LA’s Citywide Cat Program (E1907610)

Los Angeles, August 29, 2019 – The City of Los Angeles has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to evaluate the potential environmental effects of the proposed Citywide Cat Program (proposed Project) that addresses free-roaming (feral or stray) cats in the City. The City is requesting input on the Draft EIR from public agencies, residents, and other interested project stakeholders.

Project Background: In 2006, the City’s Department of Animal Services began to implement a “trap, neuter, return” (TNR) policy and program for free-roaming cats. The City also distributed vouchers to be used for free-roaming cat spay or neuter surgeries, issued cat trapping permits, and otherwise provided support and referrals to community groups that engage in TNR programs. In 2008, the City was sued, and in 2010 the Los Angeles Superior Court issued an Injunction which prohibited the City from further implementing the TNR policy and program without completing an environmental review process in compliance with CEQA (Case No. BS115483). The City prepared a Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) in 2013, but ultimately decided to modify the proposed Project and prepare an EIR. The scoping process for the EIR began in 2017.

Project Description: Under the proposed Project, the City would: Directly engage in or make available funds for the spay/neuter of free-roaming cats that may be returned to where they were found, relocated to a working cat program, or adopted; Make amendments to the City of Los Angeles Administrative Code (LAAC) to broaden the permitted use of Animal Sterilization Funds and to the City of Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) regarding the definition of a cat kennel; Implement a modified trap, neuter, and return (TNR) program that includes facilitation of trapping, neutering, and returning, TNR-related community education and outreach and collaboration with TNR organizations, and use of incentives to encourage the capture, sterilization, and release of free-roaming cats, including to TNR groups who may return the cats to free-roaming status; Publish and implement program guidelines and ecological conservation measures; and Create a working cat program.

Project Objectives: Broadly stated, the purpose of the proposed Project is to assist in achieving the City’s no kill goal and support the City’s adoption of TNR as the preferred method of addressing the free-roaming cat population in the City. The objectives of the proposed Citywide Cat Program include: Facilitating spaying and neutering of cats in the City; Reducing the relative number of free-roaming cats in the City over time; Facilitating more public and community education on animal-related topics, including free-roaming cats; Training animal services center staff members on cat management programs and engage in collaborative efforts with local rescue groups to help respond to and address free-roaming cat issues; Further implement the City’s no-kill policy by reducing the rate of euthanasia of cats in City animal services centers; and Establishing TNR as the preferred policy to humanely address free-roaming cats.

Environmental Impacts: The analysis contained in the Draft EIR determined that the proposed Project would not result in any significant environmental impacts. No mitigation is required.

Public Review Period: The Draft EIR public review and comment period begins August 29, 2019 and ends on October 28, 2019. The Draft EIR is available online at the Bureau of Engineering website:  https://eng.lacity.org/citywide-cat-program-e1907610

Hard copies may also be viewed at the following locations:

  • Los Angeles Central Library located at 630 W 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90071.
  • City of LA, Bureau of Engineering, 1149 S. Broadway, 6th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90015
  • North Central Animal Services Center, 3201 Lacy Street, Los Angeles, CA 90031
  • South LA Animal Services Center, 1850 West 60th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90047
  • West LA Animal Services Center, 11361 West Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064
  • Harbor Animal Services Center, 957 North Gaffey Street, San Pedro, CA 90731
  • East Valley Animal Services Center, 14409 Vanowen Street, Van Nuys, CA 91405
  • West Valley Animal Services Center, 20655 Plummer Street, Chatsworth, CA 91311

Public Meeting: A public meeting to receive comments on the Draft EIR will be held on Monday, October 7, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at the Ramona Hall Community Center, 4580 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90065.

Comments: Please send comments on the Draft EIR to:

Dr. Jan Green Rebstock
City of Los Angeles
Public Works, Bureau of Engineering
Environmental Management Group
1149 S. Broadway, 6th Floor, Mail Stop 939
Los Angeles, CA 90015-2213

Comments may also be submitted by e-mail to jan.green.rebstock@lacity.org. Please remember to:

  • Send your comments in letter format as an attachment to the email;
  • Include a mailing address in the comment letter; and
  • Include “CAT PROGRAM” in the subject line.

Following the close of the comment period, the City will consider and prepare responses to the comments received and compile a Final EIR. The Final EIR will be posted online at the Bureau of Engineering website:  https://eng.lacity.org/citywide-cat-program-e1907610.

All responses to comments submitted on the DEIR by public agencies will be provided to those agencies at least 10 days prior to certification of the Final EIR. The Board of Animal Services Commissioners and City Council Committee(s) may consider and make recommendations to the Los Angeles City Council regarding the Final EIR and proposed Project. The Los Angeles City Council will make findings regarding the extent and nature of the environmental impacts as described in the Final EIR. The Final EIR will need to be certified by the City prior to making a decision to approve or deny the proposed Project. Public input is encouraged at all public meetings before the City.

More information on the value of TNR programs in your community can be found here:

Analysis of Feral & Stray Cat Solutions

Operation FELIX: Feral Education & Love Instead of X-termination

Trap Neuter Return & FELIX

Time to solve our Feral Cat Problem

Why TNR works and plays an important role in achieving No-Kill

Pit Bulls Are Not Monsters

Jim Pennucci/Flickr

They have big hearts, clownish grins, and wildly wagging tails, but pit bulls do pose tough challenges to the humane community. In 2018, nearly half of U.S. pit bulls were homeless.

