Brenda Barnette Responds--In the right way!

I have ask for an investigation that goes beyond asking the players. If someone is interpreting policy in a way that costs cats lives, we have a big problem that I need to stop. That is not what we have discussed internally. In fact, we have tried to get very far out of the way of private rescues so they can do the work that we cannot now do.


Let Us Be Clear; the Judges Order Regarding TNR Did Not Ban Private TNR

The judges order merely precluded LAAS from participating in TNR by act or propaganda. It precluded them from releasing ferals of individuals or feral non-profits. It forbade them from not loaning out tra, or by rogue members ps. It forbade them from not accepting cats in traps.

The judge's order did not apply to private individual's TNR in any way.

However, it appears that the department has decided to go anti-private TNR by threatening colony managers with fines and jail if they feed feral cats--that is, unless the person lives on Leadwell street, where the owner beat the city in a lawsuit in the past.

However, Officer DeMascias cites M.C. 53.07.5, banning the feeding of non domesticated mammilian predators, and applies it in selective cases to people feeding feral cat colonies.


Few seem to grasp that the misapplication of this law by either LAAS offical policy, or the selective misapplication by rogue officers of LAAS or ACTF means the END OF TNR in Los Angeles. This is a big deal. Doesn't anyone see this but me?

Vietnam: With Rabies Deaths on the Rise, a Menu Item Gets a Closer Look

Hoang Dihn Nam/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Rabies deaths are on the rise in Vietnam, according to the country’s National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, whose director blamed slack management by provincial health authorities and public ignorance of the threat.


But subscribers to ProMED, a disease-outbreak Web site, have pointed out another contributing factor: in the mountainous rural northern provinces where the problem is worst, many people are fond of eating dogs.
Most rabies is transmitted by bites from stray dogs. The disease kills about 55,000 people a year around the world, mostly children under 15, according to theWorld Health Organization.
In parts of Vietnam, according to the national government, only one dog out of 25 is vaccinated, and there is a regular cross-country trade in dogs for the table. (Raising dogs for meat is popular in many countries, especially in southeast Asia and West Africa.)
A study in the journal PLoS Medicine last year described the deaths of two rabies patients in Vietnamese hospitals. Neither had been bitten, but one had cut up and cooked a dog killed in a traffic accident, while the other had eaten a sick cat.
Many Vietnamese refuse to eat vaccinated dogs, said Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, an animal protection magazine, because the only vaccines locally available are grown in sheep brains using an outdated method invented by Louis Pasteur. If improperly stored, those vaccines can give rabies to the dog, and in turn to the diner.


"Marco's" real name is Cornel Garcia, age 70. He allegedly is being harassed by tenants he is trying to evict, one of whom is a graduate student at CSUN in Northridge. They haven't paid rent in three months and he could lose his house.

The new total inspection by Animal Services is scheduled for 3:00 P.M. at his (bright orange) house at 18536 Sunburst in Northridge, at the corner of Baird and Sunburst, a block from Resdea and Nordhoff.

Mr. Garcia is very frightened about this visit.

I'll be there with a video camera. 





I just talked to Officer Demascio from the West Valley Shelter, who said they have always enforced this law. Feeding ferals is not illegal, but feeding non domesticated predators is. She stated food left for ferals CAN be eaten by non-domesticated predators.

Don't they have to prove such predators are eating food left for ferals, rather than an unintended consequence might be that such mammals also eat the food? One is not deliberately feeding these mammals when the food is left for ferals who are feeding while you watch.

Or, as the rude woman at the West Valley Shelter told Kim Mixon, the cats can eat birds and mice.

Enforcement of this code eliminate TNR in Los Angeles.

     (Amended by Ord. No. 175,383, Eff. 9/14/03.)
     (a)     No person shall feed or in any manner provide food or cause to be fed any non-domesticated mammalian predator including, but not limited to, coyotes, foxes, possums, raccoons and skunks.
     (b)     This section shall not apply to any person who has legal possession of any non-domesticated mammalian predator and who has a permit from the State Department of Fish and Game to keep the animal.  This section shall not apply to any person who provides food or water to any non-domesticated mammalian predator while the animal is injured, trapped or unweaned provided that the person notifies the State Department of Fish and Game within 48 hours of commencing the care.
     (c)     Any person violating this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000.00 or by imprisonment in the County Jail for a period not more than six months, or by both a fine and imprisonment.



