A comment was left regarding the Mason case that deserves its own post with regard to the letter Boks sent to Lori Golden.
The most telling commment is that Mason is Everyone: What can happen to him can happen to anyone. We cannot just rely on Mr. Cocek to not press charges and protect the public from Boks' police powers:
"The funny part to me is that out of the giant debacle that was the Mason setup/raid, Boks' one beef is the TV aspect.
"How about:The fact that his people lied to Dana Bartholomew.
"The ACTF hung a cat by his neck.Boks lied and said Muffin was on top of a dead cat, when Muffin was in fact very obviously next to a mirror.
"Boks, as well as various City personnel on City time slandered Ron and made unfounded, unsubstantiated allegations regarding his mental health.
"The ENORMOUS appearance of impropriety in arresting someone whose vet is days away from starting a job with LAAS- meaning if she had been called to testify she would have had a considerable conflict of interest at best, and an incentive to lie at worst.
"Bringing a County inspector on the raid, even though Ron's house wasn't within this inspector's jurisdiction.
"Either incompetently or deliberately mis-diagnosing the original six kittens, killing them, THEN "discovering" they were never sick (allegedly even before the raid took place).
"Uh - NOT READING RON HIS RIGHTS...Not giving Ron an inventory of seized property and cats at the scene.Sending an incomplete inventory later.Not informing Ron of his RIGHT to a post-seizure hearing.Playing musical chairs with which charges they were going to bring.Keeping property stolen from Ron at the raid. (For me to refer to it as "seized" they would have had to properly inventory it, then return it when they promised. At this point, with the case over, it's stolen.)
"Allowing an incompetent, ill-trained, and mentally erratic desk clerk at West Valley to further place Ron's cats in jeopardy by impeding his attempts to get them adopted out.
"And these are just the issues I can think of before I've had my coffee.As for why we still care about Ron Mason, there are two reasons.1. Ron is a nice guy who tried to help, feed & spay/neuter a lot of cats. Like it or not, we are in favor of that here.2. Because if it happened to Ron it could happen to any one of us. He tried to work with LAAS, he tried to play by the rules, except that he couldn't leave pregnant cats, newborn kittens, or injured/hungry cats to fend for themselves, which is an admirable thing.
"Boks, along with his LAAS and LAPD flunkies, used governmental power to abuse someone, deprive him of his rights, and libel and slander him. If you can't see why we think that's a big deal, then you must have something to gain by siding with the abusers."
Mr. Mason would probably benefit from reading Dona Baker's website on Feral Cat Caretaking. There are some very strict guidelines to follow when taking care of ferals and strays and she has got some excellent advice for everyone who is caring for ferals.
Her workshop, guidelines and instruction is endorsed by LA Animal Services. I wonder if Mr. Mason wouldn't mind taking one of Mrs. Baker's workshops and even getting her workbook in the meantime. The instruction or proper caretaking for ferals might have prevented Mr. Mason from attracting so many cats to his premises and getting reported by the neighbors, perhaps, I don't know. I'ts worth a try.
Mrs. Baker's workshop is being held at the West LA shelter for the next four weeks (it is a six week workshop). I wonder if Mrs. Baker wouldn't mind letting Mr. Mason audit the last four sessions of her class and helping him to maintain everything in control from here on.
The workshop and the guidelines of the workbook will tell Mr. Mason where he went wrong, although not directly. They're guidelines for everyone who is feeding and caring for strays and ferals.
Could anyone reach Mr. Mason and tell him about the workshop? I would love to see him in class. It really does take the whole community and not just one person alone taking all the burden. That's one of the ways we get into trouble and heartache, although there will always be heartache in this business of caring for ferals and strays. There are ways to curb some of the burden, however, and keep ourselves from neighbors complaining and getting into trouble, but we have to start early on and it takes a tremendous amount of work and diligence, or everything you've worked for will fall apart FAST!
The workshop isn't the end all, now that Mr. Mason and so many others have been hit so hard, but it's a really important place to start. It could have saved some lives, neighbor's complaints and an ultimate raid in the end.
I would still contact Mrs. Baker and take her workshop, however. Better late than never.
Wowee -- even with a trail of breadcrumbs I couldn't find my way through all that.
