Why did the Animal Cruelty Task Force choose Mason to bust?
Easy. He had been asking for help for three years. Instead of help they gave him vouchers and a list of non-profit organizations that did TNR. He was providing the cats with vet services within his capacity. Animal Services regularly came to his house to inspect and give him orders to comply, such as to take Burt in to a vet because he limped, despite Mason's repeating the story over and over that Burt limped because he had a pin in his leg. There was no help offered or supplied, only directives.
Beginning nine weeks before the October 11 bust, he stated pregnant moms were showing up all over the place, leading some to think the TNR groups were dumping them at Mason's house. He said he was not just asking West Vally Animal Services for help, he was begging for help. Instead they gave him feeder kits and told him to bring them in when they were eight weeks old.
Because Animal Services was constantly on his property and he had allowed a City lock on his gate, the City was intimately aware of his problems. Yet, they did not help.
Instead they raided his house, threw him in handcuffs, charged him with felony animal neglect, made him post a $20,000 bond, invited the press and City TV along for Boks' publicity, as well as brought in a County Health Inspector for a ride-along.
Finally, Boks libeled and convicted Mason, offering "evidence" about the medical condition of the cats and kittens killed and refused to release that same evidence to the public via a request for records. Boks pronounced the magic words, "irremediably suffering" and at least 25 cats were killed based on his summary of the LAAS vet's opinion. Then Boks said Mason was a hoarder, which he stated was a mental illness.
Why Mason? Because he was an easy target. He was extremely open and transparent with Animal Services who knew how many cats he had, he had no money for a lawyer, his place smelled for the reporters and there were bound to be sick cats just as there are thousands in Boks' "shelters" during the course of a year.
Then Boks "rescued" the cats and killed half within a few days, using the magic words, "irremediably suffering," and probably also adding to his long list of Hayden violations. Is Boks hiding that information because he doesn't want to reveal that Animal Services was violating Hayden yet again? We don't know. He is not letting anyone know.
The incomplete list of confiscated items did not include descriptions of any cats. Then Boks and the LAAS vet destroyed the evidence without a judges order, violating, I believe, the rules of evidence concerning animals in a criminal case. Apparently several prosecution cases have been lost in San Diego due to the lack of a judge's order allowing evidence animals to be destroyed.
Of course, all this means nothing without a lawyer and they knew Mason could not afford one. The City had all the aces. Mason did not stand a chance.
Dana Bartholomew was told the cats would be treated and then fostered out as evidence animals, but Boks has refused to give Mason or anyone else any information on those animals.
C'mon now, be reasonable. All they had on the Animal Cruelty Task Force was "five LAAS Animal Control Officers and two LAPD Detectives" (according to the LAAS website). How could they be expected to "detect" animal cruelty in a city like Los Angeles? They had to take what was offered up to them on a silver platter. They had to throw someone who came to them for help under the bus. It's scary to look for REAL criminals!
And those of us who work or volunteer at rescues and shelters can tell you -- there is absolutely NO evidence of actual cruelty to animals in this city.
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