She was cited by Officer R. Weekly, badge 207, from the North Central district. The citation read he saw 20 cats on the property and did take pictures. Here is Catherine's own words:
"Here is what I know. I went to animal control yesterday and got a copy of the law I broke. Apparently 53.50 is running a cat kennel or dog kennel without a licence. The fact that I was feeding more than 3 cats (he took photos) fits under this law. I explained to the officer in charged that I have trapped and acted responsibly with these cats that I don't own. Doesn't matter.
My court date is Oct.8. I asked if I could pay whatever fine there was before the court date but was told I had to show up. I e mailed Tina Varijian the lawyer who won the case for her mom. She wished me luck and gave me two phone numbers. I will call a Shannon Keith this am. Apparently I will get a copy of the citation in the mail shortly. Thanks for all the input.
"My landlord Richard Carlson brought a few cats to the Brewery Arts colony where I live. He thought it would keep the rat population down. He owns the place and the cats. Before I got involved about 15 years ago, these cats were just multiplying like crazy. I have spent countless hours and money trapping and fixing cats. There is only one female and two males that are not fixed and they have appointments at Fix Nation the first week in November. I am so not the guilty party here. I am working to keep the population down. I have found homes for so many kitties I lost count. I am due in court on Friday. Anything you could suggest would be helpful."
Feral cats are not owned by you until you feed them for 30 consecutive days. He can't prove you fed them for 30 consecutive days. He'd have to prove it. He can't. Photos of feeding cats on one day does not prove 30 days.
Photos of cats with bowls is not proof you fed them for 30 days.
Also, if you are practicing TNR you are exempt from the kennel violation. I'll send you the law. Just get vet and spay neuter bills together.
I am attaching a flyer sent to me from west Valley animal services. Check down for M.C. 53.15.2.
This talks about ownership. It also says if you are working with an animal rescue organization that practices TNR, that organization and you as its representative are exempt. I understand you work with Fix Nation. Get a letter to that effect that you are practicing TNR as their agent at this site.
You are then home free. Otherwise, you can present a case that you are a private individual practicing TNR for ferals who you don't own. They are free roaming cats which you feed but not all the time, AND YOU ARE PRACTICING TNR.
From Brenda Barnette:
I agree that citizens can feed feral cats and, to that end drafted a memo to staff that I forwarded to the attorney for reviewed before I send it out.
Again, the definition of OWNERSHIP does not apply to rescue groups who demonstrate they are spaying and neutering the said animal and are trying to adopt (whether adoption actually happens is not required).
PLEASE READ THE CODE. YOU WILL SEE THIS EXEMPTION APPLIES.
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