Will Beverly Hills Feral Ordinance Void Their Contractual Agreement With LAAS and the CITY?


Dear Kathy Davis, Linda Barth, Mayor Villaraigosa, Jim Bickhart, Jim Blackman, Carmen Trutanich,

I understand that as a condition for Los Angeles Animal Services to take over the animal care and control function for the City of Beverly Hills, that the latter had to remove an ordinance prohibiting feral cats.

On Tuesday, July 7, Beverly Hills City Council is considering adding on a new ordinance prohibiting feeding feral cats because it is a claimed health problem. This would allow them to enact it immediately on an emergency basis.

They are doing this because a woman, Katherine Varjian, was cited for feeding feral cats in an alley off Palm Drive. At the time cited, apparently the ordinance was still on the books. She is going to court within two weeks and in order to stop her from feeding, Beverly Hills staff has decided to make this a public health issue.

But be advised, it is only because 30 residents want to stop one feral colony manager.

If Beverly Hills puts that ordinance back on their books, will Los Angeles continue to provide animal control services for Beverly Hills even though they would be in violation of preconditions for LA assuming that function?

I send this to you because they have notified you of this measure and you do provide animal control services for Beverly Hills.

This is from their "staff" report:

In January of 2009, the City of Beverly Hills established a contractual agreement with the City of Los Angeles for field services and animal sheltering in their West Los Angeles facility. A requirement of this agreement was to adopt the City of Los Angeles animal related codes by reference.During that process, the existing section of the Beverly Hills Municipal Code dealing with feeding of certain animals was inadvertently omitted; adoption of this ordinance will simply reinsert this omitted code section.

As mentioned, the adoption of the Los Angeles City Code relating to animals was required as part of the agreement with the City of Los Angeles Department Animal Services prior to their provision of field and sheltering services. During the adoption process, the Beverly Hills Municipal Code was reviewed, renumbered and reorganized with the intent of eliminating redundant or duplicate language. During this process, the section dealing with feeding of certain animals was inadvertently omitted.

Staff finds that this ordinance is necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety because the placement of food on public property and in publicly accessible areas attracts not only domesticated animals, but raccoons and coyotes, vermin such as rodents, and insects. This Ordinance prohibits the feeding of certain animals on public property, including but not limited to, stray dogs, and feral and stray cats. Staff finds that the Los Angeles Municipal Code does not adequately address the health and safety issues that arise from feeding of animals on public property.

Adoption of this Ordinance will prevent the proliferation of predatory mammal, rodent and insect populations, thereby reducing the spread of disease and prevent expansion of non- domesticated mammalian predator populations by limiting their access to food. The Ordinance will take effect immediately.

1 comment:

C Davis said...

I have to say I am very disturbed by Darian Bojeaux's witch hunt on a humane woman. Further, I am appalled by the lack of logic he possesses as an attorney. His logic simply does not exist. It is a nice attempt at logic, but it is an empty attempt.

I lived in Hancock Park, a very nice neighborhood in close proximity to Beverly Hills, for over 5 years. During this time I personally witnessed a feral cat colony being tended to. The cats did not disturb anyone, and there was certainly not an over abundance of "wild animals" such as coyotes, foxes, etc. coming into the neighborhood as a result of feral cats being fed. As I said, the logic is simply ridiculous. And fearing for his pets? How ridiculous. This is not even nearly an issue. I had 2 cats of my own during the time I lived in Hancock Park, and my neighbors had both dogs and cats. None of our animals were harmed while having a well-maintained group of ferals being cared for in the neighborhood. His bullyish behavior does nothing for the negative stigma attorneys already have. It does even less for the image of Beverly Hills.

It is no secret that Beverly Hills has huge wooded areas, parks, etc. If foxes and coyotes are being spotted it is because they ALREADY live in these areas. The idea that foxes, coyotes, etc. come into Beverly Hills because a small feral cat colony is being tended to is absolutely ludicrous.

Furthermore, it is my understanding that for many years Katherine Varjian has tended to a colony, reduced it's size, found homes for several cats, Trapped Neutered and Released - all at her own expense AND as a HUMANE ACT AND FAVOR to her neighbors as well as the poor cats who desperately need to be fed and cared for.

What on earth is the world coming to if we now begin to punish people for actually doing something kind and selfless that is NOT HARMING ANYONE? The residents of Beverly Hills need to stand behind their long-term neighbor and friend rather than ganging up on her like a bunch of high school bullies.

I am appalled and sickened by this behavior. Much of the country already has a dim view of Beverly Hills categorizing many of its residents as unkind, uncaring and out of touch with the rest of society. By prosecuting and punishing Katherine Varjian for a humane act and, as a result, the animals she cares for - all that results is the stigma attached to Beverly Hills is proven correct. And that is just sad and sick.

This madness needs to stop. This man needs to act like an adult, and a neigbor and a friend. Resolution can occur here. Katherine Varjian is actually doing the neighborhood and the animal community a favor. I encourage people turn up in droves to support her.