Fortunately, what I have an issue with is Paragraph #1, and I quote:
"The animal activists had already put LAAS with their back up against the wall so they didn't want the cats, and couldn't accpet/impound the cats into the shelter when Mr. Mason tried to take them in."
What??!! Even if that made the faintest grammatical sense, how do animal activists bear ANY responsibility for Ron Mason's arrest and malicious prosecution?
Boks refuses ferals and neonates here for the same reason he did it in Maricopa County and NYC, to artificially tweak his intake numbers.
Activists, as you choose to lump-term everyone, have NO say in LAAS policy.
On top of which, the cats Ron tried to take to LAAS, in my understanding, were the kittens. Kittens don't have anything to do with TNR.
Not to mention the fact that you conveniently ellide together two separate issues. Yes, Ron had a lot of cats. But NO, Ron did not have to be dawn-raided, handcuffed, libelled, slandered, deprived of his civil rights, and threatened with felony animal neglect because he had a lot of cats. That was a specific choice, and a specific action of ACTF and Boks. NOT ONE THING to do with "animal activists."
Matter of fact, genuine animal rights activists, mostly Ed Muzika, are the ones who saved Ron, and who are now in the process of trying to save his remaining cats.
And speaking of libel and slander, it would be nice if you could reconsider labeling everyone in the rescue community you disagree with as a "stalker." It doesn't exactly paint you as a model of mental stability.
I happen to agree with the comments of #1. Seems trying to keep them all alive at any costs or means, has become like a snake and has turned to bite people like Ron. And I suggest that the reality website, TNRrealitycheck.com, is a much better read.
Sorry to disappoint you #3, but kittens have everything to do w/ TNR. If you practiced any of it, you would know why.
And, really so sorry to disappoint you, but kittens weren't the only felines that Mr. Mason took into the shelter.
Mr. Mason opened up his sweet heart and his home to more neighborhood cats than you can count with your fingers and your toes, particularly during the rainy season.
Why do you think LAAS was trying to help him for two years during the time the neighbors were complaining about all the cats?
He had lots and lots of four-footers going in and out of his house, and he couldn't keep up. So, he tried to cut down and LAAS tried to help him by allowing him to bring a few in at a time.
Why are you so surprised?
No one is slandering anybody, by the way, and the one who may need some psychological help might be you, if you need to set a trail of breadcrumbs to help you read some text.
Free country, though. Hope your trail veers to the left, about 8 years or so, just as Mr. Muzika says.
#1 needs real correction.
Animal Services was not holding Mason's cats so long to get them adopted. They were locked up in an isolated evidence room where no one could go see them for three months.
They were not treated or fostered as Boks told Dana Bartholomew. Now they are there longer because of the red tape still being forced down Mason's throat about getting the cats out and adopted.
Only an employee would say that the activists caused the whole problem, FORCING LAAS not to take cats, by stalking the poor employees.
Most activists are criticizing the dept for not taking the cats, pointing to the huge increase in animal impounds in January as a result of their failure to take the cats last summer. I supported Boks refusing taking the kittens. I might have been wrong.
Nothing is going to work until adoptions go way, way up.
Cocek said it was his understanding that Mason could get the cats out free to any rescue group. It is still costing more than it should because of fees added on, leaving the poor cats languishing in their cages.
If you get the point that Mason was set up so that the ACTF and Boks could get media coverage, you'd better understand what really happened.
"And, really so sorry to disappoint you, but kittens weren't the only felines that Mr. Mason took into the shelter.
"Why do you think LAAS was trying to help him for two years during the time the neighbors were complaining about all the cats?
"He had lots and lots of four-footers going in and out of his house, and he couldn't keep up. So, he tried to cut down and LAAS tried to help him by allowing him to bring a few in at a time.
The reality is that the only help offered by LAAS were spay/neuter certificates and a list of rescues, some of whom did some spay neuter.
AS did not "allow him to bring in a few at a time." He never brought any in and they refused to take them until Boks decided he was a convenient patsy.
"No one is slandering anybody."
Again, nonsense. Take a look at Boks defense of the raid where he says Mason is nuts and he needs to be convicted to stop his mental illness from acting out.
What about Lt. Diamico telling the world on TV that Mason's cats were going to contaminate blocks of cats with panleukemia?
