I have another confession.
Most of you notice that from time to time I disappear from posting on this blog or responding to your emails. The reason is I am sometimes involved in animal emergencies in Los Angeles, such as recently finding a large colony of 10 adult and 15 kittens starving at a location in Grenada Hills, about 5 miles from my house. The colony had been maintained by one or more feeders who seem to have disappeared. Now we have to get a group together to spay/neuter and feed these cats. This is a sudden emergency.
Then, Jimmy, the homeless man I had been helping feeding about 45 cats just moved away to Sacramento. I had been giving him about $100 worth of cat food and medicine a month. Jimmy had to move out of his tent in Northridge by August 17, or go to jail. He has been to court a dozen times during the past 14 months.
Now I am feeding four of Jimmy's colonies of cats as well as the three I had been feeding. I am trying to find local help to take over some of the responsibility.
In addition, the City is looking to increase the number of cats and dogs allowed in residential areas from 3 to 5, a small increase, but one that would allow many people to legally own an extra cat or dog or two. However, even this small improvement has opponents who dislike dogs or cats and who are bombarding City Council with protests to this increase.
You may not know this but I have an animal blog that follows animal issues in Los Angeles and nationwide: http://laanimalwatch.blogspot.com.
I have used the blog to notify people of animal emergencies such as above, and also to lobby for or against legislation. There is a lot that is happening now, including a movement to re-label homeless cats as "wildlife." This will have a large impact in terms of their legal status and protection in the future.
All of these things I talk about and lobby for and against on this blog.
This blog is quite controversial because I have used it both to defend people who have been attacked by radical groups who want to harm the animals, or to "attack" certain people or factions whose legislation of actions might harm animals.
Therefore, this animal blog has a very different combative tone at times, because this is the nature of animal issue communications in Los Angeles.
For example, recently a woman named Phyllis Daugherty, who spends most of her day schmoozing with city officials, and thus whose opinion is well regarded by those politicians, has attacked the proposed increase in animals that can be kept in the home. The more animals that can be kept, the higher the possible adoptions of homeless animals from the shelters, decreasing the kill rate. I take it upon myself to show how her arguments are both illogical but also fear mongering to get her ends.
For many months several years ago, because of my support for one animal official, I was bombarded with negative press from a reporter from an Internet newspaper, and also received a number of physical threats. In Los Angeles, the struggle to save the lives of animals has become a war, with groups like the Audubon Society and Urban Wildlands Group opposing the city's long efforts to implement trap/neuter/and re-release of homeless cats as opposed to trapping and killing them. These two entities sued the city and now prevents them from helping rescuers spay and neuter these homeless cats, and keep them alive in their colonies rather than killing them.
These groups do not play nice and use pseudo science to convince judges and Councilmembers that homeless cats are a huge danger and health risk, and should be eradicated.
So, if I disappear for a while, know it is because I am fighting for the animals, and sometimes that fighting can be loud.