Saturday, July 30, 2011


UPDATE:  Ivana has been returned!! You must read what this owner has been through and the horrible group that kept him from his beloved cat. Ivana reveals the name of this group and how they held her captive for a $2000 ranson.

 First we had poor Dexter, the dog. While his owner was seriously searching for him, he had been stolen from her back yard, LAAS knew where he was, knew he had a microchip, and knew his owner was looking for him, they scheduled him for transport to another state.  Fortunately this story had a happy ending, Dexter was returned to his owner, BUT THE MICROCHIP HAD BEEN REMOVED! We all know that the shelters are able to change microchipped animals with the microchip company if the pet is adopted by different owners so WHY WAS THIS MICROCHIP REMOVED? To cover up a crime, if not a crime by law, a crime by morality, that's why. 

This story doesn't have a happy ending, at least not yet. I was so taken aback by this one because it involves an older pet, a 15 year old cat, and her 63-year-old owner. A pampered, indoor-only Persian, descended from Grand Champion show cat lines, Ivana had accidently slipped outside one day.  Panicked upon realizing that she was missing, her owner posted fliers and knocked on doors all over his development, seeking any leads that might bring about her return.  Weeks passed, and the owner grieved, concluding that local coyotes had run off with his beloved Persian mother cat.

Then came later a glimmer hope:  A new neighbor, having seen one of the owner’s fliers, contacted him and reported that she had seen Ivana on the day she got out and had taken her to the shelter in Van Nuys. (See, works better than postcards

The owner immediately contacted the shelter, only to hit a brick bureaucratic wall.  Seems one of the "New Hope" partner-rescues had pulled Ivana from the shelter, but shelter officials, citing some amorphous confidentiality policy, refused to disclose the identity of the rescue that had custody of the cat. HEY FOLKS, WE ARE TRYING TO RE-UNITE AN OWNER WITH A BELOVED PET. IT'S NOT LIKE WE ARE STALKING A HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS!!

As things stand now, the rescue has yet to allow the owner to get his cat back, despite pleas from Ivana’s vet and the owner’s cat sitter, a church pastor. How heartless is that?  This "rescue" needs to do the right thing and live up to the title of "New Hope". They should be proud to be able to return this cat, could rake in donations.

In addition, the Shelter initially listed Ivana as 8 YEARS OLD, so they thought that this was an abused breeder cat she looked poorly. Fact is she was extremely well cared for but was indeed FIFTEEN years old, not EIGHT, and they couldn't tell the difference.

Despite the owner ‘s attempts to alert the shelter and the rescue to Ivana’s actual age and special health, medication and dietary needs, somehow the package of materials he provided, including detailed veterinary records, never made it from the shelter to the actual location where the rescue had been keeping Ivana. The Shelter said all the docs were sent, later disclosures by the rescue who was keeping Ivana said they never recieved anything whatsoever from the shelter. This neglect can be life threatening to Ivana.

A sympathetic local cat rescuer sought to mediate on behalf of the owner to gain Ivana’s return.  Problem solved, right?  Not when you’re dealing with the likes of Brenda Barnette.  In response to the kind rescuer’s plea, the New Hope rescue coordinator at the shelter expressed outright contempt towards the owner and advised the rescuer-mediator to tell the owner to forget about Ivana and “move on.” MOVE ON??? MOST OF US WOULD LIE DOWN AND DIE FOR OUR PETS, MOVE ON????

This heartless coordinator further stated that Ivana’s poor condition in the shelter was proof of her owner’s abusiveness – never mind the fact that the cat was actually twice as old as the shelter vet’s estimate or that by the time of rescue, Ivana had already spent two weeks in the stressful environment of the shelter, without her medicine or special diet, or the comfort of her loving owner and familiarity of her home of 12 years. IF THIS ISN'T AN ABUSE OF A LOVING OWNER AND HIS ELDERLY 15 YEAR OLD PERSIAN CAT, I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS.

Of course, when the intake records were retrieved, they FAILED to show that the conditions the coordinator complained of existed at time of intake -- only respiratory and mouth conditions which were pre-existing and were already under treatment, according to the cat's lifelong medical records. Her intake picture shows her looking like she just needed some serious brushing -- standard with any Persian, a well-known high-maintenance breed. 

So whatever new medical conditions Ivana had contracted had come from being at the Shelter, where they thought she was an eight year old cat.

While the captain of the shelter and Brenda Barnette advised the owner that they were sympathetic with his and Ivana’s plight, they advised him that they could neither disclose the New Hope partner rescue that had Ivana, nor could they require that rescue to return her to the shelter.  They claimed that the law prevented them from disclosing the New Hope partner rescue’s name, even though they never were able to site the actual law with such a requirement.

