Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Dr. Gary Michelson of Found Animals Foundation, the story teller

In the age of the Internet with facts and evidence available with one Internet search you would think people would not lie so boldly. Not so it seems. Dr. Gary Michelson said he thought up microchips all by himself. No, he didn't. The microchips were the idea of Dave Loftus who was the Director of the Foundation. Below is Dr. Gary Michelson's story. FTR neither of them invented chips.

I worked for the Foundation during this time. I did not sign a confidentiality agreement. There is no gag order. Dr. Gary Michelson has a long history of telling stories. This is but one.

"A lifelong animal lover, Dr. Michelson had watched in horror as images of displaced pets flashed across the television screen. The initial tragedy of Katrina had been terrible enough; how could the aftermath be so grueling? Although animal welfare agencies labored tirelessly to help affected pets, the infrastructure for large-scale pet identification and return simply did not exist.
However, Dr. Michelson knew of a technology that could help: microchips. Michelson consulted with his local animal control agency, and found that the Los Angeles County shelter system did not currently offer microchipping! So, he created created a non-profit called Found Animals Foundation and began donating microchips to the County shelters and the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority (SEAACA)."
Dr. Gary Michelson says he started the Foundation because of Katrina. That's not quite true. The corporation was formed December 2005. December 18, 2005 I believe there was a meeting at Kathleen Riordan's house. I have a DVD of the meeting. Dr. Gary Michelson and Dave Loftus of the Found Animals Foundation showed up. Dr. Gary Michelson talked about spay neuter. He didn't mention chips. He didn't mention Katrina. Katrina hit August 25, 2005. The true devastation wasn't noted until days later or longer. Dr. Gary Michelson's first donations as per his tax return was buying two tickets to Sherry Hackett's comedy event. That's not even a donation. He got something in return.
In fact if you read other articles this is the first time Dr. Gary Michelson mentions Katrina. He originally said he started this foundation for animals and another for back conditions because of his love of animals and his grandmother who had back problems.
I'm sure everyone knows this. Dr. Gary Michelson read the Newsweek article that supposedly Ed Boks, Edward Boks wrote. I personally believe Scully ghost wrote that article because he was going to ghost write another article for Ed Boks but Ed didn't have $2,500. Ed asked me for $2,500 to pay Scully and I said no. That article made it seem like Ed Boks had made shelters nokill when he didn't. Euthanasia actually went up his first year at each shelter, i.e. Arizona, New York, Los Angeles. His later years he'd get ahold of the books and fudge the numbers, refuse animals, let them die from disease... There are many articles about this. 
Because of the article Dr. Gary Michelson wanted him to run Los Angeles Animal Services. He automatically believed the bullshit without doing any research. He contacted the Mayor and offered him money to hire Ed Boks. The Mayor agreed to hire Ed Boks. Anyway the meeting was to introduce Ed Boks who would be the new GM officially January 3, 2006. Here's a background story about this relationship. Also note that Dr. Gary Michelson was sued for defamation and had to settle. He most certainly defamed Dave Loftus. Dr. Gary Michelson didn't just defame him at dinner parties either. Dr. Gary Michelson called up Dave Loftus' business partners and defamed him directly hurting his business.
More from Dr.Gary Michelson's story,
"At that point, the foundation consisted of Dr. Michelson sitting at his kitchen table, writing checks for chips. Found Animals’ donated microchips made free pet ID available to all pets in the LA area, forwarding the foundation’s overall goal to reduce unnecessary shelter deaths. The logic was simple: get lost pets out of the shelters and back with their families, and they won’t be put down for lack of space."
At the time it wasn't just Dr. Gary Michelson. It was Dr. Gary Michelson, Dave Loftus, Mary Herro and me sitting at his kitchen table. Dr. Gary Michelson totally forgets about Dave Loftus. Chips were his idea. He bought the chips and sold them to the Foundation. Dr. Gary Michelson agreed to this. He bought chips from Dave Loftus and his pet kiosk company. Then Dr. Gary Michelson got cold feet because people said chips and kiosks are not a cost effective way to save animals' lives. He wanted his money back. Dave Loftus said no of course because they had an agreement. 
Dr. Gary Michelson then starts defaming Dave Loftus making up horrible lies such as he's wanted by the police, he embezzled money, he stole money.... I worked for Dr. Gary Michelson at the time and believed what he said. I stupidly would tell Dr. Gary Michelson where Dave would be so the police could arrest him . Dr. Gary Michelson also defamed me. I was going to sue him and use the same attorney Dave Loftus did but that attorney said Dr. Gary Michelson and his lawyers are ruthless. He didn't want to go through that experience again even though they got a good settlement.
