The Proposed Ordinance to Criminalize Feral Cat Colony Management

The below is the actual proposed ordinance to outlaw feeding feral cats in Beverly Hills.

It contains all kinds of fuzzy reasoning such that attracting insects and possum at a handful of locations causes a health hazard, and furthermore attracts coyotes who apparently will kill the cats and dogs owners let roam free at night. There is no mention whether coyotes have been seen in the Palm Drive area where Mrs. Vajarian feeds on even an irregular basis, nor any statisitics that correlate ants in an alley in B.H. with higher hospiral admissions or with plague or some other straw man disease.

The idiot, George Chavez, the city staffer that prepared this piece or garbage legislation, opines that there is no anticipated cost to the City of this ordinance despite already years of legal conflict and July 1 and July 7 trials for just one colony manager. Apparently he thinks court costs and litigation are not costs to the City, and that Ms. Varjian is the only feeder in the City.

Chavez says preventing feral cats eating will eliminate insects and rodents, diminishing a health risk. What, Mr. Chavez, is the health risk? Unless Mrs. Varjian is massively overfeeding the cats, leaving scads of uneaten food, the cats are more likely killing far more rodents than any small amounts of leftover food attract. Small rodents are one creature feral cats do eat.

Mr. Chavez raises a spector of a straw man health risk. There is no demonstrated health risk. He doesn't even know how many cats are fed, in how many areas, and thus what the real potential risk is. He hasn't done even minimal research. He has no idea what he is talking about. There are no quoted authorities, studies, mentioned experiences at other municipalities. There is no research at all, merely unsupported speculations based on fear mongering.

Does he even think about the health risk of many hungry and starving cats wandering the neighborhoods, with their dead and rotting bodies? Does he consider the pick up fees for dead animals, or the cost of litigation and prosecution of these cat feeding scufflaws?

Hopefully the ex head of Los Angeles' Animal Services, Ed Boks, will be allowed to speak at length about Los Angele's real experiences regarding feral cat feeding and colonies, and address B.H. almost medieval fear of insects, urban wildlife and cats.

This would be real research, not scare talk out of some bureaucratic sycophant.

Everyone knows the real reason for all this ninsense are a few cat-hating Beverly Hills residents who have contempt for any rights other than their property rights, are demanding that the City stop Kathryn Varjian from feeding cats in the Palm Drive area.

This is pure spite of residents like Darian Bojeoux who want to show "outsiders" who is boss and how much power they have over City staff and B.H. City Council. This is the same sick, Republican entitlement attitude I had always encountered in the more wealthy areas of Santa Monica, "Look at my beautiful property, envy me and mine, but don't get too close, AND kill any four legged mammal who dare treads on my garden."

Have Chavez and Council yet realized how small, petty and meanhearted this act's passge would make their city look? "Beverly Hills Starves Homeless Cats and creates a crimal class of cat ladies."

I wonder if people from outside Beverly Hills start coming in to feed the feed Varjian's cats. Talk about outsiders. I have already heard from two people who swear they will travel to feed Mrs. Varjian's cats. Should this act pass, I will also see what I can do to find others who will keep Mrs. Varjian's strays alive.

Talk about enforcement and litigation expense for Beverly Hills, they have no idea the kind of trouble they would be creating.


Section 1. The City Council finds that it is necessary for the preservation of the

public peace, health and safety that this Ordinance take effect immediately. This Ordinance prohibits the feeding of certain animals on public property, including, but not limited to, stray dogs, and feral and stray cats. This provision was inadvertently removed upon the adoption by reference of the Los Angeles Municipal Code Animal Control provisions. The City Council now finds that the Los Angeles Municipal Code does not adequately address the health and safety issues that arise from the feeding of certain animals. The City Council finds that this Ordinance is necessary for the immediate 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 other animals, including vermin such as insects and rodents, raccoons, and coyotes. The City Council finds that this Ordinance will prevent the proliferation of rodent, and insect populations, thereby reducing the spread of disease. This Ordinance will also prevent the expansion of nondornesticated mammalian predator populations in the City by limiting their access to food. The Council therefore finds that it is necessary that this Ordinance take effect immediately and its urgency is hereby declared because without this ordinance food may continue to be placed in public areas attracting vermin and mammalian predators and thereby compromising public health and safety. This Ordinance shall take effect immediately upon its adoption.

