There appears to have been a massive policy change with regard to feral cats and the City Kennel law limit of three cats per household that was revealed as a result of the attempted 13623 Leadwell St, Van Nuys “hoarder” intervention by Animal Services, the ACTF, Councilmember Krekorian, County Health, and several rescue groups. It also appears that Animal Services and the ACTF are no longer enforcing the state animal neglect laws of the California Penal Code.
Remember Ron Mason was thrown in jail and arrested for felony animal neglect because he had about 70 cats at his residence, with some kittens with URI. 26 cats and kittens were killed as a result. Ron had been working with Animal Services for three years, getting cats fixed, taking some to vets when they were ill, feeding them and giving them water.
The Leadwell property has 100 cats, many of them desperately ill, and whose owners had never cooperated with Animal Services or the ACTF.
The LA Animal Cruelty Task Force was represented by Detective Rudy Ramirez, Animal Services by Officer Annette Ramirez, and Mshak Ghazarian, from Councilmember Krekorian’s Office.
According to seven witnesses, both Det. Ramirez and Officer Annette Ramirez stated exactly the same thing. These were written done verbatim.
Before you read the quotes, realize this marks a HUGE policy change towards “hoarding,” i.e., people who have more than the kennel limit of three cats that they feed on their property, or those who formerly may have been charged with animal neglect and had their animals impounded.
Both Ramirez’s said the following:
"They are saying conflicting things about people having over three cats. They said they can't prosecute anyone for feeding or caring for feral cats. They said people don't own feral owns because they aren't micro chipped or registered. Just because they feed them on their property or give them meds means nothing. They said feral cats are considered wildlife. There is no law against feeding feral cats or just feeding cats. That's not what they told Ron Mason. They make up the laws as they see fit.
"They most likely won't try to prosecute the people at Leadwell because they tried before and lost. The owner just says "those aren't my cats" and the city loses the case. This is what detective Ramirez told us all today."
"There is no law against feeding feral cats or any cat."
"Feral cats are considered wildlife by Fish & Game."
"Feral cats are not owned by anyone. People also don't own wild squirrels in their yard, even if they feed them."
"It doesn't matter that she's fed them for years. She doesn't own them."
"She doesn't legally own the cats unless there is a microchip or registration in her name."
"We tried to prosecute her before. She just said she didn't own the cats and we (the city) lost the case."
Now, I’d like to know whether this marks a policy change that the City is no longer going after alleged hoarders violating state animal abuse/neglect laws, or is no longer enforcing M.C. 53.50, the kennel law limitation of three cats per household. OR, is the City being a hypocrite here and will selectively enforce the kennel law against those it wants to enforce against, while ignoring this Van Nuys hoarding situation for 15 years?
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