"Free Black Cats on Halloween: Garcetti’s Dangerous Delusion" by Daniel Guss

@THE GUSS REPORT-Dishonest or disconnected: on any given week, you never know where LA Mayor Eric Garcetti is going to land on Planet Policy. Last week, I proved how his administration knowingly falsified thousands of pet adoptions, one of his many and ongoing dishonest humane claims -- with more to come. A week later, it is still the #1 Most Viewed article on CityWatch.
This week, Garcetti’s administration is showing its total disconnect from humane issues, causing a public backlash by giving away animals for free (a dangerous idea at any time) – including black cats and kittens – during Halloween week. This practically begs for their torture, exploitation or abandonment soon thereafter. 
So say former LAAS Commissioners from the administrations of Garcetti’s two predecessors: 
Laura Beth Heisen, an attorney and MBA, is a former LAAS Commissioner appointed by Mayor James Hahn and is chair of the City’s Spay/Neuter Advisory Committee, appointed by City Council president Herb Wesson. She warns, “The number one rule of rescue is: ‘No free animals, especially prior to Halloween!’ For good reason. They wind up being used for abusive, tortuous non-pet purposes like bait for dog fighting, sold for lab experiments or bizarre Halloween rituals.” 
Marie Atake, founder of Forte Animal Rescue in Marina del Rey was an LAAS Commissioner appointed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. She says, This type of practice only reminds us that (in politicians’ views) animals are commodities, hence the animals in the pound are treated the same as impounded cars; actually those cars are more valued than sentient animals! To city officials, animals are important only when they make their empty promises to get elected. How many of them ever visit the LA animal impound facilities once they’re in office? I spoke up for the animals, and was threatened by the Mayor’s office to ‘shut up or else,’ and I chose the ‘else’ and resigned from the LAAS Commission. It is a shame that the most important qualification to stay on the LAAS Commission is to not care for animals and just rubber stamp. This campaign is another example that proves their priorities and intentions.” 
Atake’s point shines a glaring light on the comprehensive lack of prior humane experience by virtually all of Garcetti’s current shelter Commissioners: 
Alisa Finsten was appointed last week to the LAAS Commission with zero inquiry by City Council on her qualifications for the role and her knowledge of humane policy. 
Earlier this summer, Garcetti appointed Olivia Garcia to the Commission with the comparatively stellar qualification of “occasionally doing some transportation of animals for a local charity.” 
LAAS Larry Gross possesses extremely deep qualifications…to be on any Garcetti panel related to housing and tenants’ rights issues, but has threadbare prior experience in humane issues. 
Then there’s the bickering duo of Roger Wolfson and president David Zaft who spend more time in meetings on their petty, personal differences than on policy…when Wolfson actually shows up to meetings. 
This seems to be Garcetti’s end-goal: keep misleading the public on humane issues by maintaining a dumbed-down LAAS Commission light on experience and featherweight in courage. Garcetti would need to first show he cares about a problem before taking measures to fix it. To date, he has proven only the opposite.

Daniel Guss has written about general interest and current events in Los Angeles Magazine.  Daniel Guss has written about movies and celebrities for Movieline Magazine. Daniel Guss has written about industry professionals for Emmy Magazine.  Daniel Guss has written about business, real estate, banking and executive profiles for the Los Angeles Business Journal.  Daniel Guss has a Master’s of Business Administration degree (MBA).  Daniel Guss has contributed to the Los Angeles Times.  Daniel Guss has contributed to the LA Daily News.  Daniel Guss has contributed to the Pasadena Star News.  Daniel Guss has contributed to Los Angeles Downtown News.