There are any number of complex reasons LA does not have a City-wide TNR policy, and among those include legal thinking deeming "feral" cats as both "wildlife" and as pets at the same time.
If they are considered wildlife, you cannot feed them; if they are considered house cats (felis Domesticus), feral or not, you cannot have more than three on any property without a license, although if you read M.C. 53.50, it is obvious that kennel refers to a business and not a private resident having four cats.
Another 53* ordinance forbids allowing owned or controlled animals to wander onto public property--UNLESS THEY ARE CATS. Their legal eagles think this ordinance has to be changed too in order to support TNR.
Then too is the issue of ownership. You own a cat if you feed it on your property for 30 days. If it is an owned cat you are obligated to take care of it with food, water, shelter. Nowhere does anyone a distinction between owning a feral cat or a house cat.
Animal Services goes further and requires medical care.
(It is another issue altogether whether anyone, including a caretaker, owns the ferals or strays they feed on public property or in supermarket parking lot.)
However, then if you have more than three "feral" or stray cats in this way, you violate the kennel law, 53.50 even though you are not keeping them for commercial purposes. If you read 53.50, it is clear that is the ordinance is for the purpose of controlling business use, not as a club to be used against old ladies or Ron Mason.
Then if forced by Animal Services to stop feeding them because either they are considered wildlife, or because should be starved out to prevent congregating in one place creating a nuisance as Office Munez of the ACTF told me, then you are committing either animal neglect or animal abandonment if they fall into the category of "dog" or "cat" as commonly used in the state Penal Code.
In any event, the lawsuit I posted yesterday by the environmental groups has led the City Attorney to deem it necessary that all of these laws be changed to specifically allow TNR as a City policy--all of them. This requires a CEQA study.
The City (i.e., the Dolt) has determined that as part of a CEQA study, the City has to study a certain number of feral colonies to see if proper TNR management causes a decrease in colony numbers.
Of course, such a study would take years, which means the CEQA would take years, which means TNR would take years.
I was told by someone in the Mayor's Office that all this had been determined by a gaggle of TNR activists and city attorneys.
The City has to go to court regarding TNR and the lawsuit, and their own attorneys have required them to play chicken so as not to give the plaintiff's such as the Audubon Society "any ammunition."
I really don't know what that means, although it does appear to mean that the City will claim it is enforcing all the above codes (Article 3, sections 53.00 and on) including on private TNR controlled colonies, even though the ordinances do not apply to feral cats except by an incredible stretch of the imagination. None of this has been court tested.
However, this tactic seems directed to pretend the City has never broken any of these stretched definition laws itself, nor encouraged TNR in any way--which they have and did.
However, they have now gone a step further, bending even more over backward, and LAAS personnel have been told to go after colonies and caretakers, so as to show the City is not ignoring the no-TNR laws, WHICH REALLY ARE NOT ANTI-TNR LAWS AND DON'T APPLY!! This directive is tantamount ro admitting the City feels those laws cover private TNR caretaking.
(LAAS has been directed not only to stop advertising TNR, but also not to help in any TNR efforts, and possibly not give out TNR S/N certificates.
ALSO, I have been told that LAAS and the ACTF will actively go after caretakers if there is a complaint, because the lawsuit has already suggested that the City is not enforcing against private TNR groups as part of their pro TNR stance. This gives Officer Munez his justification to go after 84 year old cat ladies.
I have been told no amateur is capable of grasping the broad implications and great stretch of logical thinking that has already taken place on these issues by the professional city bureaucrats and their lawyers that actually do the work. Really, this is what I was told.
I asked why is the lawsuit not merely challenged as saying the multiple 53 ordinances do not apply to private feeding of feral cats, although two of them WOULD apply to passing a Citywide official TNR ordinance allowing it. The answer was, basically, the bureaucrats and lawyers know as opposed to blogging critics and other amateurs.
If you want, given time I can lead all of you through the various steps of the lawsuit, the principals, and the legal reasoning as well as the procedural laws applying in this kind of lawsuit.
However, this would take some heavy work on my part and I am loathe to do it unless there is a great outcry for this information.
The first step would be for you, who are interested, to read the lawsuit and ponder the bull involved.
Then read the entire Municipal Code, Section 3, article 53.00 onwards. Then tell me if you are interested and I will dig deeper.
Municipal Codes Involved:
What bothers me is the utter arrogance of the Mayor's Office that the public and critics are not capable of following all the deep logical and legal thinking done by their own bureaucrats and lawsuit-intolerant city attorneys.
I was even asked for the Latin name for feral cat as opposed to felis Domesticus, applied to the domesticated cat. I am sure this was sarcasm, and in response I could ask whether he thought that a cat changed species once it was outside the house for a few months.
Apparently this rational and educated bureaucrat thought "feral" meant the same thing as "wild."