Sunday, November 8, 2009

In Search of Humpty Dumpty (Reply)


Anonymous Writes: Boks promises no kill but has never delivered. Perhaps it's time to look elsewhere.

Reply: It is always annoying and irksome when some people leave anonymous and negative comments on a blog without bothering to identify themselves.

One thus needs to be skeptical of the motivations and personal agendas of those leaving nameless attacks on someone else's character and competence.

It is virtually impossible to go through life and especially when in any high profile position (such as running an Animal Control shelter in a large city) to not make any enemies. The exception to that statement might be those who simply smile their ways through life, blow smoke up others' behinds, never challenge the status quo and never make waves.

During the history of the AC&C, most of its Directors have fit the latter category:

Smiling bureaucrats with low profiles who go along to get along, learn quickly how to "spin" and never make waves.

The exception to that in New York City was Ed Boks.

That Ed Boks might have made some enemies here in New York or LA does not surprise (particularly among the Board of Directors of the NYCACC or some in the NYC Mayor's Alliance).

Boks did not "walk the walk and talk the talk" while Director of the NYCACC some years back. Nor, did he quietly shrink back in the shadows.

Rather, Boks was "out there" to the press constantly promoting the adoption of shelter animals, trying to fight the negative public perception of Pitbulls, fighting for greater shelter funding and heavily decrying the need for people to spay and neuter their pets.

While Boks spoke of the one day IDEAL of a "no kill" city, it was never a Disneyworld promise (unlike the ASPCA and the Mayor's Alliance).

Rather, Boks spoke numerous times of the many obstacles in the way of a "no kill" New York and of the need for many people to be involved with the no kill cause.

Is it possible that Boks made "mistakes" when Director of the NYCACC or the shelter in Los Angeles?

Sure. Animal Control shelters in any large metropolis are going to have to "euthanize" many thousands of animals a year -- especially when the cities choose to under-fund those shelters and in the particular case of New York City, refuse to build enough of them.

It is always then convenient to "blame the Director" of the shelter, whether it be Boks or any other figurehead at the top.

But, the fact remains when Boks was Director of the NYCACC, he was respected and well liked by most of the staffers, volunteers and most in the rescue community.

He was passionate about the mission and always responsive and welcoming of input from staffers and those in rescue.

He initiated many positive changes. Changes that DID eventually result in lower kill numbers at our city shelters.

Can ANY Director turn NYC into "no kill?"

No.

Not as long as the Mayor and the city refuse to create adequate and fully functioning shelters in every borough and the ASPCA and Mayors Alliance insist on spinning the truth to the people.

To quote Dr. Phil: "You can't change what you don't acknowledge."

New York City has yet to acknowledge its colossal failures to build adequate and healthy environment shelters in New York, as well as failures in Humane Education in the schools and lack of address to the problems of dog fighting in New York resulting in a huge and seemingly unsolvable overpopulation of Pitbulls flooding our shelters everyday.

We are a long long way from "no kill" in New York City and as long as we keep deceiving and denying the "ideal" becomes ever father away.

The one refreshing thing about Ed Boks was that he was not a "spinner" but rather, someone willing to roll his sleeves up and try to tackle a problem with honesty and earnestness.

That he was not Superman or Jesus Christ is regrettable, but does not justify the scurrilous attack that "Anonymous" chose to post to this blog.

One imagines s/he will be happy when we get another "go along to get along" Humpty Dumpty as new shelter director.

And yes, inside of two years or so, s/he can be expected to once again, "have a great fall" as all others have gone before.......PCA



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