She did NOT present the truth!!
 
Since I had some time on my hands between decorating the tree and wrapping presents for my dog's extensive list of canine friends, I thought "I" would help to set the record straight.  I did have to take a break or two to pop more non-vegan cookies into the oven and slice a ham for our holiday gathering with friends this evening, but the importance of setting the record straight kept my fingers busily clicking away on the keyboard.
 
New blogger is most concerned with the nature of PetPAC.  Perhaps new blogger needs to delve more deeply into the nature of Social Compassion in Legislation instead, a key supporter of AB1634.  Principals are Judie Mancuso, her husband Rolf Wicklund, Jane Garrison, and her husband (the chiropractor? ) Mark Garrison.  I do think a few of those names are PETA-esque.  I wonder if they are on Ingrid Newkirk's and Wayne Pacelle's Christmas card lists.  (Is Christmas a vegan holiday?)
 
Why does Social Compassion in Legislation want to be just a figurehead supporter asking for donations ("click to donate")?  Wouldn't you think they would want financial contributors to know all about their good works so that those potential contributors could delve deeper into their pockets this holiday season and SEND MONEY?  If you have free time, google Social Compassion in Legislation.  You will find bubkus! [also spelled bubkes or bupkis ... means you will find "nothing at all"]
 
I thought I would share some further insight into the "coalition".  By the way, I have heard on numerous occasions by Ms. Mancuso that "hers" is a Republican coalition.  Do you honestly think the puppies and kitties care if you vote Democrat or Republican?
 
A recent press event held in Los Angeles by Lloyd Levine and "legendary" television star Bob Barker and members of the coalition informed one and all of the return of this blithering bill.  Senators have had to ask Santa for fax machines throughout the State to accommodate the ensuing piles of SUPPORT or OPPOSITION faxes soon to arrive with the New Year.
 
The Associated Press had another report recently (14 Dec) that I thought I would share with you: 
 
"PRICE WAS RIGHT, BUT THE CAR WAS WRONG, CONTESTANT SAYS"
 
According to a lawsuit filed this week in Los Angeles Superior Court, in June 2004, a contestant on "The Price Is Right" guessed that a sports car was worth $33,495 and left the stage thinking she had just won a new 2004 Pontiac GTO Coupe.  In her lawsuit against the game show, CBS Broadcasting, the auto dealership that provided the vehicle and the transportation company that delivered it, the contestant alleges the GTO Coupe she received was not new, as she had been promised, and had been in an accident. When she took the car, which arrived in her home state of Washington in September 2004, in for service the next year, she was told that it had suffered structural damage to the frame and front end, “but the repair work was such that an obvious effort had been made to conceal or hide the damage.”   
 
OOPS!
 
For full text of above referenced AP article, please click here:
 
 
Okay, where was I?  Oh, I remember.  Back to setting the record straight.
 
Let's chat awhile about pet overpopulation.  Do you know that there is actually a SHORTAGE OF ADOPTABLE DOGS in the United States?  Let me repeat for those AB1634 "supporters" who might be reading challenged.
 
There is actually a SHORTAGE OF ADOPTABLE DOGS in the United States!! 
 
Do you know that there is a prison program offered by the Marin Humane Society? 
 
Oh, I see a potential problem looming.  
 
Perhaps the California Healthy Pet "supporters" are geographically challenged and are NOT aware that the Marin Humane Society is located in CALIFORNIA!! 
 
Perhaps the California Healthy Pet "supporters" are NOT aware that the Marin Humane Society is located in NOVATO, CALIFORNIA, only 100 miles from Santa Cruz, CA, the sacred capitol of all things right with sheltering according to Assembly Member Lloyd Levine and the coalition.
 
What's that?  You don't remember Santa Cruz being a role model to emulate?  
 
Just this week it was announced in Santa Cruz County that their Animal Services Authority General Manager, Katherine Vos, was ousted!  Loyal shelter workers staged a sickout.  Both volunteers and employees were AFRAID TO SPEAK TO THE MEDIA ... for fear of losing their jobs! 
 
Why is that?  What could possibly be gleaned by this change in command in Santa Cruz?  Someone wouldn't be trying to "conceal or hide" anything, would they?
 
In response to the article about Katherine Vos leaving Santa Cruz, I thought I would do a bit of my own homework.  Here is some interesting information straight from the minutes of the Santa Cruz Board meetings:
 
Dec 2007:  It is announced that Animal Services Authority (ASA) General Manager, Katherine Vos, will leave in January 2008.  [Was it politically motivated??? ]
 
Let's go back.
 
April 2007:  Newly appointed General Manager to the ASA, Katherine Vos, is introduced to the Board.
 
