Minutes March 2010
Greater Valley Glen Council
Government and Business Relations Committee

Call to order and Roll call. Present: Charlotte Laws, Monte Mazo, Vic Viereck. Helen Lamonica was removed from the committee last month.
No public comment.

1. TNR policy for cats in Los Angeles . Following motion was made and letter approved. Motion made by Charlotte . Seconded by Vic. Motion passes unanimously. Text in “ “ means that is the motion. The rest will be part of the letter.

Dear LA City Council and Mayor Villaraigosa,

“The Greater Valley Glen Council (GVGC) is aware of the recent suspension of the City’s spay/neuter and trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs for feral cats pending the conclusion of the lawsuit Urban WildlandsGroup vs City a/ Los Angeles (LASC BSl15483)).

We believe spay/neuter and TNR are lifesaving programs, and the best course of action for feral cats. These programs help reduce the population of free-roaming cats and prevent impounds in the City's seven animal shelters where thousands of healthy cats and kittens are killed annually at considerable expense to the City.

Regardless of the outcome of the litigation, we ask that you do everything in your power to see that feral cat spay/neuter funding resumes and that Trap-Neuter-Return education continues as soon as possible.”

Feral cats are a natural part of the landscape, and have co-existed with humans - living in close proximity - for thousands of years. They can be found all over the U.S. in every setting, including Los Angeles .

Feral cats are almost always killed in animal shelters. Without TNR, we would see more and more cats killed in shelters, while at the same time the homeless cat population would explode. Moreover, the impact of cats on bird populations is miniscule as compared to habitat loss, high rise windows, airplanes, weather and other predators.

We believe that Trap-Neuter-Return is the best course of action for feral cats. It ends the breeding cycle, stabilizes populations and improves the cats' health. Trap-Neuter-Return is the humane approach to controlling homeless cat populations. It involves concerned citizens humanely trapping homeless cats, having them spayed or neutered, and then returning them to their location to live out the remainder of their lives.

Your help is respectfully requested to ensure that feral cat spay/neuter funding resumes and that Trap-Neuter-Return education continues as soon as possible.

2. Animal Abuser Database – Below motion made by Charlotte Laws. Seconded by Monte Mazo.

“The Greater Valley Glen Council (GVGC) supports SB 1277 introduced on Feb 19, 2010 by CA State Senator Dean Florez and encourages the LA City Council to support it as well. The bill would create a state online registry for felony animal abusers and would operate in much the same way as the sex offender and arsonist databases. The registry would help to better protect both animals and people. There is overwhelming evidence to show that human abusers, murderers or violent criminals began their abuse first with their own pets. The database would also be valuable in tracking those who run dog-fighting or cock-fighting rings.”

Supplemental information: In 1997 Boston's Northeastern University and the MSPCA did a study that found 70% of all animal abusers have committed at least 1 other crime and that 40% had committed violent crimes against humans. Studies also found that a history of animal abuse was found in 25% of male criminals, 30% of convicted child molesters, 36% of domestic violence cases and 46% of homicide cases.

3. DWP. Motion made by Monte and seconded by Vic.

“The Greater Valley Glen Council (GVGC) opposes an electric rate hike. At a time of economic crisis, unemployment and residential foreclosures, all tax, fee and rate increases should be avoided by the city and DWP.

The General Manager of the DWP did not mention any rate hikes or wage increases when presenting the 2010-2011 budget to the DWP-MOU Committee. Input from Neighborhood Councils and the DWP-MOU Committee should be considered before any increases are made.”

Comments from committee members.

Meeting adjourned.