Section 2. Section 53.06.5 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code, as incorporated

by reference in Chapter 2 of Title 5 of the Beverly Hills Municipal Code, is amended to add the following:

"(d) No person shall feed or in any manner provide or place food for any domesticated animal which is not under the ownership or legal possession of such person, including, but not limited to, dogs and cats, on any public property, or on any property open to the public, or on any private property where the providing or placement of such food is in an area not completely enclosed by a secured wall or fence of at least six feet (6') in height.

(e) No person shall feed or in any manner provide or place food for any feral or

stray cat that is not under the ownership or legal possession of such person."

Section 3. If any section, subsection, subdivision, sentence, clause, phrase, or

portion of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or place, is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by the decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remainder of this ordinance. The City Council hereby declares that it would have adopted this ordinance, and each and every section, subsection, subdivision, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, subdivisions, sentences, clauses, phrases, or portions thereof be declared invalid or unconstitutional.

Section 4. The City Clerk is directed to forward a certified copy of this ordinance
to the Director of the City of Los Angeles Department of Animal Services.

Section 5. Effective Date. This Ordinance, being an Urgency Ordinance adopted

for the immediate protection of the public safety and health, containing a declaration of the facts


Mayor of the City of Beverly Hills, California


City Clerk


Anonymous said...

Raccoons are now vermin? What if I go kill one? That would probably be considered killing a wild animal and be actionable.

"(d) No person shall feed or in any manner provide or place food for any domesticated animal which is not under the ownership or legal possession of such person, including, but not limited to, dogs and cats...." Well, isn't this nice and vague. Who determines which other animals it shall include? The cop at the donut shop, er I mean croissant shop since we are talking about 90210. Seriously, this can't be a law as it is overly vague and invites unequal protection under the law. I think it's violative of our Constitutional Rights. Maybe goldfish are to be included? How about anteaters? They could eat other vermin like ants.

How about birds? No birdfeeding? How about squirrels? These folks really don't like insects. The whole class is considered vermin by these idiots. I guess bees that polinate their flowers are bad guys. Butterflies are probably the terrorists of the Beverly Hills' insect unwelcome list.

Lastly, where would all of the coyotes come from? Are they taking buses from South Central? If the coyotes are already living in Beverly Hills what are they eating now? People's pets perhaps? Maybe they would eat fewer of people's pets. Wouldn't that be terrible?

If they pass this idiotic City Ordinance I propose a popular boycott of shopping in Beverly Hills until the law is rescinded.

Ed Muzika said...

To residents of Beverly Hills who are against the feeding of stray cats,

First of all, coyotes live in Los Angeles and so do rats and cockroaches. Lots of animals do, that's part of what makes Los Angeles so great. They have been here in this region longer than any of you. Each wild animal that you cross is a reminder that you are part of the natural world. Birds make noise in the morning and fly above our heads and people feed them and delight in the mere fact that they exist. But there's always a creep with a bee bee gun who wants to shoot at it because it shat on his car.

I truly wish we didn't have a cat overpopulation problem in our city. In fact, I try to help out as much as I can. These poor animals have nowhere to go and depend on the kindness of strangers. The good thing is, the strangers who are kind to them are the very same people who are educated about the issue of cat overpopulation. They feed them, yes. But they are also trapping and releasing them in order to spay and neuter them, get it? To quell the problem you are whining about.

You have cockroaches, you say? They will be here long after cat feeders have left your sacred alley. You have rats? Yes! They live here! They are permanent residents, just like the ice in your hearts.

