I Want to Apologize

Ron Mason often said LAAS was always friendly and cooperative with him until 2 days before the October 11, 2007 raid. Then everything changed and two days later he was raided. Why, no one is sure. I am still convinced the Animal Planet show had something to do with it, but also persistent complaints by neighbors.

There is now another potential Mason event that appears to be building in North Hollywood, again with a man who has taken care of several ferals that came onto his property, gotten them fixed and rendered veterinarian services.

He has had frequent visits over a long period of time, with, he says, very amicable relations over that period, just as they were with Ron Mason.

However, due to neighbor complaints, the City Attorney has become involved in an informal hearing demanding that this man, Marc Madow, himself with a major blog, get rid of all the cats but three.

However, Madow stopped feeding the ferals on his property some time ago, and stopped supplying water in anticipation of trouble. Now, cats drink out of a birdbath located on his property or drink water and antifreeze from the street.

Six of the cats have been poisoned and died during the last couple of months, possibly by a next door neighbor who constantly complains about his cats to police and LAAS. One cat was run over while searching for food off his property.

Madow says ACOs have always been cooperative and worked with him. However, I assume soon authorities will "Pull a Mason" on Madow.

Therefore, I want to apaologize to LAAS in general. I said they either do nothing or bring the world down around someone, as with Mason.

My experience with Officer Pro and the semi-offical responses from an apparent ACO saying they don't have the discretion to just seize animals and they don't want to impound them when they look healthy or are not abused, reinforce my new found understanding that they are not the bad guys.

It appears that in general they bend over backwards not to endanger or impound animals. What happened to Mason was because of orders from above.

Marc tells his own story on his own blog with a video about his complaining neighbor who had installed nine (9!) video cameras watching and photographing Madow's property. The neighbors have thrown pipes and other heavy objects at the cats. They also threw a metal pipe over a nine foot hedge into his year when he was outside with his girlfriend. When the cops came, the son of the neighbor threw a pipe at the officers. For some reason, the son was not arrested and the cops told Madow that a report was on record about the entire incident in case he needed proof of harassment in the future.

Madow has complete medical records for all the cats plus copies of all written correspondence about anything related to the cats. He has copies at a separate location. I have not gone into with him exactly what he ha sin the totality of his paperwork.

However, the City Attorney's harsh demand he get rid of all the cats--which are not his as he is not feeding them outside, giving them water in water bowls or providing shelter other than a property that cats can come on to, they are not legally his in any fashion. In addition, any cats that do come on to his property are caught and taken in for S/N. Most of the cats have the tell-tale snipped ears.

See Madow's blog for the full story. Keep tuned for this ongoing story.


I may be forced into starting a new organization: The Los Angeles Society for the Protection of Alleged Hoarders (LASPAH). I hope you realize this is a joke.


Anonymous said...

What an involved and amazing statement. Poor guy is trying to process what is happening to him.

Regarding the neighbors:

"They have no clue about the dynamic of the situation, and if someone from the Feral Cat Caretakers' Coalition came around to explain it, they'd probably throw a length of pipe at them."

Has he tried calling the Feral CAt Caretaker's Coalition to help him with this? I imagine so, and there is nothing that they can do to help, except to advise him to try to relocate the cats.

There are some very strict guidelines that must be followed, however, or the cats will try to make their way home, and it will be put the cats into jeapordy.

Here is FCCC's number:

(818) 820-4122

"I'm trying to take the pressure off by doing the trap-neuter-return thing, so the population won't increase any more. I'm giving the cats a place to hang out, that keeps them out of the next-door yard, and instead of saying "thank you," [the neighbors] are going berserk.

Extremely difficult situation for everyone concerned.

Again, the neighbors will only complain if there is poo in their yard. FCCC suggests making arrangements w/ the neighbors to allow the caretaker to clean their yard, since the cats will not only poo in the caretaker's yard, but also in the neighbor's yard.

Our friend needs to provide lots and lots of covered litterboxes, w/ lots of litter. Not enough to just s/n and feed. The caretaker needs to keep the place spotless when the neighbors begin to complain.