The police were never going to arrest Dave because he didn't do anything illegal or wrong. Dr. Gary Michelson just got cold feet and wanted to unwind the deal. Dr. Gary Michelson begged Ed Boks to order the police to arrest Dave. LAPD told the Mayor there was no crime. They can't arrest him. LAPD said that Dr. Gary Michelson is mentally ill, crazy. I have all of those emails from the Mayor's office and Ed Boks.
Back to Dr. Gary Michelson's story. Dr. Gary Michelson asked the owner of Chameleon, PetHarbor if microchips or pet kiosks work. He said no because people don't register the chips, don't keep the information current, there are many types of chips and scanners, not all shelters scan for chips... He also said the kiosks don't work and they sold the kiosks. Dr. Gary Michelson felt really stupid for buying chips and kiosks. More from his article,
"Easy fix, right?
Surprisingly, no.
Despite millions of dollars in donated ID, shelter pets were still dying by the thousands. Most baffling, local shelters saw no significant change in return-to-owner rates! Free microchips alone were obviously not doing the job."
He finally admits that he failed with the chips. Back to his statement.
"so in 2008, Dr. Michelson recruited former BCG consultant and Stanford MBA Aimee Gilbreath, and they started to dig into the microchip system failure. The team uncovered some pretty scary facts:"
First off, after Dave Loftus and Dr. Gary Michelson parted ways Dr. Gary Michelson had an idea. He wanted to hire someone WITH ABSOLUTELY NO ANIMAL EXPERIENCE WHATSOEVER. He wanted someone with a business or financial degree. He thought a numbers, money person could solve this problem. He thought people who loved animals were blinded which is odd coming from someone who says he loves animals. Obviously hiring Aimee Gilbreath was not the best idea. She has made some whopper mistakes because she has no animal experience. She's had to waste time learning through trial and error while animals died and money was wasted. Back to his statement.
"1)      Although microchips must be registered to work, most pet owners never register their microchips!This means that shelters and vets who find a chip have no way to contact the pet’s family.
2)      Since most microchip companies charge fees to register and/or update information, many records become outdated when pet owners can’t pay.
3)      Some microchip companies sell nonstandard microchips and non-universal scanners that can’t read all types of chips … so even when a chip is registered and updated, there’s no guarantee it will be picked up by the shelter or vet.
Clearly, the microchip system was not living up to its potential. Dr. Michelson was forced to ask himself the same question millions of pet owners pose each day: is microchipping pets really worth it? 
The foundation was quickly expanding to include other lifesaving programs: pet adoption promotions for area shelters, leadership support for high volume spay and neuter providers, and the Michelson Prize and Grants, a prize philanthropy grant program promising $75 million in award and research funding to develop a safe, nonsurgical sterilant for cats and dogs. So, pouring money into a broken microchip system wasn’t helping anyone.
If we really wanted microchips to work, we would need to take matters into our own paws.
That’s when Found Animals began designing a registry that would allow all U.S. pet owners to maintainfree, lifetime registrations for their microchipped pets, and automate communications for shelters. Our microchip donations expanded to include AngelDogs Foundation, Spay4LA, and SNP-LA, and the Santa Fe Humane Society, and those organizations provided valuable feedback as our registry blossomed. After testing the system with our partners, in March of 2012, we launched the Found Animals Microchip Registry nationwide, and began traveling around the country educating shelters and vets on registration and the importance of microchip and scanner standards."
ALL of us knew this in the year 2000. We spoke about these issues at commission meetings. Check the minutes. Dr. Gary Michelson come lately here also knew this in February 2006. It's seven years later. While I'm happy he made the national registry, I don't know if it's working. I have no idea if people are using it. He would need all the chip companies to give him the data from all their chips and they won't do that. They sell that data to advertisers. I bet Dr. Gary Michelson will use that data to sell to advertisers. He talked about doing that in 2006. He wanted the data that would be inputted from the chips. City, County said they couldn't give him that data. Looks like he's getting that data now.
Here's yet another problem with microchips. All animals adopted from shelters are now chipped. Even when a stray animal is found, it has a chip, data is current, we call the owner, they say they don't want the animal. They even lie and say they're not the owner. If they were, they'd have to pay to dump their animal. 
If someone really cared about their animal they'd have a chip and collar with tags. A collar and tags is the best way to reunite wanted pets with their owners. A microchip will not automatically make people responsible. I volunteered at the shelter and saw animals with chips being put down because owner said he didn't want the animal. I'd see owners bring in their own animal with a chip and dump them. Chips can't save animals. Only humans can save animals.

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.

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