If you are afraid of coyotes, read about them and gain the understanding that we have encroached on their habitat. They have an ability to thrive in urban environments--we have such an environment. Consider yourself fortunate to live in a time where you can still observe animals in the wild and consider the idea that coyotes seem to have a better understanding of how to live in a complex environment than you. They are not dangerous to responsible pet guardians who keep their animals safe.

Some people are just too selfish to live with others. Maybe you should move to a perfect city where there are no stray cats or cockroaches or rodents or coyotes or animal welfare people who annoy your perfect existence. I'd like to know where that is. Wherever it is, go there, will you? Maybe there are no homeless people there either, you know, the type that leaves a half-eaten sandwich on the ground in your alley to attract a bug that might crawl into your bed. I hope to see you at the City Council meeting on Tuesday so I can see what kind of empathy-challenged nitwit would waste time pursuing a good samaritan.

Carole Davis

Patricia Price said...

Dear Mayor Krasne and members of the City Council:
For the last few weeks I have been following the controversy relating to the feeding of feral cats in the city of Beverly Hills. While I am not a member of an advocacy group, I strongly support the efforts of Katherine Varjian and people like her. I understand that a special Council meeting has been scheduled for July 7th, the purpose of which is to reinstate a previously-deleted section of the municipal code related to the feeding of feral cats.
It appears that this action has been prompted by the petition from thirty city residents who have asserted that the health and safety of the city is at stake. Inasmuch as none of these allegations seems to have been supported by facts, and that the rhetorical tone has reached an hysterical level, it would be wise if everyone took a deep breath and thought through the problem.
The Council can be the leaders here. Rather than leap immediately into an action, the Council could propose and appoint a study group or subcommittee to examine the issue of feral cat control. This group should meet with veterinarians and other animal welfare experts to distinguish fact from allegation. There are humane, enlightened ways to deal with feral cats and many other cities have implemented them. Beverly Hills should seek advice from those cities as well. Following such fact-gathering the Council will be better equipped to fashion a regulation that includes standards to insure the humane treatment of the animals and also addresses the concerns of those citizens who fear contagion.
Beverly Hills is a high-profile city. If its actions on Tuesday are seen by the wider community as capricious and vindictive, and if there is a rushed vote (as has been rumored) to simply destroy the cats in question -- or all feral cats -- those actions will be noted and commented upon. Because Beverly Hills is as visible as it is, what we do here generally evokes interest. If we are seen as a city that jails dedicated and effective

volunteers rather than commending them — a city willing to destroy animals who have found themselves in stressed conditions because of actions by humans -- the comments could, and should, range from outrage and derision to cynical jokes. This is not a result that serves the city or its citizens.
Please bring some reason into this debate; do not re-enact an ill-advised code section that, at the end of the day, will not solve the problem.
Thank you.

Bird Advocate said...

Please remember feral cats are domestic animals and it seems unconscionable to me you support their abandonment into the dangers they encounter in the cities.
Most of you show no regard for the rights of other citizens to have their property cat free.
I see little mention or concern for the natural fauna they prey on. You have no compassion left over for them? Their killing by your pets is anything but compassionate, humane, and non-lethal!

Ed Muzika said...

We who maintain colonies also wish the laws against abandoning cats and dogs were enforced. They are not, especially in this new economic/foreclosure recession. In fact, I here "10,000,000" are "lost" a year.

We would give anything if there were not feral cats and dogs in the street. Our houses are full of strays we rescued, live at home, and have adotped back out.

But the number of animals on the streets is almost endless. In LA County alone estimates run upwards from 700,000.

Of course we feel for the birds and other critters killed by the homeless cats.

But, not feeding and taking care of the hundreds of thousands of homeless cats on the streets is not an option for us. We cannot let them sicken and die. We need to have the cities enforce anti-abandonment laws, but good luck. That family that abandoned them last month then got into trouble, will abandon that same animal after they move or things die down.