Many people wrongfully demonize pit bulls as an inherently dangerous breed. Others overlook challenges specific to the breed in their efforts to defend people’s rights to own them. These opposing views often lead to a vitriolic debate that winds up at City Hall. Continue reading “Pit Bulls Are Not Monsters”

Applying the No-Kill Ethic by Ed Boks

More than a policy and statistical objective, “no-kill” is a principle, an ethic, and once applied the practical consequences begin to fall into place. The principle is that animal shelters should apply the same criteria for deciding an animal’s fate that a loving pet guardian or conscientious veterinarian would apply. That is, healthy and treatable animals are not killed simply because of a lack of room or resources to care for them. Continue reading “Applying the No-Kill Ethic by Ed Boks”

Business-Savvy Landlords Allow Pets: Cities Should Make it the Default

Imagine being responsible for the life or death of 55,000 dogs and cats every year. As the General Manager for the City of Los Angeles Animal Services Department, the desperate need of these animals weighed on my mind every day.  I was determined to end pet homelessness and the practice of killing and disposing of our society’s surplus companion animals.

Today, most cities and towns across the nation share this noble and ambitious goal. Achieving this requires robust community participation, and our cities desperately need the support of an overlooked constituencylandlords. Continue reading “Business-Savvy Landlords Allow Pets: Cities Should Make it the Default”

Think Globally, Give Locally by Ed Boks

Imagine how you would feel if your boss told you he was so happy with your work performance that he decided to give a bonus to your coworker.  I suspect you would be dumbfounded.  Yet, in my line of work, it is not uncommon to hear, “I really love the work my local humane society does – so I sent a donation to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) or to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) to help support you.”

One of the greatest misunderstandings in most communities and biggest challenge animal welfare organizations face is the belief most people have that HSUS and the ASPCA are affiliated with local animal welfare organizations. Continue reading “Think Globally, Give Locally by Ed Boks”

FIV-positive cats can live long, healthy lives by Ed Boks

Ed’s 15 year old FIV cat, Oliver

In the quest to achieve No-Kill (which I define as applying the same criteria a loving pet guardian or conscientious veterinarian would apply to deciding a shelter animal’s fate), we must learn to overcome the many widespread myths regarding shelter animals.

The fact is some shelter animals have issues. Equally true is the fact that these issues are seldom the animal’s fault and they can almost always be resolved. Knowingly adopting an animal with special needs is one of the noblest acts you will ever perform; you are truly saving a life. Continue reading “FIV-positive cats can live long, healthy lives by Ed Boks”

Kapparot: 9th Circuit argument Tuesday

What is kapparot?

The 13th-century scholar Rabbi Solomon ben Abraham Aderet considered kapparot a “heathen superstition”.

Kapparot or kaparos, meaning “atonements,” is a custom in which a chicken or money may be used.  Kapparot using chickens is practiced by some Jews shortly before Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.

The ritual begins with selections from Isaiah 11:9, Psalms 107:10, 14, and 17-21, and Job 33:23-24 being recited.  Then a rooster (for a man) or a hen (for a woman) is held above the person’s head and swung in a circle three times, while the following is spoken: “This is my exchange, my substitute, my atonement; this rooster (or hen) shall go to its death, but I shall go to a good, long life, and to peace.” The chicken is then slaughtered and may or may not be given to the poor for food. Continue reading “Kapparot: 9th Circuit argument Tuesday”

Time for a national conversation about pit bulls by Ed Boks

Merritt and Beth Clifton

Is it time national animal welfare organizations rethink their position on pit bulls?

This is the recommendation of Beth Clifton, a former Miami Beach police officer, animal control officer, elementary school teacher, veterinary technician and wife of Animals 24-7 editor Merritt Clifton.

Animals 24-7 recently published Beth Clifton’s open letter to Matthew Bershadker, president of the ASPCA; Julie Castle, president of Best Friends Animal Society; and Kitty Block, president of HSUS.  Continue reading “Time for a national conversation about pit bulls by Ed Boks”

Is D.C. Cat Count really necessary? by Ed Boks

D.C. Cat Count includes hidden cameras to take photos of free roaming cats.

The New York Times reported today that the Humane Society of the United States, PetSmart Charities and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute is launching a $1.5 million, three-year plan to count all the stray, feral and pet cats living in Washington D.C.

The plan is called D.C. Cat Count; and it is a highly technological endeavor. As many as 60 camera traps will record images of outdoor cats. A smartphone app, (still in development), will allow anyone in D.C. to share pictures of feral and/or pet cats in an effort to build a comprehensive library of all the cats living in the District. Continue reading “Is D.C. Cat Count really necessary? by Ed Boks”

When it comes to pit bulls, how stupid are we? by Ed Boks

Collage by Beth Clifton

Every year, ANIMALS 24-7 conducts a national dog-breed survey.  The results of the 2018 survey were just released.  As interesting as the data collected by the survey are, I was particularly struck by a rather provocative proposition posed by Merritt Clifton, the editor/reporter of ANIMALS 24-7 and this survey.

Before exploring the thought provoking proposal, let’s set the stage:

The survey found that as of mid-June 2018, nearly 15% of all the dogs available for sale or adoption in the U.S. were pit bulls.  With that kind of market presence, one might conclude pit bulls are pretty popular in the U.S.  However, Mr. Clifton has another explanation. Continue reading “When it comes to pit bulls, how stupid are we? by Ed Boks”