If the officers get there and the cats are healthy, and everything is clean, they'll usually turn the other cheek.

It is very difficult, however, to be able to get permission from the neighbors to allow the caretaker to clean their yard from all cat poo, pee, spraying of vehicles, and doorways, wherever the cats are leaving their mark. It's a liability issue, and most neighbors don't want you on their premises, even if you do have pretty good relations with them.

Tragic for the cats when this happens.

" the City Attorney's harsh demand he get rid of all the cats--which are not his as he is not feeding them outside, giving them water in water bowls or providing shelter other than a property that cats can come on to, they are not legally his in any fashion."

You're darned if you do, and you're dammed if you don't. The cats are attracted to his property because he has been feeding them and they see his place, therefore, as their little haven. IF the officers get there and they see cats on his property, they're going to count them as the caretaker's.

"In addition, any cats that do come on to his property are caught and taken in for S/N. Most of the cats have the tell-tale snipped ears."

Yes. I know. It doesn't matter. There are neighbor's complaints at this point and there is cat poo on their yard, and if the guy's house really does have an odor, and the places where the cats are hanging out also have an odor of pee and poo in the air...the cats are going to end up w/out a caretaker.

If the officers take any of them, they will let the one's with the clipped ears go.

The shelters aren't taking cats w/ cropped ears. It defeats the whole purpose of TNR.

The officers will not take those cats...they will tell the guy to stop feeding and watering them. Worse. That's how the one who got smashed by a car got killed. Searching for food.

The shelters don't want ferals or cats with cropped ears, which marks them as ferals. They will turn them loose if they have to.

The guy is right. They'll take the domestic ones because those are the one's that have a chance to be adopted. They will try not to get them during the kitten season, however, when all the shelters are already overcrowded.

They'll keep allowing the guy to cut down on the number of cats himself. Allow him to take control of his situation as he sees fit, just as long as he comes down to the legal limit.

It's not about legal limits at this point. It's about the fact that he is attracting the neighborhood cats to his property and the neighbors are complaining of the odor and feces.

So incredibly sad.

I have no idea how the guy is going to transport those little guys to another country and resocialize them; kennel them so that they adjust to their new enviroment.

It sounds to me like he's already been doing that.

He hasn't told us how many cats he had....and he's been bringing them inside during the cold and rainy weather (same as Mr. Mason).

The semi-ferals and ferals will spray the heck out of your house and home, both inside and out.


Honest to God, the cats are better off being humanely put to sleep rather than dumping them in some foreign country, or foreign territory. The one who was searching for food already got smashed, and they will continue to be poisoned...only in another territory, on someone else's lot.

People move, people change. Neighbor's also don't stay the same.

Relations even between neighbor's can seem like everything's coming up roses, and then, it's hell on earth to pay for those kitties.

I'll get bashed now, but so be it.

Poor little guys. What hell on earth. Crap. Crap a million and one times over. This just isn't fair. Life shouldn't have to be like this. All those little guys want to do is live and eat and pee and poop and sleep and stay warm and cozy. Damn it all, and damn it to tears!

Funny the guy looks a lot like Ronny Mason. The tone of his voice is so similar to his too. Uncanny.

Anonymous said...

"Six of the cats have been poisoned and died during the last couple of months, possibly by a next door neighbor who constantly complains about his cats to police and LAAS. One cat was run over while searching for food off his property."

Tragic, just tragic....

This is exactly what happens to those little creatures when the neighbors start seeing a bunch of kitties collecting in one place. Even if the place is clean, you can get complaints, and the kitties are subject to torture, simply because some people really hate cats.

Did you know that the Armenian Orthodox Church sacrifices animals?

Yup. If they are involved in an accident, or are even close to an accident, they sacrifice animals for good luck...like taking the spell away.

I couldn't believe it when my partner told me about this.

I only wish I had known who it was and what kind of animals they sacrifice, and whether it happens in the Church as a sacrificial act.