May 2007:  Lisa Carter, Executive Director of the SPCA, encouraged the board to endorse the California Healthy Pet Act, AB 1634.  [This is the same woman who just happened to call-in to the recent KGO radio program with Judie Mancuso.  Interesting how Lisa always gets on every radio program that Ms. Mancuso is doing.  To be fair, KGO's radio host did describe Lisa as "one of her dearest friends."] 
 
To continue setting the record straight, the County of Santa Cruz took over animal-control services and the bulk of sheltering in 2002 amid a FINANCIAL SCANDAL at the local SPCA.  The SPCA now serves as an advocacy and education group but does NOT handle shelters!! (see below) 
 
Financial scandal?  Doesn't handle shelters?
 
OOPS!
 
At the Board meeting in May, Ms. Carter passed out a copy of the California Healthy Pet Act and a list of sponsors and supporters.  Please note the following:
 
BOARD ACTION:   The Board recommended staff put this item on the next agenda for a vote with a copy of the bill and a comprehensive analysis.  [If Santa Cruz has been consistently touted as Lloyd Levine's "model," then wouldn't they jump at the chance to support the bill?  This appears odd to me.]
 
Annette Hogue, Watsonville Shelter Volunteer wanted to show her support for the California Healthy Pet Act, AB 1634.  Sammy Ettenger, SPCA, explained the difference in understanding of the California Healthy Pet Act, AB 1634.  Lynne Achterberg, Project Purr, handed out their newsletter.  [And "still" the Board took no action to "support" the bill despite the fact that Santa Cruz is the RECOMMENDED STATE ROLE MODEL for the California Healthy Pet Act?] 
 
Let's look further.
 
June 2007:  BOARD ACTION:   Take no action on the bill at this time.  Board directed General Manager to draft a letter with comments in regards to Santa Cruz ordinance verses the AB1634 bill.  [Even though "supporters" were pushing AB1634 down the throats of the Board members via feeding tube, the BOARD STILL TOOK NO ACTION!]
 
 
Sept 2007:  BOARD ACTION:  Accept and file report and directed the ASA General Manager to bring back to the board an update on efforts made to decrease the euthanasia rates at the Santa Cruz County Animal Services Authority Shelters.  
 
[What's this?  Santa Cruz needs to DECREASE THEIR RATE OF EUTHANASIA?  Do you think Lloyd Levine knows about this?  Do you think Lloyd Levine cares?  Let's go a bit further down memory lane together, shall we?  Gotta set the record straight!]
 
May 2003:  On April 26, 2003 through April 28, 2003, the Santa Cruz Sentinel published an expose of the issues surrounding the Santa Cruz SPCA and how it led to the creation of the ASA.  In addition to the SPCA article of April 26th, an article regarding the status of the ASA and it’s role in the delivery of animal services was published.  These articles have drawn considerable attention to the agency.
 
OOPS!!  An expose?  Missing funds?  Corruption?  And shelter shutdown?
 
Sept 2003:  FIELD SERVICES:  In late September, with a full complement of Animal Control staff on board, we will be refining our animal control dispatch services with a training day on the enhanced uses of our Chameleon animal control data base system. In addition to this training, our new clerk/dispatcher will be spending a day at NetCom learning some basic dispatch procedures that can assist us in our own operations.
 
[Hmmmm..... This couldn't be the same Chameleon animal control data base system that Ed Boks, General Manager at LA Animal Services and California Healthy Pets Act coalition member, is using, could it?  Must be a coincidence.  I do recall reading on a few occasions by another well-researched blogger that Chameleon is Ed's software-of- choice for "cooking the books"!  Not my choice of words but interesting nonetheless, eh?]   
 
Nov 2003:  Accepted a report from the General Manager.  Animal Control and shelter activity has continued to increase over prior months.  In addition, there has been a noticeable increase in field activity such as animal biting incidents and barking dog complaints. 
 
[What's this?  Animal biting incidents?  I didn't think this was possible with spayed and neutered dogs according to Lloyd Levine and Judie Mancuso.  Could this possibly mean that Santa Cruz is failing in accomplishing their goal?  Santa Cruz canines nibbling on neighbors and chomping on the postman and the meter reader?]
 
Here is more from the Board meeting in November 2003.
 
The shelter has gained in traffic through the facility. The latter is reflected in the ASA’s increase in revenue generated in Humane Services, which included adoptions, reclaim fees and other shelter-related activities. Staffing has consistently presented a problem in our response to the workload created by this increase in shelter visits by the public.
 