Within hours of my sending a Request for Public Records regarding the number of Orders to Comply about ferals, kennel law violations, and having mentioned the plight of Mr. Marcos (Nickname) at 18536 Sunburst in Northridge, his place was raided by Animal Services led by Officer DiMaggio, who arrived 24 hours before the scheduled inspection, came into the yard, and confiscated bowls and plates in the yard. That is, they arrived unannounced and went through the yard, but never knocked on his door or talked to him.

Mr. Marco (nickname) is a little, old Philippino man, who is terrified by the Gestapo-like tactics of Animal Services.

I am charging Animal Services with selective enforcement of the kennel law. They use is roughshod over little old men and women who are frightened out of their minds, and told they cannot feed cats on their property, tell them is it illegal to feed feral cats, come unannounced and confiscate items from the property without knocking, and one very rude woman from the shelter who talked to Marco’s neighbor, Kim Mixon, told her that both she and Marco had to stop feeding ferals because then they would eat birds and mice.

What is this crap? Animal Services is still acting like Gestapo against small people, but refusing to act against a flagrant violator who has a lawyer.

Brenda, you have to stop this abuse by your department. This is why the community hates and fears Animal Services, and why the community does not cooperate with your department.

Your people are rude and abusive on the phone; you raid private residences unannounced, like this resident on Sunburst and Ron Mason three years ago.

Yours in complete upset,

Edward Muzika, Ph.D.


Brenda Barnette
Ross Pool
Linda Barth

Los Angeles Animal Services
September 27, 2010


On August 21, 2009 I submitted a RPR regarding, among other things, the number of field visits made by Animal Services and ACTF regarding enforcement and inspection of allegations that a residents had too many cats.

I waited 47 days for a response and was told by Linda Barth that the department (LAAS) did not have such records. I was advised that I could come in and inspect the field activity records of specified ACTs if I wanted at the West Valley shelter.

It has long been my opinion that AS and ACTF specializes in enforcing the kennel laws mainly because they are easy to enforce, and build statistics. Officer Muniz on the ACTF also admitted to me in a phone conversation that people with too many cats, or people who feed colonies of cats are the Task Force’s biggest problem. Again, this is because it is an easy statue to enforce, and much easier than stopping animal cruelty.

In fact, given the recession-undermined budget and manpower of the dept., it seems to me it is ridiculous to devote much manpower to investigating kennel violations.

In March, someone called the ACTF alleging I was feeding sick and dying feral cats in my back yard. I was not. The complaint was passed onto AS, and two officers came out. The first posted my door that they had arrived, and then Officer Julian came and inspected my property finding no humane or kennel violations as per an email from Kathy Davis. Privately Kathy Davis suspected it was my new fireman neighbor who was looking to flip the house next door. Despite my complaint, no research was done to find out who made the anonymous complaint.

Yesterday I was informed of a neighbor a few blocks away who was visited by Officer Julien and a Notice to Comply was left on his door by Officer Julien alleging an animal cruelty complaint to his dog, as well as alleging that he was feeding 10 feral cats on his property. Mr. Marcos had a poor command of English and was terrified at what was happening to him.

It appears the complaint comes from two people who rent rooms from him whom he is evicting for failure to pay rent. Mr. Marcos pays his mortgage from these rentals. They are the alleged complainants, seeking revenge.

Yet when another neighbor (Kim Mixon) of Mr. Marcos called the West LA shelter and talked to a woman there about Mr. Marcos, she said she was addressed rudely and told it is illegal to feed feral cats.

Several weeks ago I sent you an email alleging that the department was selectively enforcing the kennel law as witnessed on Ledwell Ave. where nearly 100 cats live, many sick and many kittens. I was told at thaqt time the department did not have the manpower to prove that those animals belonged to that resident. That is, the 30 day sustenance/ownership provision of the CA P.C., was not enforced in this case due to lack of manpower. Yet, it is being enforced in this case?


