Is LAAS Guilty of Over 1,400 Violations of the Hayden Act Last Year?

As George Orwell’s pig in Animal Farm stated, some animals are more equal than others. Cats get the shaft at LAAS. They are held a shorter period of time and killed earlier.

500 healthy cats were euthanized on their first day of impound as opposed to 180 healthy dogs. 450 healthy dogs were adopted that first day compared to about 220 healthy cats.

The charts below are gruesome evidence of LAAS' discrimination.These numbers do not include unweaned dogs or cats. These numbers also do not include sick or injured animals. There are separate charts and numbers for them which will be posted later.

I don't understand why 500 cats were euthanized the same day as impounded, or 180 healthy dogs for that matter.

This appears to be a clear violation of the Hayden Act, which states:

No dog or cat impounded by a public pound or specified shelter shall be killed until after a minimum of four or six days BUSINESS DAYS have elapsed, not including the day impounded.

That means the killing cannot start until the 6th BUSINESS DAY after impound. If a shelter is closed one day a week, they cannot be killed until the eighth day.

These rules also apply to owner turn ins as quoted from the Act below.

The statistics provided are the department's own statistics; they are for healthy cats and dogs.

Therefore, why were they killed?

If the department deemed many of the healthy cats feral on impound, they were still required by the Hayden Act to hold them a minimum of three days and only then temperament tested to determine whether a cat is a frightened tame cat or truly feral.

Hayden Act:

If an apparently feral cat has not been reclaimed by its owner or caretaker within the first three days of the required holding period, shelter personnel qualified to verify the temperament of the animal shall verify whether it is feral or tame by using a standardized protocol.

If the cat is determined to be docile or a frightened or difficult tame cat, the cat shall be held for the entire required holding period specified in Section 31752. If the cat is determined to be truly feral, the cat may be euthanized or relinquished to a nonprofit.

Owner Turn-ins:

31754. (a) Except as provided in Section 17006, any animal relinquished by the purported owner that is of a species impounded by pounds or shelters shall be held for the same holding periods, with the same requirements of care, applicable to stray dogs and cats in Sections 31108 and 31755

So, not only is it terribly clear that LAAS discriminates against cats, these charts present prima facie evidence of multiple (over a thousand illegal acts by LAAS.

If this is true, LAAS has been in violation of the Hayden Act over one thousand, four hundred time during just the first nine months of 2006 and possibly hundreds more if the animals were killed on the sixth and seventh day.

URL for the Hayden Act:

The official government website for the Hayden Act:

At this government website, check "Food and Agriculture Code" and then type in 31754 to see in official black and white that Owner Turn Ins must be held for the entire hold period, and 31752, 31755, 31108 for definitions of "holding period," "feral," etc.


Anonymous said...

Let me explain how the Hayden works here.When cats are brought in that aren't so nice a decision has to be made, there is only so much room at the inn. Before the Hayden, sweet, gentle, loving Fluffy cat was allowed to live and a nasty, ill tempered cat just to arrive at the shelter will be euthanized to make room for Fluffy cat. But when the nasty, ill tempered cat comes into the shelter under the Hayden, Fluffy loses. Fluffy has been there past the holding time and Fluffy has to die to make room for the nasty, ill tempered cat that won't get adopted. More adoptable animals have died under the Hayden than before. You have to decide who dies when there is not enough room for them all. Poor Fluffy doesn't stand a chance particularly when the shelter gets hit with a bunch of hoarder's cats either. In my opinion the Hayden Act is a curse.

Anonymous said...

That's unbelievable! I know they don't have the Hayden Act in New York but that would not be an acceptable excuse. Everyone knows about the Hayden Act though until now it would have been tough to prove a violation. Boks must do something about this immediately! There's a commission meeting tonight at North Central. Maybe someone should bring this up.

Ed Muzika said...

Regarding the mean nassty cat. You are absolutely wrong here. The Hayden Act states that a nasty frightened cat may be feral or just a frightened stray. You have to keep the cat three days to see which it was, otherwise a frightened Fluffy would be killed on day one too.

The problem is that LAAS has not stopped the flow of animals in because they don't know how, and they have not learned how save the lives of those who do come in. Your idea is that it is all a matter of how much space you have as opposed to how much intelligence you have.

I understand that LAAS staff does not like working with cats vs. dogs. Cats get short shrift as do Pit Bulls.

I can't believe so many more cats than dogs coming in are judged sick either.

Your argument that it is all due to nasty cats is stupid. There would have to be thousands of nasty cats to explain there very poor numbers compared to dogs.

Also, if you look at the statistics, there were not many cats killed on day 4 (compared to 1), when ferals legally could be killed.

Also, if you look at the stats, some cats were held for a month or more before they were killed. These are the Fluffys.

Lately I have been receiving many poorly written and illogical comments regarding cats and assume they are all coming from the same person. I post the few better written ones and attempt to rebut them and the poor logic involved.

Anonymous said...

I think you're right about the employees not wanting to handle cats. I volunteer at the shelters and see it all the time. They are frightened of being scratched or bitten by cats. If they don't know how to handle them, that will happen. They need more cat training, for sure. They are also frightened of the pitbulls. They could use more hands-on dog training. Captain De Deaux doesn't do handson training. He just tells them what to do. He needs to take the protective gear, shields and just go in and secure and move dogs. I took a class of his and the employees kept asking him to go into the kennels and show them instead of just telling them. He wouldn't do it.

Anonymous said...

Well written article.