The people in the video are Armenian. I only wonder if they hate the cats because they know about the cultic rituals that occur in the Armenian Orthodox Church and they have a guilty conscience of some kind.


Anonymous said...

What a sweet, and considerate thing to say, Mr. Muzika....

"My experience with Officer Pro and the semi-offical responses from an apparent ACO saying they don't have the discretion to just seize animals and they don't want to impound them when they look healthy or are not abused, reinforce my new found understanding that they are not the bad guys."

So sweet!

"It appears that in general they bend over backwards not to endanger or impound animals. What happened to Mason was because of orders from above."

Yes, this is so true....I agree wholeheartedly with you...so sweet, and so true....

I heart Mr. Muzika : )

BTW---The new picture of you in the colorful shirt holding the kitten...who is she? She is soooo cute and it is such an adorable photograph of both of you!

Did her "mommy" Kerima take the picture? It's the perfect picture of sheer love and joy!

Oh yeah...this is really funny:

"I may be forced into starting a new organization: The Los Angeles Society for the Protection of Alleged Hoarders (LASPAH). I hope you realize this is a joke."

I got scared there for a minute....The guy raises some really good points about trying to take care of the neighborhood kitties and his expense, and so I didn't know whether a new organization was really on the way or not...Ya pulled 'ma leg!

Kelley said...

I actually want to start such an organization (not a joke). Can I steal your name?

This is a sick story.
Is there no better answer for the cats than to stop feeding them and giving them water in an attempt to keep from being arrested as a "hoarder?"

Anonymous said...

ah, what?

Anonymous said...

Is he supposed to shoot them? How else does he regulate what feral cats are on his property?


Are we free of crime? Are the gangs all gone? Have schools stopped erupting in massive racial fights? Are all the dog fighters in jail? Clearly all the city residents who throw pipes at their neighbors have yet to be locked up.

Does the City Attorney feel that the anti-cat faction is a significant voting bloc that he must appease?

The more I actually start to pay attention to what goes on in the government of this city and this county the more I cannot fathom the lack of professionalism, and the lack of brains in the operation. These guys have no sense of priorities, no sense of duty and just plain no damn sense.

These people literally will do unbelievably less than the bare minimum to earn their big paychecks (plus raking in giant overtime, per the news yesterday). Pretty soon they'll be announcing a massive crackdown on jaywalkers as part of their campaign to do NOTHING to protect this city. L.A. will go down in gunfire and flames, but by God the City Attorney will make sure there are no roaming cats around when it does.

Lazy, incompetent, half-witted losers...

Anonymous said...

Which City Attorney is it that's giving this guy such a hard time?

Maybe we could call and ask why this is such a big deal.

Anonymous said...

I think an organization of cat/animal caretakers is a BRILLIANT idea.

If I have learned one thing reading your blog and Ryan Olshan's County watchdog blog, as well as, in my limited way, interacting with local government officials, it is this: They do not give one tiny damn about the individual citizen.

You can be a taxpayer, you can even be a voter, but unless you can make them believe you represent a coalition of voters, and/or can cause them significant bad publicity, you will, with 100% certainty, be treated as an ignorant waste of their time.

Meanwhile, cats are the most popular pet in the nation. (No disrespect to dogs, I love them and have a few, but facts are facts). We are overwhelmingly a nation of animal lovers, and cat lovers in particular. Yet, because we don't organize, because we are unaware that people who try to look after abandoned cats and their offspring are having their rights violated, and the lives of the cats they care for threatened, people like Ron Mason and Mark Madow have to fight the same fights, take the same abuse from petty, useless officials who are simply trying to make themselves look and feel important, and have to suffer life-altering adversity, simply because they tried to do the right thing and, in BOTH of their cases, because they did what L.A. Animal Services told them to do.

Bring in kittens because you're overwhelmed, and Boks' LAAS will lie about their medical condition, kill them, and use the whole thing as a pretext for a bogus, PR stunt arrest.

