Dr. Gary Karlin Michelson, Found Animals Foundation, Forbes billionaire, 20 Million Minds, Alya

Dr. Gary Karlin Michelson, Found Animals Foundation, Forbes billionaire, 20 Million Minds, Alya
Dr. Gary Karlin Michelson, Found Animals Foundation, Forbes billionaire, 20 Million Minds, Alya

Monday, September 2, 2013

Working for Dr. Gary Michelson, Found Animals Foundation

When I worked for Dr. Gary Michelson people would ask me what is he really like. Is he really that strange or is he merely eccentric. I would reply and defend him. I'll share the history of my work with him and you can judge for yourself.

I gave a presentation on the new website I made for free for LA Animal Services at the Ed Boks' meet and greet February 2006 I think. I think video is available online. I have my presentation outline on CD. Dave Loftus and Gary Michelson were there. Dave told me later that Gary liked my presentation and wanted to hire me. I thought that was great so I said yes. I really wanted to be a part of a team that would make LA nokill. If only I could go back in time I would say "No!"

The first time I went to his house I see a pit bull in the middle of the street. I pull over to go get the dog. The dog starts to walk toward Gary's house. Then I recognize the dog. It's Gary's dog. I grab the dog by the collar and lead him into Gary's house when I notice the dog has testicles. At that moment Gary comes down the stairs wearing jeans carrying his tennis shoes. Gary says "hi, Mary" and I say in shock "Gary, your dog is not neutered." He said he doesn't need to be because he doesn't mount other dogs. He puts on his shoes at the bottom of the stairs as I say "your dog was in the street." He says "he never goes anywhere. He's fine."

If you are pro-animal you neuter your pets and don't let them roam the neighborhood. The only reason not to neuter an animal is because it's dead. I couldn't believe how hypocritical he was. This is a huge no no in the animal world. This is akin to the CEO of MADD supporting drunk drivers.

We small talk while Dave Loftus and Mary Herro arrive. We share ideas and goals. He talks about spay and neuter as the most effective means to control population. Again, HIS DOG IS NOT NEUTERED.

As always I take detailed written notes so I don't miss anything. I would later be very thankful for this because Gary never puts anything in writing. I also wanted to make sure I do exactly what he wants. Gary tells me he wants the foundation to show cities how to cost effectively control overpopulation. At this point Gary really thinks that pet overpopulation can easily be conquered with brains and money. He now realizes that it's not that easy. If it were, the problem would not exist.

I clarified his request "you want me to do a report on the effectiveness of spay and neuter?" He says "yes." I go and do my report. I was also supposed to get the name, address, phone number of all vets in California. That only took a few minutes because I made a robot to pull the data out of the state vet licensing website. I would also be in charge of making a website. I made a sample website, list of ideas.... but no one was willing to approve anything or get back to me. What's odd is I drew up a dog collar halo to represent Gary as the logo. That's what they are using. I don't know if someone forwarded my website outline or what.

I'm being paid by the month. After I finished my report and made the list I ask Dave what else would he like me to do. No reply. I start offering ideas "would you like me to do this? that?" A month later Dave tells me he's taking the foundation in a new direction, i.e. chips, kiosks, and doesn't need my services or the services of Mary Herro. I asked Dave for my check as I haven't been paid in the two months that I was there. He tells me to send him a bill. Being the honest person that I am I sent a bill for fewer hours than I actually worked helping the City. I didn't think Gary would believe that I actually worked as many hours as I did. The grant part of my job was to help Ed Boks with the city website, PR... That was paid hourly.

Dave doesn't cut me a check. I ask Karl what I should do about my check. He tells me to contact Cohen. I do and nothing happens. I then hear via Ed Boks that Gary fired Dave. FTR Gary did not fire Dave. Dave quit when Gary didn't fulfill his part of their agreement. Gary just lied.

I finally leave my report and bill at Gary's house. Gary calls me. He said "I told you to make a report about the effectiveness of ALL approaches to end pet overpopulation." I stupidly look at my meeting notes and say "no, you didn't. You just said spay and neuter." Then silence, wrong answer. I then say "I can finish that report in one day."

Fortunately I've been involved in this issue for so long that I already had that report in my head. A few of the approaches are of course spayneuter, TNR, size of shelters, returning lost pets to owners, helping owners keep their pets, fostering, licensing, bottle babies, media, PR, education, outreach..... I just needed to cite research sources.

I drop the report off at Gary's house with my bill. He calls me and says he fired Dave. He said he really liked my report. Then I say "then why did you fire me?" He said "I didn't fire you, Mary. Where did you hear that?" I said "Dave told me." Then I said "if I wasn't fired, then I'm still working for you?" He said "yes."

Cohen finally mails me my check. There is no termination letter with my check. I think I'm still working with the foundation. Gary through Karl asks me to give him some documents, do some research and I do. I ask a few more times, was I fired or not. No answer. I finally get the hint and stop working.

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