Personally, I think having a pet is a responsibility not a lot of people are ready to accept.

What solutions do you propose?

Bird Advocate said...

Your subsistence feeding of the pets in the wild only prolongs and perpetuates the problem! The killing of our fauna is estimated to be as many as a billion each year!
For the sake of discussion, I usually admit that figure may be exaggerated and use a rounded off figure of say, half a billion?
What sort of responsible citizen could possibly support fifty million unwanted pets being not only spared, but fed, and enabled to kill a half billion of our fauna, some of them endangered, each and every year?
My solution? Were it not for the cat orgs interfering at every turn, and influencing our politicians to ignore our wildlife protection laws, and not put restrictive laws on pet ownership the eradication methods in effect would have been effective years ago!
Part of my solution is this post, and the hundreds of others like it posted by those of us who know it is morally and ethically reprehensible to support colonies of pets outdoors destroying our native creatures.
When enough citizens are as disgusted at the thought as we are, our politicians will listen to us, not the cat orgs.

Anonymous said...

Ahh, I see, your solution is eradication of all feral and homeless cats. How charming.

Besides, most feral cats are fed in cities, not the wild.

Eradication has never worked. Shelter impounds have only gone down since spay/neuter efforts began 10-15 years ago.

An estimated 10,000,000 cats and dogs are "lost" or abandoned each year. Less than half find homes. Every year 5,000,000 more animals land on the streets.

They have no right to live? You feel nothing for them?

Bird Advocate said...

Ahh, I see, your solution is eradication of all feral and homeless cats. How charming.

You feel these millions of unwanted pets somehow have an entitlement to continue to live outdoors in colonies murdering our wildlife and fouling our property because you somehow value their lives more than you do a half billion or billion of our native wildlife? Doesn't that sound irresponsible to you? It certainly does to me and most of our citizens, when it is presented to them in a rational form.

Besides, most feral cats are fed in cities, not the wild.

"The wild" belongs to our wildlife, the cities to the kitties? Wouldn't a better term be the outdoors? You see our migratory birds don't read street and city limits signs, and yes, there used to be and still are populations of our wildlife in and around our major cities. You may rarely see them in your city, but also consider I was told recently by a TNR practitioner there are perhaps as many as two (2) million feral cats in LA, perhaps the capital of TNR. Would you care to boast about how hugely successful TNR has been in the last twenty years?

Eradication has never worked. Shelter impounds have only gone down since spay/neuter efforts began 10-15 years ago.

Ah, there it is. You rate eradication success by number of shelter impounds. Would you admit the shelter population may be influenced by the large numbers of cat ranchers in California feeding their stock daily, and touting their successes?
Yes, I am being sarcastic here. The cat ranches don't stop the predation on our fauna, or the use of our lawns as cat boxes.

An estimated 10,000,000 cats and dogs are "lost" or abandoned each year. Less than half find homes. Every year 5,000,000 more animals land on the streets.

Thank you for making my point! TNR has no chance of success against that sort of numbers, yet you continue to hamper eradication efforts at every opportunity!

They have no right to live? You feel nothing for them?

Of course I do, I value the lives of homeless dogs, too. Do I want to see colonies of homeless dogs subsidized fed and killing our wildlife? No, thank you.

Vicki said...

I am sympathetic to your cause...very sympathetic, but when you began insinuating that Republicans in general don't care about animals then you immediately lost my attention. I rescue animals, and I'm a conservative who tends to vote Republican (although I consider myself independent). You do the cause no favors by labeling your opponent(s) an "evil Republican". It serves no useful purpose whatsoever. I know you are fighting city hall with all the passion you can, but you would gain more sympathy for your cause if you refrain from labeling.

I do hope you win your battle, because I believe people who rescue and care for ferals are angels walking the earth.


Anonymous said...

irregardless is not a word, it's regardless

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Anonymous said...

I hear BH has a rodent problem now.