Altogether too much time and limited resources are being utilized by LAAS following up on false allegations of animal cruelty or neglect, AND alleged kennel limit violations.

Therefore I am submitting a second RPR regarding field activities of LAAS falling into four categories:

1.     How many investigations of animal abuse or neglect were conducted during 2008, 2009, and the first 6 months of 2010 that were found to be unfounded; that is, no situations of abuse were found upon investigation.

2.     How many notices to comply were issued regarding feeding feral cats in 2008, 2009, and the first 6 months of 2010?

3.     How many notices to comply were issued regarding a person having too many cats or dogs in 2008, 2009, and the first 6 months of 2010?

4.     How many total field investigations for any reason were carried out in 2008, 2009 and the first six months of 2010?


This request is being made subject to the California Public Records Act: Government Code §6250-6268.  Under this statute you have 10 calendar days from the date of receipt of this request to respond as to whether you will release the records requested as detailed below. It is preferred your response be made in writing to either the street address or email above.

During a conversation with officer Muniz of the ACTF about a year ago, he made the statement that people with too many cats or people that fed large feral colonies with the Task Force’s “biggest problem.” He stated, “How would you like to live next door to someone with too many cats, coming into your yard….?”

It seems that he considers neighbor dispute and nuisance resolution the ACTF’s biggest problem. I wonder, if in fact, the ACTF is spending far too much time “busting” people violating the Kennel law, because it is easy to find them due to neighbor complaints, as opposed to investigating complaints of cats being poisoned, or animal abuse.

For that reason, I am requesting the following public records:

Information Requested

1.     How many investigations of animal abuse or neglect were conducted during 2008, 2009, and the first 6 months of 2010 that were found to be unfounded; that is, no situations of abuse were found upon investigation.

2.     How many notices to comply were issued regarding feeding feral cats in 2008, 2009, and the first 6 months of 2010?

3.     How many notices to comply were issued regarding a person having too many cats or dogs in 2008, 2009, and the first 6 months of 2010?

4.     How many total field investigations for any reason were carried out in 2008, 2009 and the first six months of 2010?

I cannot believe that the department has not tabulated these statistics as Linda Barth alleged last year in response to my RPR last August. However, if it is not true gthat the department does not keep summarizing statistics of its own activities, as incredible as that would be, then I request copies of all the relevant notices to comply cited above for 2008, 2009, and the first 6 months of 2010. I am not talking about just the West Valley shelter, but all investigations throughout Los Angeles.

It is my belief that an overwhelming waste is occurring of LAAS manpower and budget resources following up false complaints, harassing feral cat feeders, or enforcing the kennel laws.

Form of Information Requested

The requested information should be provided as an standard wordprocessing file, PDF file, Tiff file, JPEG file, and can be electronically transferred to the email address shown below. Should there be file size limitations on what you are permitted to send outside of your internal network, please contact me so that other arrangements for data transfer can be made. In lieu of electronic conveyance, please supply a hardcopy of the requested documents.

Denial and Redaction

Should you choose to deny this request, as required by law, please indicate the exact reason for denial and the person and title of the person who made such decision. Should information be redacted from the files, statute requires that you list for EACH record the reason for redaction and type of information redacted.


I am willing to pay reasonable copying fees, as defined under law, not to exceed $25.00.  Should fees run higher, please contact me.

Should you have any questions regarding this request, please contact me immediately.


Edward Muzika, Ph.D.

Whale and Dolphin Killing in Europe

A few days ago I saw the results of one of the depressed patient's whose report I saw. His statement, "I hope the Mayan prediction for the end of the world is accurate." How can one live in a universe like this?

John Paul's Dream About a Mom Cat and Her Kittens

by J.R. Hyland
The first time I read the account of Pope John Paul II’s dream, the thing that surprised me most was the fact that it was included in the book God’s Broker. Published in 1984, the book was the result of 200 hours of conversation with the Pope. These interviews began soon after the author, Anton Gronowicz, was introduced to the Pope in 1979 and continued for two years, in the Pontiff’’s apartment at the Vatican.