[It appears then that this is a "revenue generating" bill?  Is that what Levine and Mancuso mean when they say "SAVE MONEY, SAVE LIVES"?  Has Mr. Levine NOT read the part in the Santa Cruz Board meeting minutes that staffing has consistently been presented with problems with the ADDITIONALLY CREATED WORKLOAD caused by MSN?  Isn't AB1634 the cure-all feel-good bill of the future?]
 
The California Healthy Pets website says communities will be SAFER.  They drool on by informing that "Mandatory spaying and neutering will reduce the dangers caused by roaming stray animals, the transmission of rabies, and injuries from dog bites. Unaltered dogs are three times more likely to attack humans and other pets."  
 
Since Santa Cruz field authorities state that there is a noticeable increase in field activities such as animal biting incidents WITH mandatory spay/neuter, it would appear that "mandatory" spaying and neutering is DETRIMENTAL to communities and NOT SAFER! 
 
OOPS! 
 
Must be an oversight on the California Healthy Pets website.  I do hope their new blogger is reading this!
 
Here is a link to the recent Santa Cruz Sentinel article "Animal Shelter Workers Protest Leader's Departure" (12 Dec 2007)
 
 
It appears the first paragraph explains things quite nicely.  Workers suspected that Katherine Vos resigned Monday "under pressure."  The article also states that "workers declined to comment to the press on Tuesday in fear of losing their positions."  Some shelter workers called in sick on Tuesday to protest a decision they said was "forced on them."
 
Vos, the second general manager to oversee shelters in Scotts Valley and Watsonville since the county agency was formed in 2002, stated "I know there's been a lot of dissension about me leaving and this is not what I wanted." (The shelters house a combined 6,500 animals.)
 
The county took over animal-control services and the bulk of sheltering in 2002, amid a FINANCIAL SCANDAL at the local SPCA. The SPCA now serves as an advocacy and education group but does not handle shelters.
 
The Animal Services Authority is governed by a board of city and county administrators and law enforcement heads. Only one elected official, Sheriff Steve Robbins, serves on the board.
 
Vos has worked in animal sheltering and enforcement for more than 25 years, and is vice president of the state Animal Control Directors Association. Before coming to Santa Cruz she worked as chief animal control officer for El Dorado County and chief animal care officer for Sacramento Animal Care Services. 
 
[Wouldn't you think Santa Cruz would want to keep the VP of the Animal Control Directors Association on their payroll?] 
 
Continuing on setting the record straight, here is a link to an article about "Taiwanese" dogs in the State of California.
 
 
From the San Francisco Chronicle (14 Dec).
 
"Taiwan? There are dogs in shelters here from Taiwan? Yes, there are. In some parts of the United States there is a shortage of adoptable dogs, not an overpopulation. Dogs are being imported to the U.S. from Puerto Rico to as far away as Taiwan to fill shelters here so people can adopt them. It's currently easy to import dogs into the U.S. though, as diseases like the canine version of rabies are eliminated here, more people are worrying about the diseases that such dogs may bring with them into this country."  [Thanks to Cool Dog Hall of Fame!]
 
"PRISON PROGRAM TURNS PROBLEM DOGS INTO PETS"
 
Last year, Melody was just another typical mongrel from Taiwan: sharp features, pointy ears, curly tail.   [please click on above link for full text of article]
 
 
In closing, Santa Cruz MSN is a miserable failure.  No "ifs", "ands" or "buts" about it.  It failed.  Plain and simple.  However, Lloyd Levine and Judie Mancuso are going to continue beating a dead horse.  By the way, when I asked Ms. Mancuso in October 2007 the following question, "Judie, whose bill is this? Yours? Or Lloyd's?"  Her reply was swift.  "Why it is MY BILL, of course!  Lloyd is busy with his Senate campaign." 
 
I had no idea that Ms. Mancuso was now an elected official.  I must have missed that part.  My bad.  
 
The Santa Cruz shelter statistics that are being utilized by the coalition are unverifiable.  Please note that when mandatory spay/neuter was first implemented in Santa Cruz (1995-1997), sky rockets were going off.  Impounds and euthanasia went through the roof.  
 
There is NOTHING "healthy" about AB1634.  This unfunded bill will cost the State of California MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.  The California Healthy Pets Act will NOT save the state ANY money.  It will NOT save lives.  Thousands more dogs and cats will lose their lives in shelter "death camps" needlessly throughout the state!
 
Let's kick this bill to the curb and get back to what we all love ... our companion animals.  Make 2008 the year that this legislation goes to that great big doghouse in the sky.
 
NOW the record has been set straight!
 
Happy Holidays,
Brat Zinsmaster
 
P.S.  Please feel free to share this "record" with your Assembly Members and Senators, with your local news media (print and radio), with your local shelters, the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker.  Permission to cross post is encouraged!

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