Nov 3, 2005
Letter to the Editor regarding Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

Dear Steve/CityBeat:
Thank you for investigating and reporting on the scandal regarding the alleged misappropriation of funds, to the tune of 1.1 M over a three year period, orchestrated by Guerdon Stuckey GM of L.A. Animal Services (LAAS), concerning the City of Los Angeles Animal Services spay/neuter contract which provides services to low-income pet owners ("Spay or Go" by Annette Stark, dtd. 10-27-05). It's imperative for the public in Los Angeles to be informed of such unscrupulous activities. I understand that a monetary kickback scenario is suspected.

It's interesting to note that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa publicly endorsed Guerdon Stuckey as General Manager at L.A. Animal Services just days after the reported scandal and suspicions of misappropriation of city funds.

This substantial misappropriation of funds will result in a significant increase in the loss of companion animal life in Los Angeles and is far from consistent with the mission of "reducing the number of animals we kill in our own shelters" a statement made by Mayor Villaraigosa, (Los Angeles Times, dtd. 11-02-05), as he endorsed Guerdon Stuckey of LAAS. Further, the needs of the lower-income pet owners in the city have essentially been abandoned due to this misappropriation.

The humane community in Los Angeles was a bit baffled when the City of Los Angeles did not have a presence at Mr. Nathan Winograd's recent two day No-Kill Solutions conference to be educated in conversions to no-kill shelter environments. Particularly since Guerdon Stuckey, the head of L.A. Animal Services, has no experience in animal care, yet alone the undertaking of a conversion to a no-kill environment. Nathan J. Winograd is the former Executive Director of the Tompkins County SPCA and Director of Operations for the San Francisco SPCA. Mr. Winograd is the founder and director of No Kill Solutions, is a graduate of Stanford Law School, a former criminal prosecutor and corporate attorney, has helped write legislation at the state and national level, has spoken nationally and internationally on animal sheltering issues, and has consulted with a wide range of animal protection groups including some of the largest and best known in the nation.

A statement made by the Mayor, "And we're going to work together to lower that to 'low kill' or 'no kill' like they have in other cities, like New York and San Francisco and Philadelphia," (Los Angeles Times, dtd. 11-02-05), is inconsistent with Villaraigosa's own LAAS General Manager refusing to attend the conference held by an expert in the field.

To date, what we have experienced with the Villaraigosa-Stuckey team is lies, cover-ups, vacuous double-talk, self-seeking arrogance, inaction, a series of management blunders, alleged misappropriation of funds, and an increasingly insatiable appetite for killing innocent companion animals in Los Angeles. Those of us that have experienced the "shelter" system in Los Angeles can see through the smoke-screen of misinformation perpetuated by the "team." Now, the public in Los Angeles needs to be informed of the truth so positive change can be accomplished.

Thank you for caring about the animals.