Hmm...slander and libel...
What about saying there were dead cats on Ron's property?
What about City personnel telling TV cameras that Ron has mental health problems?
What about writing on a City website that Ron was breeding cats, when Boks had all the evidence that Ron was in fact doing the opposite?
What about telling the Daily News and televison cameras that Ron was neglecting these cats?
What about telling a reporter that Burt was sick when in fact he was limping because Ron paid over $1,000 to fix Burt's broken leg?
What about saying there were health code violations at Ron's house when in fact there were no violations?
Yup, other than that (and a lot more), no libel or slander.
Also, I'm not sure how someone can so twist a straightforward statement like "kittens don't have anything to do with TNR" but the fact is kittens don't have to be returned, they can be rehabbed and adopted. On top of which, anyone who knows anything about the FACTS in Ron Mason's case (as opposed to the positioning issue he represents for Boks and Antonio Villaraigosa -- JIM...) knows that Ron brought kittens in to LAAS, presumably so they would not BECOME feral. LAAS REFUSED TO TAKE the kittens -- a Boks policy that he also instituted in Maricopa County and NYC. Even though Ron had been open with them that he was overwhelmed, LAAS just gave Ron feeding kits, and told him to bring the kittens back, I believe at eight weeks.
You can spew your agendas and you can try to obscure the truth. But the issue here is NOT Villaraigosa'a hope of reelection, or TNR, or any of that. The issue is what happened to Ron Mason. And, as Ed Muzika has pointed out previously, whatever semi-socialized cats Ron had were outside at the time of the raid, and thus were able to elude the untrained incompetents of the ACTF. They got the inside cats, the seniors and the kittens (the sitting ducks) hence NOT feral.
As has been mentioned here before, the facts are not your friends. We are sorry for you that they don't fit your agenda for or against TNR, against what you illiterately refer to as animal activists (which in fact would be a bunny with a picket sign. I am an animal rights activist and advocate, not a stalker or a yeller. I am, sadly for you, a registered voter.) The facts also don't fit your hope of continuing in City government.
The facts are that what happened to Ron was criminal, and criminally incompetent and cruel. No amount of obfuscation on your part changes that.
How many rescuers have no kennel permit and over three dogs or cats? All of the New Hope partners. If any of them get on Boks' bad side, he could raid them. The private rescuers have over three dogs or cats. They could get raided if they don't do what the officers want. This is good, a lot of the employees have way over three animals and they're not even licensed. They too could have issues if they don't kiss other employee's butts. We could all be Mason. It was the number that he had. Many people have over three dogs or three cats. I don't because I don't want to ever have to deal with this crap. If I legally could have more, I'd probably go rescue two more cats.
I agree that the owner/feeder needs to manage, feed, protect, provide shelter and med care.
I agree it is wise to do everything possible to pacify the neighbors else you might be raided.
The difference is the LAAS was working with Ron for 3 years. By that I mean they regulary inspected, gave him orders to comply regarding medical for specific cats. They never actually took and tried to place cats, they gave him orders, spay/neuter vouchers and feeding kits and told him to wait until the cats were 8 weeks old before he brought them in. This is hardly help. In fact, it is setting him up to have even more kittens when the raid came.
Neighbors can and do get riled even if you have just one cat wandering in their yard. You cannot pacify mnay neighbors.
The allegation of feces all over the appliances and floor was a gross exageration. Ron had 12 litter boxes and went through 90 lbs of litter a week.
Why is it that after 2-3 years, "working" with Mr. Mason changed overnight to "felony animal neglect?" No one else busted a feeder was so charged. Why Mason? Animal Planet show maybe? Boswell woke up on the wrong side of the bed?
There was no dead cat behind a mirror that Muffin was sitting on. Didn't you read my blog and see the photograph of Muffin next to the mirror, not behind a cabinet, and clearly there was no dead cat he was sitting on? This was part of the libel to discredit Mason. IT WAS A LIE!
Where did you get the figure 59 cats inside? Again you have not read this blog. 59 were taken altogether. Ron said there were about 20 in his house when they came.
Ron was a sitting duck because everyone at animal services knew about him. He was very open asking for help. Instead he was raided, 59cats taken and maybe as many as 37 killed--we don't know becasue Boks is not releasing that data to me.
