Judge Thomas McKnew (LA Superior Court) Suspends LA’s Trap-and-Release Programs for Feral Cats

Kittens from the neighborhood that I can't afford to spay or neuter. Shall we kill them?

You know the great clinic I told you about (click for pics of cute kittens) some months ago that will spay & neuter your kitties for free? Fix Nation? They’ve now been suspended from providing those free services.

Here’s what happened:

“Wild bird groups sued the City of Los Angeles in 2008 to stop its support of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), the humane, community based method to control feral cat overpopulation. They claimed that under the California Environmental Quality Act, the City of LA could not provide discount spay neuter coupons to feral cat caregivers or promote TNR without an Environmental Study and Impact Report, based upon the utterly false premise that if TNR is promoted by the City, fewer cats will be killed in shelters, meaning more cats left in the environment to kill birds.

Last week, after a summary trial of this action, Judge Thomas McKnew, of the LA Superior Court, bought into this spurious argument and issued an injunction preventing any City support of TNR.”

-from this article

Way to go, dude!

I encourage you to sign the petition here to return the city’s support of TNR programs. With these programs no longer free, people like me will not be able to afford to trap, neuter & release the wild cats in our neighborhoods–meaning unchecked breeding and even MORE birds killed. And, of course, more cats killed or living fearful & malnourished lives on the street.

15 thoughts on “Judge Thomas McKnew (LA Superior Court) Suspends LA’s Trap-and-Release Programs for Feral Cats”

  1. I’m a big fan of TNR, and I’ve taken feral cats in to be fixed before, but come on. Is it really such a horrible thing to expect the city to comply with California law and prepare an environmental impact statement? They were clearly dancing around the requirement, which is there for a reason. If it’s really such a wonderful program (which I think it probably is) then presumably that’ll be born out in the EIS.

  2. I don’t think an injunction should have been issued to cease the support of the program.

    EIS’s take a fair amount of time to prepare & can be spun in lots of ways. I think it’s ill-advised to halt a program that’s working to wait on a EIS, because knowing the way the city works, it’s going to be a lot harder to get the dollars to flow again once they’ve been halted.

  3. You are incorrect. Fix Nation is a private group. They are not suspended from providing free spay and neuter for cats. Only the City of LA cannot give out free feral spay neuter coupons. They are instead using those vouchers on other cats. Nothing has changed. Daily News article from last week. http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_13946474

  4. Actually the City was told to do the report three years earlier. They failed to do so. Finally, the environmental, wilderness, bird groups sued the City to force them to do the report. They still have not done the report. If they City had done as instructed, which is the law by the law, there would have been no lawsuit.

  5. The city spay and neuter fund has so much money. They must spend it every year or it goes back to the general fund. They spend the money on the mobile spay mobile and surgery vouchers. The surgery vouchers are for elderly, disabled and poor people to spay their own cats, dogs or feral cats. What vouchers aren’t used for feral cats will be spent on elderly, disabled, poor peoples cats and dogs. The same number of animals will be neutered. It just won’t be feral cats owns by rescue groups. They can still go to Fix Nation for free surgeries.

  6. Wow, what a complicated mess this is.

    So I guess my question is, without the voucher money, can FixNation still exist? Or is that city funding necessary to keep their doors open? (I’m emailing back & forth with them now to find out.)

  7. Environmentalism like this is a sticky wicket. Are the birders upset because the cats are actually causing harm to the natural environment (as in, killing keystone species or predators of invasive species), or are they upset because the cats are killing the more attractive birds that birders like to watch?

    I assume the EIS would bear this out, but as was already mentioned, by the time it’s done, the problem may be even worse.

  8. FixNation is actually still providing spay/neuter services for homeless cats for free. The judge’s ruling means the city can no longer issue $30 spay/neuter coupons for ferals, which FixNation would use to help offset their hard costs. Now more than ever is the time to donate to FixNation to help keep spay/neuter services free for our community cats!

  9. FixNation is run by Mark Dodge and his wife Karn Myers. Karn takes a $60,000 plus a year salary from the nonprofit, see guidestar.com . Most people who found nonprofits do not take a salary from them. Mark also takes money from the nonprofit. He is a lawyer by profession but states he is a successful business man. If he is so successful, why is he and his wife taking money from a nonprofit organization? I have my own nonprofit and I don’t take a salary. All the money goes to help the animals. I am even the main donor. I GIVE money to my nonprofit.

    FixNation was getting all their referrals from LA City. They received vouchers for feral surgeries from the City. They received a grant to neuter feral cats. Their business plan is based on neutering feral cats only. This ruling effects Mark Dodge’s piggy bank. He made a bad business decision in making the nonprofit deal with feral cats only. It was a poor business model for him. Dodge has been quoted as saying “nonprofits should be run like a business.” He forgot to add, like a sensible business.

    FixNation knew about the environment groups threatening to sue the City in 2006. He did nothing. He knew they sued the City in 2008. He did nothing. Now that the judge has given his final ruling, he complains. He is now telling people that they should give him money to fight this. He is begging for donations. He is not fighting this. He’s just using it to beg for money. A shame that some people use animals to make money.

  10. Hey Jose! I am new to all this, but a friend told me about the court ruling. I thought this blog was about homeless cats and birds and environmental stuff. Didn’t quite get why you have it in for this FixNation operation. Seems like they do good work… and hey, Jose, non-profit business still means business. Did you think that Red Cross and Humane Society and Greenpeace and Defenders of Wildlife all ran their operations on volunteers, where no one gets paid? Cheap shot, Jose…

  11. FixNation does amazing work & saves the lives of countless little animals. I know the women who work there, and they (and Karn) work 10 hours a day, and many weekends, to spay & neuter homeless cats & kittens whose only offense was the misfortune of being born. And Mark takes no salary at all from FixNation.

    In fact, I’m going there next month to take in more kittens for spaying & neutering. If anyone else wants to spew vitriol here about this organization, I suggest you adopt these kittens.

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