In his dream, John Paul follows a homeless mother cat who was trying to find food and shelter for herself and her kittens. She is turned away by those who lack nothing themselves and by men who represent the various faces of established Christianity.
The dream took place in 1969 the night before the Pope, known then as Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, was to visit New York City for the first time. It was late summer and he had been touring Canada. He spoke of the beauty of its fields and forests and how he had wished for more time to walk in woods vibrant with color and with his "ears filled with the songs and voices of animals."

In the midst of this discussion of Canada, the Pope abruptly changed the subject and said: "The night before my departure from Canada to New York, which I had never seen, I had a strange dream." But his dream was not of beautiful forests, warm with the summer sun. It was of a crowded city, frigid with the cold of a northern winter. And although he had never been there, his dream captured the way Manhattan looks and feels after a major snowstorm.

"It was a terribly severe winter in New York; the city was completely covered with snow. Inhabitants were well off and warmly dressed and walking slowly along roads because cars, due to mountains of snow, could not be operated. I was happy that I could walk on top of the snow on avenues of white.

"All my physical effort was spent on walking. To this day, pictures of huge apartment houses on both sides of the avenue are instilled in my mind and the doormen quickly closing and opening entrance doors as though trying to prevent humanity and warmth from escaping.

"On top of the snow, I noticed a brown cat emerge from a side street and walk on the snow. I looked closer and, to my surprise, saw that this big cat was being followed by six small brown-and-white kittens, all of them following the big brown cat in a perfect line. The mother cat looked back from time to time to see if her babies were there, but her main concern was to reach the entrance door. I presumed she was trying to find warmth for herself and her children, but as soon as she reached the door, a man in a well-pressed uniform jumped at her with a broom and chased them away. I followed this procession and prepared to deliver a speech to the doorman. I opened my mouth and tried to complain, ‘Where is your proverbial American generosity? Where is your American good heart and fair play? Let them in. Let them in!!’

"I tried to speak, but the words would not come out. Maybe I was afraid of the doorman with the broom. I started searching my cassock pockets for a piece of bread, found some crumbs, and put them on my palms, calling, ‘Kitty, kitty, kitty.’ But the words would not come from my supposedly intelligent mouth. Instead, the wind blew the crumbs from my palm, and I said, ‘What can I do? I can’’t speak to the cats. I can’t speak to the doorman. But there are many hungry birds. They might pick up the crumbs.’

"Again, I walked after the cats, now with a pain in my chest, feeling tremendous cold. On the left, I saw a church building and thought, ‘There we will find help.’ I heard singing, and again, the idea occurred to me that it must be a Catholic church. The music grew louder, as though trying to convince God that they were praying to Him.

"The mother cat jumped in front of me and climbed the stairs, followed by her kittens. I raised my head and saw a tall Jesuit priest chasing the cats off the steps. But as I was about to shout at the Jesuit, ‘I am a cardinal!’ and give an order to accept the cats, the mother cat and her offspring ran behind the church because from there came the appetizing aroma of food. Probably there was a kitchen there. But a second Jesuit appeared at the kitchen door and scared the cats away. They returned to the avenue and started walking north.

"They walked on the same side of the avenue as the Jesuit church and I followed. Then they reached an imposing red brick church. An Anglican bishop appeared and said to the cats, ‘My dear animal children, please go immediately to the animal shelter. There is food for you there. We Anglican clergy donate lots of money to the animal shelter every year at Christmastime.’

"The mother cat and her kittens didn’t even meow. They knew the authoritative voice of the Anglican bishop. They walked uptown and gradually the luxurious buildings disappeared, together with the doormen, and we saw drab dilapidated apartments.
"As they walked and the buildings grew shabbier and dirty, a door was opened, not by a doorman but by an old wrinkled woman in a cotton dress. [She saw the cats] and shouted, ‘Oh, little mother,’ and when she opened her mouth, I saw she had few teeth. She gently ushered the mother cat and kittens inside, who jumped happily about because the warmth of the house embraced them."

The narrative ended as the cats found a safe haven with the woman who had little enough, herself. When the Pope concluded his dream, the author to whom he related it did not make any comment on what had been said. But he did write that "I had never seen such a sad expression on the face of this man." Considering that this was the same man who had related the horrors of his young manhood under Nazi occupation, the author’s remark shows the deep impact this dream had on the Pope.