Mason would gladly have handed over the cats to Animal Services, as he did the 12 kittens 2 days before the raid.
It sounds like you are an employee who has not bothered to read this blog. Or someone who thinks no one should have more than 5-6 cats.
The previous commenter appears to be an ACO who was present at the Mason raid.
He/she states 59 cats were taken while the stats obtained by Brad Jensen lists 47 seized as evidence animals that day. This is why I have requested records of all cats seized from the Mason property and have been refused for four months.
NOTICE THIS ACO SAYS DEPARTMENT POLICY HAS CHANGED AND KITTENS ARE REFUSED. BOKS HAS STEADFASTLY DENIED THIS IS THE CASE.
I'm preparing you for the rant of my life. You are not going to Friggen believe this!
I just realized that after Looking at the Ron Mason bust on the U-Tube that my next door neighbor's daughter lived only a block away from Mason about two years ago, before she moved.
Not only was MY neighbor feeding the whole neighborhood of strays by just leaving the food out and NOT having the cat spayed and neutered, but her daughter was doing the same blasted thing!
Ron Mason said on the video that a bunch oif people in the surrounding homes and buildings were feeding cats. Was he right!
I kept telling my neighbor that she needed to get the cats that she was feeding altered, if she wanted to feed. Soon after we moved into our home, the Maddie's Fund went into effect. I offered to spay and neuter the cats for her, if she would just let me. She wouldn't. She just kept leaving the food out. She had altered two cats, and let them go again, but she left food out for the rest of the neighborhood, and no one else was being altered.
My neighbor's grandson commented that there were a ton of cats and kittens living on the back alley alongside their home, and the mom was feeding them. When the cats got into a fight over the food, and attacked their "outdoor" cat, they trapped that cat and dumped him somewhere.
They not only refused to have any of the cats they were feeding altered, but they refused any help I was offering them. I begged them to let me help, but nothing doing. Same blasted thing with ALL my friggen neighbors out here who refuse to spay and neuter the cats the strays they are feeding, and they don't want anyone stepping in to do the work, either.
One lady around the corner from me, near the other side of my fence just throws the food down on her front porch. Scatters the food on the floor as if the cats were a bunch of chickens -- A bunch of cats eating at on the porch during the daytime.
Do you know what she said when I told her about the no feeding ordinance and about the spay and neuter law?
Mixes are good. What do you think is going to happen when only purebreds are born and there are no mixes?
So she's providing the mixes for the world now because she's afraid the mixes are going to disappear now?
I've been fighting with my neighbors about s/n of the strays for so friggen long, and NOW I find out that my neighbor's daugher lived only a block away from Mr. Mason only two years ago. That means that she was one of the people on that street who Mr. Mason said were feeding cats and causing them to reproduce.
That woman didn't have ONE cat or kitten altered that she fed irresponsibly. She wouldn' have them adopted, or take them to the shelter. She just fed. Makes my stomach shrink like beef jerky. I am absolutely mortified!
The woman moved to Arizona and left the zillions of cats behind to suffer, get sick, and continue their reproduction; and, MR. MASON was only a block away, TRYING TO GET THEM ALTERED! He was probably trying to take on the problem this a*Hole of a woman created, while she sat on her behind doing NOTHING about the problem she created.
I took on the problem my neighbor left for me, and it's no fault but my own if I get raided in the end for transferring the problem onto myself when after SIX YEARS I have been fighting with this woman to let me get the cats that she was feeding altered! So many were so sick. Wouldn't let me go near them.
As it is, the people who lived in our home before we moved in left 9 cats behind when they moved. The neighbor was supposed to care for them.
Her husband finally told her to remove the food once I told him that I needed help with the dental bills for one of the cats I caught on my side of the yard. The guy complained, and they stopped feeding. Now it's up to me to continue on w/ the responsibilites toward the cats w/ the spay and neuter, and everything else that goes along with taking care of those cats. Wonderful.
Mason was probably trying to take on the problem my neighbor's daughter created. They lived on the same street a block away; they helped the neighborhood of cats rampantly, and let someone else deal with the problem they helped to create. Then they moved and left the cats behind.
Life is beautiful.
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