On October 8, 2008, Marc Madow went to trial at Superior Court in Van Nuys for violation of the City's kennel law 5150, having more than three cats without a kennel permit.
LAAS didn't show up. The charges were dropped. The case is over until next time.
The Mason and Madow cases demonstrate that many, many people have more than the legal limit of cats or dogs and are subject to search and seizure.
I do agree that individuals that that have too many cats indoors and out have a responsibility to take care of them. This means spaying and neutering of outdoor "ferals."
Unfortunately, many such people get over their head and the animals suffer.
LAAS and the ACTF have only two ways of responding: visiting and giving citations in the form of orders for compliance of the three cat/dog law, or
searching, seizing and killing.
With the latter approach they seize, keep them in Evidence Animal isolation where they will not be seen or adopted, and then killed.
The owner/colony manager have no rights or defense against neighbor complaints or City assaults--none. They are only "protected" by LAAS ignoring the situation by fair minded field personnel.
Outdoor colony managers of colonies not attached to the manager's property are always at risk of neighbor complaint. AND, in many cases are not able to protect or take care of ill or injured animals because they cannot trap them in neighborhoods where residents are semi-hostile towards the cats and managers.
When in Santa Monica I was threatened with death by a resident that lived across the street and half a block away. I have never managed a colony except along the bluffs in Santa Monica where someone was not complaining.
To legalize TNR does not grant the manager from neighbor retribution or freedom from City action.
I am also quite convince that TNR and universal S/N has that much effect on feral cat populations, owner turn-ins, field impounds or resident submitted impounds.
If you look at the impound stats for cats over the past seven years, despite ever increasing spay/neuter efforts by rescue and S/N organizations, the number of cats impounded is absolutely the same as seven years ago:
Seven years ago the number of cats impounded was 21,201; this year it is 22,720, an increase of 7% over 2001-2002.
This is despite ever increasing spay/neuter certificates handed out by the City: 38,000 in 2005, and 54,000 over the past 12 months, a 30% increase. That is, while spay/neuter certificates have dramatically increased, impounds have increased or stayed the same over the past seven years.
S/N proponents, unwilling to see the consequences, want to do more of the same, hoping more of the same will yield a solution.
Part of the problem is that we do not know the magnitude of the problem. We don't have the information although LAAS does have much of the info, they are not releasing it.
Some information we would need to know is the total housed cat/dog population in the City. "Official" estimates range between 400,000 and 700,000, which means about one cat in every 3.4 households.
Also, by "expert" opinion, about 5% of these housed animals lose their homes and become part of the outdoor population. This is approximately 30,000 a year. We don't know how many of that population has been sterilized although animal services would note sterile animals on impound; therefore, they would have some handle on that number.
We have no idea how many unhoused cats and feral cats live in the streets, parks, school and college campuses exist. Assuming the same number but a lower sterilization rate, there may be as many as another 240,000 non-sterilized cats on the streets.
If this is an accurate number, according to Animal Birth Control estimates, 175,000 street animals would need to be S/N a year, before we can begin to reduce the feral population and LAAS car impounds.
Clinico pledges to do 8 X 3,500 S/N surgeries a year in the LA area. Id do not know how many of these will be in the City proper. But if it is 4, then they will S/N 14,000 in LA itself, just a drop in the bucket.
I do not see ANY solution until veterinarian researchers develop an effective sterilization "vaccine" or Chemical agent sterilization, and we pass a law similar to the Roman law about cats.
Currently in Rome, a cat has a right to live in peace wherever it is born. It has as much right as property owners and they are protected legally. Of course many property owners will kill ferals anyway despite protection, but such legal protection, I believe, will beget a deeper acceptance of ferals and their right to live.
In Rome, the City helps colony managers by helping colony managers by providing on-site veterinarian care and S/N services.
That is, the legal and prevailing public attitude about feral cats is much different from LA's.
This is far different from the attitude of those who now protect and manage colonies. The present attitude is purely defensive while in Rome it is not even proactive as they see it not so much as a problem that has to be solved, but of maintaining the status quo. The attitude towards animals in the United States is quite barbaric still.