If the Pontiff offered a commentary on his dream, Anton Gronowicz does not share it with the reader. But we are told that John Paul began to recite the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. "Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love ..., where there is darkness, light, and where there is sadness, joy.

The Pope also said that the "solicitous care, not only toward [people] but also toward animals and nature in general," that St. Francis demonstrated is "a faithful echo of the love with which God in the beginning pronounced his ‘fiat,’ which brought them into existence." And, the Pope added, "[W]e, too, are called to a similar attitude."

Some who read these remarks are surprised to find in them such strong support of God’s other creatures. They are surprised to hear the Pope refer to the lives of animals as a manifestation of God’s love: lives that deserve our "solicitous care." But I was not surprised. By the time I came across a copy of the message he gave at Assisi, I had read God’s Broker and the lengthy account of the Pope’s dream. And I knew that if John Paul II had not wanted this very revealing dream to be published, it would never have appeared in print.

In this witness, the Pope is being true to the Gospel message in which Jesus also gave witness to the need for the solicitous care of all beings: "I tell you, whenever you refused to help one of these least important ones, you refused to help me." (Matthew 25:45)

Cat Ranch

Man builds cat-sized village for homeless cats

small cat city hall
(Photo via
Craig Grant didn't like cats. But that changed when his son moved out, leaving his cat, Pepper, behind. And just when Craig was getting used to having one cat, he found out Pepper was pregnant.
Five kittens later, Craig was ready to adopt them out until his son said they must stay with their mother for 8 weeks. "It wasn't long before the kittens were swinging from my curtains," he notes on his website.
The cats started to be a problem for Craig. Not only were neighbors complaining but the cats were being harassed, like being shot with B.B. guns. A newspaper advertisement led him to a tree farm 100 miles away from his Jacksonville condo.
He immediately loved the tree farm and bought 30 acres where he quickly erected an office trailer as a cat shelter. It had pet doors and padded shelving for long cat naps. The sanctuary is in the middle of 100 acres of wildlife.

cat Wal-Mart
(Photo via
Craig moved there himself in 2003. By that time he had 11 cats -- he had adopted strays and abandoned cats. By 2004, he had 22 cats. As you can tell by these pictures, he now has quite a few more than 22.

cat closeup
(Photo via
"We [currently] have 660 cats, we have barely touched on the first 5 acres of the 30 acres of land," says Craig. But that many cats in one location comes with serious concerns. Outdoor cats definitely affect bird populations to the measure of being an invasive species.
"Whenever you host a large number of domestic animals in one place, responsibility is key," says Jenny Powers at the Natural Resources Defense Council. "You don't want to run into unexpected environmental impacts like high amounts of animal waste in waterways or negatively impacted vegetation or critters." She points out that looking for sustainable solutions before a problem begins is the best way to ensure there's no unintended consequences associated with a good deed.
Craig's website says: "Caboodle Ranch has the seal of approval from the Tallahassee Humane Society and the Tallahassee/Madison County Animal Control. Representatives from both have been to the ranch and both have liked what they've found."

cat village
(Photo via
The expenses for the nonprofit sanctuary come out of Craig's pocket and donations from the public. Each cat costs about $550 a year to tend to, and that is without extraneous vet bills. All the cats are spayed or neutered, and their shots are kept up to date.

cat city hall
(Photo via
And while Caboodle Ranch is beyond cute, it is also hard work. Craig puts in 14-plus hours a day. The ranch's biggest challenge is finding dedicated volunteers. The novelty of the sanctuary surely attracts visitors, about 30 or so each month, but they don't always stick around.

Caboodle Ranch sign with cat
(Photo via
But don't go to Caboodle Ranch looking for a pet. The cats are not up for adoption. "The reason the cats are there in the first place is that there were not enough homes [for them]. The cats at the ranch have their forever home now. We prefer people adopt cats from humane societies, animal control, etc., where those cats are on death row and are in desperate need to be saved," says Craig.

Craig Grant with cats
(Photo via
Check out his Facebook page here.
More on our feline friends:
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