Los Angeles Audubon files lawsuit against City of Los Angeles over feral cat policy

Los Angeles Audubon has joined Palos Verdes/South Bay Audubon and Urban Wildlands Group in a CEQA lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles for not conducting an environmental review before adopting a policy that will have an impact on wildlife and habitat in Los Angeles.

In May, 2004 or thereabouts Los Angeles Audubon Board adopted a policy opposing Trap-Neuter-Return and wrote a letter to Board of Animal Services opposing their stated interest in adopting a Trap-Neuter-Return policy. .

In June, 2005 the Board of Commissioners of Animal Services Department of City of Los Angeles adopted a Trap-Neuter-Return policy disregarding any input from Los Angeles Audubon or other wildlife agencies or non-profits.

In January, 2006 LA Audubon signed on to a letter from a CEQA attorney notifying Animal Services that they have not conducted a full environmental review of the impacts of adopting their policy and our intent to litigate.

In January, 2008 LA Audubon signed on to a CEQA lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles with Urban Wildlands Group and Palos Verdes/South Bay Audubon.

In September, 2008 we met with City Attorneys, staff of Animal Services and Urban Wildlands Group in a settlement conference. The settlement terms were rejected.

The Conservation Commitee has unanimously adopted a policy statement and have recommended it to the Board for ratification on April 13, 2008.

The resolution states "BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Directors of Los Angeles Audubon recognizes the science-based conclusions of the adverse impact of feral and free-ranging domestic cats on birds and other wildlife, and will advocate that local and state wildlife agencies, public health organizations, legislative bodies and the public restrict the maintenance and movement of feral and free-ranging domestic cats out-of-doors."

December 4, 2009 update!

Los Angeles Superior Court has ruled in favor of Urban Wildlands Group, Endangered Habitats League, American Bird Conservancy, Los Angeles Audubon and Palos Verdes/South Bay Audubon on the CEQA lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles for adopting TNR (Trap Neuter Release) without conducting an environmental review.

From the ruling:

“The City of Los Angeles is enjoined from implementing a Trap Neuter and Release (TNR) Program for Feral Cats unless and until an environmental review in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act is completed.”

The City of Los Angeles is prohibited from encouraging third parties to carry out such a program by providing incentives for, or otherwise facilitating, the capture, sterilization and release of feral cats by: providing traps free of charge, providing any discounts for spay and neuter surgeries for cats, providing information about such programs sponsored by other entities on its website or providing information about such programs sponsored by other entities on its website or providing cyber links thereto, by developing or distributing literature on the TNR program or by conducting public outreach on TNR using press releases, fliers or other media except in conjunction with the CEQA process.”

For more on ABC's Cats Indoors! program go here

For National Audubon's policy on cats go here


Tom said…
Hi Garry

The LA City Council is trying to get the spay/neutral discount system back up and operating the previous program. They have indicated that the Cats and Bully Dogs are commonly not adopted and have to be put down at >$300/animal...
Recommended that they give a higher discount for the cats than the bully dogs...Cons.Committee should promote the LACity's spay/neutering. Can we recommend a shorter adoption period for cats...putting them down faster??