Longcore Gets His Way; City Officially Ends Any TNR Support Today

DATE: December 17, 2009
TO: Partnering Veterinarians and Rescue Organizations for LA Animal Services All Staff of the Department of Animal Services
FROM: Kathleen J. Davis, Interim General Manager
Department of Animal Services
SUBJECT: Compliance with December 4, 2009 Court Ruling – Los Angeles Superior Court
Case No. BS115483 (Lawsuit Regarding Trap, Neuter, and Return of Feral Cats)
A recent court ruling enjoined the City of Los Angeles from implementing a Trap Neuter and Release (TNR) program for feral cats until the City has completed an environmental review in
compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). Under the December 4, 2009 ruling, the City is also prohibited from encouraging third parties to carry out TNR, by providing incentives for, or otherwise facilitating, the capture, sterilization, and release of feral cats, until the City complies with CEQA. After consultation with the City Attorney, the Department prepared this memorandum to inform you that the City is prohibited from carrying out the following activities by the court ruling:

Providing vouchers to subsidize the cost of sterilization of feral cats. For vouchers distributed before December 4, 2009, please note the City will not redeem the vouchers for payment by the Department for any sterilization of a feral cat performed after December 19, 2009. Effective immediately, the City will issue sterilization vouchers only to residents of the City for owned cats or dogs. No feral cat issuance, use, or redemption is allowed.

Providing waivers of trap permit fees or deposits for trap rentals for organizations that perform TNR.

Providing information about TNR programs sponsored by other entities on its website or providing cyberlinks to TNR programs sponsored by other entities. This includes referrals to TNR groups by Department staff.

Developing or distributing literature on the TNR program.

Conducting public outreach on TNR using press releases, fliers, or other media (except in conjunction with a CEQA public participation process.)

If you have any other questions at this time, please do not hesitate to contact me or Assistant General Manager Linda Barth at 213-482-9558.
cc: Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa
Honorable Members of the Los Angeles City Council
Carmen A. Trutanich, City Attorney
Board of Animal Services Commissioners


Anonymous said...

The city can't give out vouchers for feral cats. They can use those vouchers on owned cats. All that matters is that the vet accepts the voucher for an "owned" cat. The city never sees the cat, has no idea if its owned or feral. I'm sure the vets want the business. They'll turn a blind eye to feral cats and just neuter it. Nothing will change.

Anonymous said...

It is more than just the vouchers. The city can't promote, refer people to TNR groups, or in any way show support for TNR.

Anonymous said...

So if the city can only give out vouchers for use on owned cats and not feral cats, then does this also mean if we care for feral cats, the city and the ACTF will be prevented from claiming we own them?

Brad Jensen

Anonymous said...

The private groups should step up to educate the public about TNR. TNR info can be in the Pet Press which is in the shelters. This is a good opportunity for the private groups to get the word out. They can sit in front of the shelters on weekends and give out flyers before and during kitten season. And, who's to say the volunteers can't speak their mind in the shelter. As long as it isn't official City policy it is freedom of speech. Volunteers already tell people about late term spay. Why not TNR?

Ed Muzika said...

The TNR groups and rescues have been pushing TNR for years. But they are small groups and usually heavily involved in rescues and TNR already.

The point is a 400 employee organization with $20,000,000 and access to the media no private organization has ever gotten, has just been forced out of the TNR business.

The Republicans do the same thing. They try to starve government of needed monies to do programs and say the private sector needs to step up. Unfortunately, the non-profit private sector has nowhere near the manpower or money of even a city government. They are already stretched to the limit.

Like the first commenter said, just don't say feral when you pick up vouchers, its just that TNR groups are getting no more vouchers for themselves and their own incomes have been severely impacted by the recession.

AndyP said...

Do you have any recommendations to oppose these well-organized, well-funded, anti-cat groups? I'm not in L.A.

Spay and Neuter said...

#3, I think I remember hearing that city vouchers for owned cats will be issued to people of low-income status. I think you can't make any more than $30,000 per year in order to qualify. Don't quote me on that, but didn't I hear from the councilmen that low-income people were the priority because of they were over the budget already? I think this was the discussion on the video that Mr. Muzika presented when Boks was questioned before the city council.

I think also that if you do manage to get city vouchers, they might only issue three vouchers, maximum, and I think that is due to the three-cat limit law. I may be wrong, but you can call the dept. and ask how the voucher thing works for owned cats and who qualifies.

Also, the spay-neuter clinics have always taken in and sterilized trapped ferals for trap-neuter-return feral cat caretakers. They are going to continue to provide those services. People can still TNR as long as they do it under the radar and don't make a bis issue that they are trapping cats or trapping and feeding cats. The city doesn't want you trapping and feeding without a city permit.

So, TNR folk will just keep doing what they have always been doing and the clinics will keep spaying and neutering homeless cats thru Fixnation, Best Friends Catnippers, and Stray Cat Alliance. Those don't end. It's just the shelters that aren't going to be pushing TNR and referring cat problem calls to TNR groups and spay-neuter clinics.

This doesn't stop anyone from spaying and neutering. They also don't want you doing TNR as Trap-Neuter-Release. The mission was to Trap-Neuter-RETURN to the same site, and people take whole colonies and move them, so the cats are always ending up in places where they are totally frightened, stressed out, starved out and chased out by other territorial cats when they are relocated and not returned to where the cats were originally trapped.

I know that many times cats cannot be returned to their original home for various reasons, but the city doesn't want you taking cats from one place and letting them go in another so that the problem just moves from one place to another.

Anyhoo, if you are a trapper, always a trapper. As long as the clinics are open and sterilizing homeless cats, feral or tame, as Fixnation does for both, people will keep trapping, altering, and returning, releasing, and relocating. Just because they don't have the support of the city and the city no longer pushing TNR, that isnt' going to stop them from doing what they have always done. It shoudln't stop you either from altering and returning, if you see a stray and unaltered cat. What else are you going to do? Stand by and just watch the problem get worse for those animals? No. That's what the spay and neuter clinics are for.

Anonymous said...

As the publisher of The Pet Press, I find myself in a quandry. I promote TNR as much as I can, write editorials about it, and in every issue promote Fixnation, Stray Cat Alliance, and the Feral Cat Caretakers Coalition. We distribute close to 2000 papers to the CITY shelters. Do I have to refrain from including that info in future publications because the City may be told to throw them out?
I really don't know.

Lori Golden
The Pet Press

Unknown said...

I was told yesterday by a South Central Shelter employee that any feral cat that is brought into the shelters will be euthanized unless a rescue group pulls the cat and signs some sort of waiver. So the feral cats are getting killed even more now than before. And that seems in violation of some law, surely. What if your cat gets trapped by a neighbor, is taken into a shelter and is so scared, it's deemed "feral??"
This is wrong!!