Today was Ed Boks' last day on the job as general manager of L.A.'s Animal Services Department. The former Christian minister (“Religious values,” he recently advised on his personal blog, “call upon us to show kindness and mercy to animals”) has easily been the most controversial appointee to that post. He even outstrips Guerdon
Stuckey, his embattled predecessor, for the sheer amount of animosity he inspired in some of his constituents.
Admittedly, animal lovers are a finicky group under the best of circumstances (L.A. has run through seven ASD managers in the past 10 years), but Boks' inability to fulfill his mandate to make L.A. a no-kill-shelter city, along with his unilateral suspension of a popular spay-neuter voucher program, a messy sexual-harassment suit and his ill-advised plan for a Hooters for Neuters event, combined to force his resignation last April.
Even today, however, Boks' critics are lambasting his department, claiming that a dog named Stu,
which has been impounded for almost four years, will be put down July 23 as the result of department politics. The dog had been locked up on a biting charge a year prior to Boks' arrival in L.A. but, critics claim, Boks had allowed Stu to remain impounded ever since. Jeff de la Rosa, Stu's owner, and his supporters are now trying to pressure the Board of Animals Services Commissioners to spare the dog and send him home. In the meantime, it would seem,
Boks remains to the end a colorful and unforgettable figure in the city's gray,
bureaucratic landscape — although not necessarily for the reasons he'd