Spay and neuter stray and feral cats, at your own expense, per TNR directions of LAAS, and the City Attorney uses your altruism AND your adherence to LAAS guidelines to "prove" you own the cats.

The ONLY way to stop this is to organize. Ed, you start an organization and I'll be the first registered, dues-paying member.

This is never going to stop unless we make it stop. We can either have a world run by Mark Madow's psychotic neighbors and the incompetent bullying jerk City Attorney's hearing officer (I highly recommend reading Madow's account of the "hearing" on his blog, but be sure to have aspirin ready for the headache it'll give you) OR we can organize a group of multi-partisan animal owners and caregivers and turn our hundreds of voices to Rocky Delgadillo's office and tell them to leave us the hell alone and go after the REAL animal abusers, the cat and dog-dumpers and poisoners, the dog fighters, the illegal breeders and puppy mills, and maybe take a look in their OWN backyard, at what's happening at LAAS and LACDACC.

But a couple of ex-hippies looking after living beings out of the disinterested goodness of their hearts? Leave them the HELL ALONE!

Anonymous said...

Why don't you just go over the guy's house and help him out by cleaning up the joint?

Guy's don't clean up as well as women.

He said, himself, that there is "cat shit" all over the place.

You know it's going to be in the house and pee all over the walls if the guy isn't scrubbing down the walls on a daily basis.

The guy is bringing ferals and semi's into his house.

If he's going to do that, and isn't scrubbing everything down on a daily basis, the pee will thicken and stick to whereever the cats sprayed and left their puddles to mark their territory.

If the cats don't have enough litterboxes, they will use anything clean they can find.

You need to use ultraviolet lights and go around your home and yard at night shining that light on all the walls, and furniture, carpet, etc. and scrub everything down before it settles.

You heard the neighbor yelling...the place stinks.

That is not right for the cats. They have no choice. It's the caretaker's responsibility.

If he doesn't do this from the git-go, he is putting the cats in jeapordy.

If you keep everything clean from the beginning, and keep them from collecting--monotoring, and managing, and controlling your population, you will keep complaints at a minimum, so that if an officer comes to your home, he sees that you are taking care of the cats, and not allowing them to collect, proliferate, and ruin their own living quarters, your own, and the neighbor's.

It takes lots and lots of ongoing, continuous work. No time off. No sick time, no vacation time, no work time outside of caring for that particular colony that has reproduced and has been allowed to collect at the home of the caretaker.

The man is bringing cats home in addition to all the neighborhood cats he is attracting to his home.

The stress level of the cats begins to become apparent when they really start spraying like hell. If the caretaker wants the cats around, he has to protect them by scrubbing his place down every single day of the week.

Then he still has to keep up his regular chores and employment.

If he's got more than he can reasonably handle, it's going to show in a jiffy. The cats will suffer at that point because if the guy has already started feeding and watering them and providing them w/ warm places to sleep, and protecting them from the harsh elements, and then they're kicked out, that is a complete shock to them.

You take on only what you can reasonably handle from the git-go.

If you've gone too far, you need to cut down yourself. The officers don't want to have to do it for you. That's not fair to them either. It is certainly not fair to the cats to have to starve and dehydrate to death once you are forced to stop feeding them.

You have to do everything possible to keep cats from collecting in your yard.

You have to humanely monitor, manage, control, or everyone is put in danger.

If you have a lot of cats, you need to start cleaning from the minute you get up---cleaning up after them. Keep everything fresh and nice. Your home, your landscaping, your living quarters, and the places where the cats "hang out," whether it be outside, inside, both.

If someone wanted to come after my cats, I sure in the hell am not going to dump them anywhere. Especially in another country, and I sure am not going to subject them to poisoning, battery, and physical injury, so that someone is throwing pipes and crushing their little heads and spines.

We need to start caring for them from the moment you make a decision to feed, alter, and keep inviting them to come around by whatever means you are attracting them to your yard, or whatever means they find habitable and comfortable enough to stay.

Like this man, Mr. Mason was also allowing feral cats to come into his home during the rainy season.

