Dear Capt. Aborn
I hope you both see ACTF/Animal Services’ moral problem of “rescuing” cats from “deplorable conditions,” and then killing 55% of them because Animal Services refused to provide basic medical service to clear up the non-lethal colds (rhinotracheitis) that Masons’ cats had.(1) The ACTF arrested Mason for felony neglect for not providing such care. In fact he was providing care, but not enough. LAAS, with hundreds of times the resources for curing, failed to make any effort at all to help the kittens.
Had Mason euthanized the cats as did LAAS because he could not afford to pay care, he would have been guilty of a felony, killing a cat. Had he taken these kittens to a vet, I am sure every vet would have made a strong effort to save the kittens, but at a cost few individuals could afford.
Remember, in the end Mason was not charged with anything, yet 51 cats were seized, 26 killed immediately, and he got 3 back. Then the judicial system ignored his property rights with regard to the remaining cats.
So far as I know, none of Marc Madow’s cats even has a cold. His only “crime” is having too many cats and two neighbors who constantly complain despite the fact the cats are kept indoors because someone is poisoning or trapping and turning animals in to LAAS or abandoning them elsewhere. If these neighbors are poisoning or trapping without posting, they themselves are guilty of City or State code violations.
Madow has repeatedly told ACTF that cats are being poisoned or are disappearing, and asked them to investigate. Instead, LAAS and the ACTF have gone to his neighbors to see if they detect a cat “problem.”
Hypothetically, when his house is raided and lets say 20-30 disease-free cats are seized, and 2/3 killed, who is the guilty party? He for raising more than 3 healthy and happy cats that are strictly inside cats, or ACTF/LAAS for killing them because they can’t adopt them because the shelters are full, or because some cats are feral?
The 3 cat/dog limit is strictly arbitrary. The limit is 5 cats in Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica has no cat or dog limit. Impounds for health or nuisance reasons are rare. When there is a complaint against a person with too many cats, they go to the person’s house and say there is a complaint.
What is it with the ACTF and LAAS obsession with going after people with more than 3 cats, and then killing the perfectly healthy cats for lack of room or because they are feral?? It boggles my mind and makes no sense.
This was left as a comment on my blog:
“The question is, is the ACTF a kinder, gentler Task Force now or are they just going to be better at following the procedures that will keep their noses clean while kittens die? I strongly suspect the latter unfortunately. Mason is clearly on their radar and it's just a question of when and what they will do rather than if they will do anything. Living peacefully and being left alone is unfortunately not in the cards for Ron Mason. He is well past the fail safe point with those who murder animals under the color of authority.”
“I doubt they see the simple fact that they are murderers, actually serial murderers.”
My point is, if you can’t care for the animals, don’t seize them “just because you can” as one of your officers told Mason two days before the raid.
Officer Muniz told me that people with too many cats were the ACTF’s biggest problem. You say that that 53.50 surveillance requires a rather small amount of LAAS/ACTF time. Therefore there is a gross disparity between what management says and what a field officer says and the reason for my Request For Records, as well as a request for an audit by the City Controller of ACTF field activities.
I know three people where AS or ACTF have gone to their houses during the past 4 weeks about complaints of having too many cats. I really don't know a lot of cat people personally, and when three of that few have had visits within a month, I ask, "What on earth is ACTF/AS doing with their time?"
It seems obvious that ACTF/LAAS is going after the low hanging fruit of otherwise law abiding Angelinos rather than helping the animals in the City or really fighting animal abuse. This is done by pumping up an arbitrary code violation into something akin to a major crime.
From the LAAS Website, November 2007:
“The kittens were emaciated when received from Mr. Mason and were suffering with impacted rectums and crusted eyes, along with a respiratory infection. They had pale mucous membranes and were severely dehydrated. The oculo-nasal discharge was symptomatic of feline viral rhinotracheitis.
“Although a small amount of Amoxi-drops (amoxicillin) was found at the residence, such antibiotics are not effective against the viral rhinotracheitis from which these animals suffered. Twice daily subcutaneous fluid replacement and diligent nursing care is indicated and even then kittens often succumb. This treatment was not being provided.”
(My Comment: Animal Services provided no treatment either. They just killed them. LAAS didn’t even try, yet they walked away apparently with no felt guilt at just killing the cats. Since when do we hold government less accountable for exactly the same actions as a private citizen with far less resources?)