So Far, the City Has Not Answered About Beverly Hills

My second letter to LAAS and City Council:

Last Tuesday I asked you whether Los Angeles will continue to provide animal control services for Beverly Hills if they pass an ordinance criminalizing feeding feral cats. You did not respond.

This situation has not been resolved. The issue has been postponed until August 4, when BH Council will again meet to vote on this measure.

Therefore I ask again, "If Beverly Hills passes this ordinance banning feeding feral cats, their laws regarding animals will no longer be the same as those of Los Angeles, which was a precondition for LAAS and Los Angeles to provide animal control services to Beverly Hills. Therefore, since there is no longer compliance, will you continue to provide animal control services for Beverly Hills? Have they not broken a contractual condition, and if they have, will you abide by their decision to go their own way regarding animal-related laws?"

Ed Muzika

This is from the Beverly Hills Courier:

Beverly Hills: Kill Nation Or Fix Nation For Cats?


City Council averted a potentially fatal issuance of an urgency ordinance in a meeting Tuesday. The City has moved to continue allowing feral cats, or animals that do not belong to a guardian, to be fed and maintained.

Over 100 speakers attended the meeting to address the Council.

The City will stay the issue until August 4. In the interim, a committee of residents including The Courier’s Marcia Hobbs, will work with City officials to devise a workable plan. If a suitable plan is not met, the Council will adopt an ordinance that bans the feeding of feral animals on all public property.

“Prohibiting the feeding of cats on public property would be their death sentence,” said Christienne Metropole, executive director for Stray Cat Alliance and appointed committee liaison.

The committee is charged with forming a program that focuses not only on the feeding and maintaining of feral cats, but also controlling the population.

“It is clear we can not criminalize feeding,” said Councilmember John Mirisch. “I think we need to establish a program that is controlled. I don’t think the urgency ordinance addressed that.” Mirisch has called for the mandatory spaying and neutering (or altering) of these cats as part of a broader trap-neuter-release program.

The urgency ordinance the council denied Tuesday was intended to address a deleted code (5-2-10, subdivision B and C) that was removed after the City adopted Los Angeles’ ordinance.

The code explicitly prohibits the feeding of feral cats and dogs on any public property, any property that is open to the pubic or any private property is not completely enclosed by a secured wall.

“Adoption of L.A. code required deletion of duplicate language and inadvertently deleted the code,” said George Chavez, assisting director of community development for the City.

“I respect both sides and I am intrigued by the TNR process, but keep in mind the ordinance that is in front of us is about feeding feral cats in front of resident’s yards who don’t want that,” said Councilmember Dr. Willie Brien. “We also have to be kind to our residents who want a clean neighborhood. I think this is a public safety issue. It may also be a health issue.”

The movement stems from a court case involving former Beverly Hills resident, Katherine Varjian. Varjian has been cited for feeding feral cats under the deleted code. She is due back in Beverly Hills Municipal Court August 7 at 1:30 p.m. Varjian can face up to six months of jail time and/or a $1,000 fine.

Although City Council is not able to require Varjian refrain from feeding the feral cats while the issue is in committee, Mayor Nancy Krasne publically noted it would “behoove her to do so.”

Varjian has fed between 20 and 30 cats daily in the alley behind the 100-200 blocks of Palm, Maple and Oakhurst Drives. Local residents claim Varjian’s feeding of the cats attracts rodents, cockroaches and coyotes, endangering their own pets and creating a nuisance in the neighborhood. A petition protesting this behavior and signed by 68 residents was presented to City Council.

“I know we have a problem but I sure know we don’t have a solution tonight,” said Vice Mayor Jimmy Delshad.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for keeping us posted on this issue and on Jimmy's situation.

If this goes in the wrong direction, this is going to be as devastating for those cats as it was for Mark Maddow who was forced to crimminally starve, dehydrate, and abandon whole colonies of cats and their kittens.

Ed Muzika said...

Could be even more devastating. Imagine if LA has to make a decision against TNR and outlaws feeding.

What an enforcement nightmare for LA police and animal services.

Anonymous said...

"Could be even more devastating. Imagine if LA has to make a decision against TNR and outlaws feeding."

Yes, it's an unbelievable nightmare. I imagine that first, the feeder has to be caught in the "act." Like getting caught driving without a seat-belt. Poor Jimmy is out in the open, so this is absolute hell for him and his cats.

The spay and neuter laws aren't even being enforced because there are just not enough officers to go around to cite people for failure to s/n.

I doubt LA officers are going to go strictly after feeders, in that case; but when they do, and the feeder gets caught and is forced to stop, it will be like watching your own child being ripped out of your womb and shot one by one.

Every time I hear news of someone and their animals caught under this kind of devastation, I just hold my breath and wonder when someone will come knocking on my door for one purpose only -- acting like the Gestapo, as you say. I'm sure it's the same feeling for all cat-people.

Imagine, for years, LAAS has been telling people to TNR; now, it seems that they are going to make everyone who followed their recommendations into crimminals and are going to make sure the animals are killed off on the street after their own feeders have starved and dehydrated those animals to death.

At least LAAS can wash the blood from its hands and isn't going to be directly responsible for the killing. They make sure the people who have followed their recommendations by TNR'ing, while those very same people who have used their resources to keep them alive and healthy have bonded with their animals, will be the ones who are made directly responsible for the deaths of cats who they have cared-for for years.

This is going to turn into massive devastation for caregivers and thousands upon thousands of cats living on the street and in people's homes and yards. Cruelty upon cruelty.

I thought abandoment was supposed to be illegal, but if it serves the city, and as long as it's the feeders killing their own cats, then everything is honkey-dory, on "target."