The officers' hands were covered in pee as they were going around the premises trying to gather up the cats. The pee stains stayed on their hands for a very long time. YES, they washed and scrubbed their hands. That's how bad it was.

The pee was all over the walls. The guy wasn't scrubbing down his walls, and he wasn't looking for places where they marked, knowing the cats were peeing everywhere.

Mr. Mason was very embarrassed by this. I don't blame him. I would be too. He tried to keep up and couldn't.

Now this guy is also bringing them home, in addition to the ones that are constantly collecting in his home.

TNR doesn't work to keep the cat population stable.

IT will keep some out, but not everyone. Cats still collect if you are not monotoring, and controlling your population, and keeping them from collecting in your yard.

If you are bringing them home and collecting them inside your house, in addition to the one's you've already adopted out, you're defeating yourself, and you're defeating the purpose of population management. Especially if all of them aren't altered.

You forget to spay one, or didn't get to him or her in time, guess what? You've got 7 more. Fourteen more if there are two you didn't get, or don't see in the middle of the night, because you're leaving the food out for whomever.

It's not the district attorney's fault.

You heard the guy. He collects them. He adopts some out and then gets more. After he's already used up his friends and neighbor's and put them up on Craigslist, he's got more. He is deafeating himself, and putting the remainder of his cats, who aren't adoptable, and who will be forced to starve, dehydrate, get sick, get run over by cars, get poisoned, and killed, into danger because he keeps collecting them and can't keep up w/ proper maintenance, and proper management and control.

The remainder who aren't adoptable are the ones that are going to suffer more than anyone. When the domestic ones are taken into the shelter, they will have a chance. But not much.

They would have been better off at the man's house if he kept everything clean from the beginning. The inside and the outside, and he didn't keep collecting them when he had already cut down after having adopted a bunch out already.

The one's that get left behind w/ no caretaker and no shelter have to pay, and the one's who get taken into the shelter through no fault of their own have to suffer in those stupid cages, freaked out, not knowing why in the hell they are in there in the first place, when they did nothing wrong.

They can't think for themselves.
The caretaker has to think for them; protect them from the beginning. When he gets overwhelmed, he needs to act fast, before he ends up w/ complaints. Once the complaints have started, he has to get a movin' or the cats will pay. That's not fair to the cats, and it certainly isn't fair to the neighbors.

When the neighbors get tired of everything and they can't get animal control to do anything about the cats, they'll start killing them by whatever deplorable and inhumane means they see fit, out of anger. How fair is that to those innocent creatures who only have life and a few morsels of food and a place to sleep to look forward to?

It's a horrible situation, and it keeps getting repeated over and over again. Maybe Mr. Muzkia is on the right track about the hoarder's protection organization.

At least it'll be a 501c3., and people can keep talking about this. The whole thing is really disturbing because it's not the cats' fault. Especially if they're allowed to keep having babies.

You do know that some vets won't even spay a pregnant cat.

Some "CARETAKERS" won't spay a cat who is also pregnant and ready to pop.

Some "caretakers" are "rescuers." Allow the cat to go full term, then "adopt" the babies out.

That certainly doesn't keep in check your committment to the cats you already have at home, and it isn't fair to them, because you are always overloaded and getting more....

So more keep ending up on the street with nowhere to go once the "caretaker" gets caught with an abundance of kitties, many of whom have cropped ears. Those are the ones who will die a slow, horrible death in the heat of the valley.

Anonymous said...

"Is he supposed to shoot them? How else does he regulate what feral cats are on his property?"

Remember what Mr. Muzkia said about Critical Thinking?

Let's see....What can we "elucidate" and what can't we elucidate?

Some questions are not intended toward edification.

Let's try, nevertheless, Can we?

It is aboslutely essential that if we want to be able to protect animals and prevent as much animal suffering as possible, we have to learn to use those critical thinking skills.

Particularly if you already have the experience, and you can place yourself in the person's situation, learn from their experience and your own, as a feral cat caretaker.

