Animal Liberation Front Influencing L.A. Vote?

The Los Angeles City Council will shortly hold hearings regarding confirmation of the appointment of Brenda Barnette as the fifth permanent General Manager for the Los Angeles Animal Services Department in a decade.

These Committee and  Council reviews are essentially just public ritual, since the City Administrative Officer's report on June 18 stated that the Mayor’s appointment of Brenda Barnette, former CEO of Seattle Humane Society, was effective June 17, 2010, and Councilman Paul Koretz  was present in support at the Mayor’s press conference introducing her on that date.  

It’s no secret that Los Angeles Animal Services has been besieged by controversy -- the greatest criticism coming from the small but highly visible and vocal Animal Defense League (ADL-LA). This group has expressed discontent with each former LAAS permanent and interim General Manager, plus employees, labor representatives, and elected officials, such as Mayor James Hahn and later Antonio Villaraigosa, by posts and e-blasts which included unpleasant and often insulting comments about their personal lives, physical appearance, sexual preference, and threateningly disclosing home addresses and familial information. 

More moderate Los Angeles humane groups have retreated in fear and declined to publicly pronounce  their private dismay at being “painted with the same brush,” as they watched their own credibility tumble in the barrage of media reports of  physical and verbal protests by the ADL-LA that have punctuated public events; such as, shelter openings, and the pre-announced  visits to targeted homes and communities  by individuals in black costumes painted with white skeletons, waving placards  with blood-red paint and various graphic accusations of “killing animals.”

This time appeared to be different. Ms. Barnette is widely supported by a large base of local animal groups who believe she holds the promise of replicating in L.A. the 92% adoption rate she reports in Seattle. And, at the head of the pack is ADL-LA, which claims it has found undisputable affirmation of Ms. Barnette’s professional virtues during four-days of investigative phone calls to her former associates. 

In fact the group is so enthralled with Ms. Barnette that it has agreed to call off the continued picketing that has annoyed the Mayor and his staff until present. This has aroused more than a little speculation that the ADL-LA's protest hiatus may have been a consideration by the Mayor in selecting Barnette over a reported 120 candidates with varying degrees of animal-sheltering and other management experience.

But, the ADL-LA’s glowing endorsement of Ms. Barnette took a rather shocking twist on June 28, when they sent out an e-mail  which stated:

“..ADL-LA isn’t battle weary; we’ve fought animal campaigns for longer then the one to STOP THE KILLING at LAA. In fact, if any of the city councilmembers vote NO on her appointment, we are fully prepared to take our protests to THEIR neighborhoods!”

This might just have been considered just political posturing until, on July 3, this same “forwarded” warning appeared on the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) website, right under pictures of animals being held by black-suited, masked rescuers.

Animal Liberation Front is, of course, the group known for attacks on commercial animal enterprises and research laboratories and was described by the Sydney Morning Herald (5/19/05) as listed by the FBI as a top domestic terrorism threat,  “…taking ‘direct action’ against animal abuse by rescuing animals and causing financial loss to animal exploiters, usually through damage and destruction of property.”

Thus, it appears that the ADL-LA, which vociferously fought the LA City Attorney for its right to “free speech” may, in effect, be attempting to deny that same right to Councilmembers and perhaps implicit in this, be issuing a thinly veiled threat to any others, including LAAS employees, who wish to comment in opposition to Ms. Barnette’s appointment or question her philosophies or performance in the future.

There is no question that without the colorful, in-your-face campaigns of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and the perseverance and political acumen of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and other large organizations dedicated to ending animal cruelty, the public would be largely unaware of the suffering behind the closed doors of laboratories, the cramped, debilitating cages used in factory farming, the cruel mass-slaughtering practices of the meat industry, and the callous and horrific injury and deaths of millions of animals to satisfy the blood lust of animal-fighting enthusiasts.

But, is there an arguable basis upon whi personal opinions or convictions regarding the hiring of Brenda Barnette, or anyone else, as General Manager for Los Angeles Animal Services should becomethe source of a threat to elected officials and, even more disturbing, an issue of focus for the Animal Liberation Front?

ADL-LA has no right to threaten people for voting their own conscious. This is unconscionable!


Previously the county had been in talks with the Seattle Humane Society to take over animal shelter operations, a service some officials said local government could no longer afford.

"Our concern has always been for the welfare of the animals . The county has had many difficulties running the Kent Shelter in the past. Because of this, Dow Constantine advocated that the county get out of animal sheltering. So, we find this development surprising," said Brenda Barnette, head of the local Humane Society.

"We have been waiting to hear the plan. Although we had meetings with the county early on, the Seattle Humane Society was not involved in the creation of this plan. Today as in the past, the Seattle Hume Society remains available to provide the best care possible for the animals. Whenever we have available kennel space , we will contact the Kent Shelter and offer to transfer adoptable animals into our care."
In December county animal control workers sued Constantine, hoping to prove that a citizen panel deliberately disparaged union workers to try to steer the animal shelter operations to the Seattle Humane Society in a "sweetheart deal."


