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L.A.'s animal services manager resigns [Updated]

April 24, 2009 | 12:47 pm

Los Angeles' animal services manager announced today that he is resigning his post.

"I have given a great deal of thought to my experience as a general manager," Ed Boks said in prepared statement. "As I depart, I would like to leave L.A. residents with a call to action that unites rather than divides."

 Boks recently reversed his decision to suspend a program to give low-income residents vouchers for free spaying and neutering of their pets, which prompted an outcry from animal welfare advocates and members of the Los Angeles City Council.

 "Whether you love me or hate me is irrelevant, I simply ask that you now turn your focus to the animals who need your help most," Boks said. "Pet overpopulation is a community problem, and L.A. needs to pull together to resolve it."

The City Council passed a mandatory spay-neuter  law last year -- it went into effect Oct. 1 -- in hopes of lowering the euthanasia rates at animal shelters.

[Updated, 12:45 p.m.: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa released the following statement today regarding Boks' resignation:

“I thank Ed Boks for his years of service at the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services. Under his leadership, this City has revamped the way we treat and care for our pets and animals. The ‘no kill’ policy has become a central component of our animal services strategy. Pet adoptions are up and shelters have expanded at a rapid rate. And ‘spay and neuter’ has become more than just a call to action; it is the law in Los Angeles.

“Ed deserves our gratitude for his efforts and our best wishes in the years ahead. We look forward to building on his legacy and continuing to make the Department of Animal Services the gold standard for pet protection.”]

 -- Carla Hall