You need to be responsible. You need to be responsible for the cats.

They have no one else.

The depend on you to help them, care for them, think for them, protect them, prevent them from getting sick, injured, and inhumanely torutred, stressed out of their minds, starved and dehydrated to death, and allowed to die slow, horrific deaths at the hands of assholes.

You. They depend on YOU to protect them from harm.

If you have been their caretaker, and you have made a decision to care for them, it is up to you to take responsibility. Take charge of the situation.

That is why the officers will tell you that YOU have to get rid of the cats. Not them. You. Make sense?

Try to put yourself in the sitation...unless you're already there.

Would you prefer that officers come into your home and tell you that you have to STOP feeding your cats? They are yours if you've been mainaining them for two weeks or more.

How about the ones you've been maintaining for several years? Isn't it going to destroy you (and the cats) to STOP feeding them? Slowly torture and kill them?

I don't know about you. I would go crazy out of my friggen mind.

I would rather die before I subject them to this kind of torture, or set it up so that I get so overwhelmed that the neglect is in the air, on the floor, and thickened on the walls.

If they've made your place their home because you have invited it, you need to keep everything in check. For their sake.

They can't do it; they have no choice.

You know, I'm beginning to like the LASPAH idea more and more as I think about this.

The lightbulb just went on.

Ed Muzika said...

First, with regard to the last poster, what is done is done. All the talk about what should have been done is correct, but it likely would not have diminished the animosity of the neighbor who throws pipes over Marc's hedges as well as at police.

What gets me is that LAPD has not acted against the neighbors who toss pipes at Marc, the police and the cats. They move against him.

This is obviously discriminatory treatment flowing out of the City Attorney's Office.

I had a similar experience when feeding a feral colony in a wealthy area in Santa Monica.

Residents in the surrounding multi-million dollar mansions kept complaining to me about how the cats lay in their lawnchairs and got them dirty, so they had to go.

Another complained that they were peeing on his flowers, killing them.

More importantly, one of the residents had a son who was a Santa Monica cop, and a little further down the street was someone related to a Sheriff's deputy.

I tried everything to mitigate the situation, including offering to wash the chairs and putting in means to prevent the cats coming onto the one asshole's property.

Then one day one of the residents came up to me and threatened to kill me and the cats.

I made a report to the police.

I got a call from a police Lt. a day later stating "That neighborhood is done with you; you have to stop feeding the cats."

That is, the police, and later Animal Control, the City Attorney, the City Manager and organized neighborhood groups all came after me and the cats, not the person who threatent to kill me or the cats.

(Some neighbors even released their dogs into the street to kill the cats. One even walked her dog over to where I fed them and released to dog to kill the cats.)

Animal Control gave the resident traps to take them to AC, where they would be killed.

I just kept feeding them, and fed them enough that they didn't go into the traps or the Kentucy fried chicken they used as bait.

The pressure was unbelievable by the cops, threatening to bring in dart guns to anesthetize and take them to the shelter.

One day I said enough and told the extensive number of rescuers I knew in santa Moncia about the situation.

They contacted rescuers all over and they even contacted rescuers out of the City.

The next day the City Manager and City Attorney got 300 phone calls, mostly local, but some from out of state, telling them to let me and the cats alone.

The City receieved another few hundred for severl days afterwards.

Finally, the City Attorney sent me a letter that they were going to leave me alone.

This is what part of my blog is about and why I defend people who are under attack by authorities who only want to take care of cats.

Kelley said...

I'm a little bit lost as to why you want to apologize.

Anonymous said...

Many should take his story to heart and buy their property out of City Limits. If you do nothing more than watch TV and like indoor activities then buy your home in City Limits. I live 8 Miles out of City Limits on 2 1/2 acres. Very few ordinances in our small community and we do what we like and keep what animals we like out here. Do not have to worry about neighbors who live to harass others as we are all busy doing our own thing. Sad when this guy has to put up with the harassment from the City Attorney. Many City Officials are corrupt and are bought and paid for.