State Investigates Illegal Transfer Of Dogs From California To Bellevue
Investigators say nearly 200 dogs brought to the Seattle Humane Society in the past year did not have rabies vacciations or required health certificates. ,0,1367074.story


Being supported by the ALF should be a red flag for the City of Los Angeles Animal Services Department. We need someone to head up the department who has had hands on and successful experience with a public that MUST accept any and all animals within its service area. This is NOT the same as heading up a private "no kill" shelter. "No Kill" is only possible when you have the luxury of closing your doors to new incoming animals. As euphemistic as it sounds, this simply does not happen in a city the size and scope of Los Angeles. A little common sense goes a long way in a decision as important as this one. Let's hope the City Council asks some good, hard, tough questions and makes the right decision. Do not apply a rubber stamp. No to Barnette!

Check this out: ~y2010m7d9-Mayor-appoints-new-General-Manager-for-LA-Animal-Services

This woman has more skeletons in her closet than Boks did. She teamed up with Claire Davis and Kim Sgro to form the Coalition for No Kill King County. Sgro was head of Pasedo when she placed Katrina dogs with a hoarder %20Site%202005/pasado.htm
Go and see the horrible pictures of dead dogs rescued from Katrina and left to die by Barnette's associate. Does this show that Barnette cares who she associates with? Whenever Sgro was told about this hoarder, Claire Davis would threaten to sue. Could Barnette be accused of having poor taste in friends and that is her only flaw? Yes, but then look at all the others she surrounds herself with such as Nathan Winograd and now the ADL-LA and ALF. It's more than bad taste, it's disgusting that she chooses people who can't see the suffering that their obsession with no kill does.

When a cruelty complaint was filed against King County Animal Control, Winograd stated that he was surprised because he failed to find any criminal activiity during his investigations. Yet, Barnette continued to frail away at animal control.

A group of vets lead by the vet now working for SHS "volunteered" to help at the King County shelter. Three months later this group of vets quit but only one vet spoke publically about it, Crauer who is currently with SHS. He made accusations about the shelter that were not backed up such as misuse of euthanasia drugs . The shelter was audited by several agencies and none found any evidence of that accusation. Crauer, on the other hand , does have a public record that is interesting on his drug usage. According to records,Crauer prescribed pain medication under his dead dog's name for his own usage. #

Now this is another of Barnette's buddies, see how she surrounds herself with the lowest of the low.

This is a quote from
showing one of Barnette's harmful and hatefullness, that she would want to take money away that could help the shelter animals . ""I am sure it will not surprise you to know Brenda Barnette also stopped selling King County pet licenses starting the beginning of 2009. This realizes a loss of around $100,000.00 dollars to the King County Animal Care and Control program! Where is the outrage from Dow and Julia over this?""

Another quote from that same blog in regards to Barnette taking the cherry picked dogs from Kern and LA when she needed to work to get homes for the ones in the shelters. ""Just so you know, the Seattle Humane Society and any legitimate rescue agency can come to the King County animal shelters and rescue animals at any time at no cost to them."" At no cost, free, but the LA dogs came already altered, quite a savings for one brokering dogs rather than saving them. Was any money received by LA for this service, none. Did you see any pits, no, did you see any large black dogs, no, shall I go on?

Boks wasn't that evil.

They have made a big mistake. Barnette is not the way that they are presenting her. Her own employees at SHS have spoken out since they were organized by the ACO Guild. These are employees who invited the ACO Guild because of their concerns about the management of SHS, Brenda Barnette. These are employees who Barnette hired, not those that she fired or left. Barnette proved that she has no concerns about disease in her shelter when the ACO had to step in because of her importing dogs from CA without any vaccinations. The State of Washington had to intervene because it posed a health risk. Barnette said she was unaware of those laws . At the same time, she justified importing dogs because she claimed the dogs in the King County open door shelter had disease. The ACO Guild has reported all of this on their blog.

Barnette refused to adhere to a public records request submitted by the ACO Guild to release her emails concerning public business and the Attorney General had to rule on it, saying that her emails were subject to public records.

NEVER has the SHS been an open door shelter. It does contract with two cities for housing but otherwise it is a closed door shelter. Public requests are now being made to see if the animals being euthanized at SHS are those brought from those cities. Because of her importation of dogs, homes were taken from those euthanized animals and the animals at the open door shelter. Her response is to say that she is satisfying the demands of the public in order to keep them from buying dogs instead. People who go to the shelters usually are doing that because they prefer to "rescue" rather than buy so that argument doesn't hold water . People who buy a pet don't go to shelters as a rule.

Did Barnette try to help the open door shelter in her own local area? No, she chose instead to do all she could to undermine them. King County had problems and all those problems were a result of animal control trying to live up to the mandate of no kill without any additional funding. Some things had to go undone in order to do other things. Keep in mind that King County AC is fully supported by licensing fees, they are not a part of the General Fund. Only after the mandate without funding did they have to get money from the General Fund. Barnette stopped selling licenses at the SHS, not exactly helping the situation.

She has done all she could to get the contract and what she did was immoral and unethical. This woman is worse than Boks could have ever been. Only when she realized that it was all coming undone did she accept the position in LA. She knows enough to get out of town. Now she is here and LA is in for a ride downhill. The ADL-LA will end up looking like the fools they are.

See article on