And it didn’t matter that the owner was willing to apply to adopt Ivana, like any other member of the public, AND to reimburse the rescue for all its expenses relating to it custody of and any treatment or care they had provided for his cat. I ASK YOU IS THIS WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT, KEEPING A PET FROM SOMEONE???

Only with an abundance of pleas from purebred rescues, pastors, and vets, was the owner able to track down the "rescue" that had his cat. With the help of an attorney, the owner managed to locate the "rescue" that was holding the cat. The owner had submitted to the shelter many documents to prove the cat was his, including the fact that the cat had to have a special diet or it would die. Although the shelter advised the owner that the documents had been forwarded to the New Hope partner rescue, somehow the documents never reached the individual or facility that actually had custody of Ivana.

Although Barnette supposedly called the New Hope partner "rescue" and asked them to return the cat, and they refused, why isn't she taking more steps to retrieve this cat? Did she threaten this group with expulsion from the New Hope list? Did she bring the city attorney in on it? If she has taken any other steps, she ain't telling this owner.  He's having to ask for donations in order to pay an animal law attorney to negotiate with the New Hope partner rescue to get his beloved cat back.



Schnitzie said...

Hi, I am one of the purebred rescuers helping the Persian's owner to get his kitty back.

Just a few factual corrections, which are important. First, it is not at all clear or certain that the shelter did not forward the cat's veterinary records and diet and medical info to the rescue. The Captain of the shelter and Brenda Barnett told the main good-rescuer helping the owner that they would and DID forward the records and, also, that they agreed the cat should be returned, but once the New Hope-affiliated rescue had "custody" of the cat, the decision to return was with the rescue.

Again, the highest official at the shelter and Brenda Barnett told the owner, through the helpful-rescuer, that they supported return and HAD forwarded the records.

It is possible the records went into some inbox somewhere at the rescue that had the cat and that they just never got forwarded to where the cat is now.

Whether Barnett and the Captain had the authority to REQUIRE return is unclear. They have taken the position that they do not...but they do feel the rescue should voluntarily return the cat.

Delicate negotiations are going on right now between the owner's attorney and the rescue with custody of the cat. It is very important that the facts be kept as clear as possible to prevent defensiveness and to enable the rescue and the owner's lawyer to reach an agreement for return.

Also, the vet who attested to the owner's fitness is the THE CAT'S VET, who has seen and provided health care for her for over a decade.

My feeling personally is: What's the hold up? PLEASE give the kitty back to her Daddy who loves her and knows what she needs.

HonestyHelps said...

Welcome Schnitzie. I was doing corrections on the post while you were writing this comment.

I have been dealing with Brenda Barnette long before she arrived in LA and take my word, she is a liar. She will smooze you, yes but she doesn't hesitate to lie to your face, lie when the evidence is there. She's good at telling you what you want to hear.

Any legit rescue, and you know this, would return that cat in a heartbeat with all of this before them. Wouldn't you?

My site meter tells me that I average about 70 hits a day from City Hall, so let's hope someone or many see this and pressure Barnette to take more action to get Ivana back where she belongs. This is not right.

Anonymous said...

Aren't the animals just given away free to these rescuers? So what "rights" do they have to literally steal someone's pet? Unless they are paying the full adoptio fee, this is a gift of public funds and an illegal exchange anyway. Government agencies are not allowed to give someone impounded property for the purpose of making money on it. It sure looks like that is what is planned. This group got for free what they thought was an expensive purebred Persian that they could make a extra money for.

Another quetion, was this cat spayed by the shelter before it left? If it was only eight years old, they could have done the surgery. If they did, how much did the rescuer pay for that service or for any of the other medical services the cat received?

I don't know what New Hope is, but it obviously isnt "hope" for the pet and it isn't "hope" for the owner. Looks like it's "hope" for Ms. Barnette that she can just dump people's pets to get them out of her shelter and hope for this rescue group that hopes to make money. If they really loved animls, they would have immediately given this poor creature back to the rightful owner.

I just can't figure out what law allows this and why the City Attorney didn't get involved. He's supposed to be a great animal lover.

I hope this 63-year-old owner sues the pants off the City and this "rescue" for his pain and suffeering. And also let's get this all over the front page of the LA Times. That will get Ivana home muy pronto, for whatever life she has left after this horrible nightmare.

HonestyHelps said...

Anon, you DO have a point. This question arose a year or so ago as to whether it is a matter of giving away public property, which you can't. I suggest your going to the LAAS website
and see if you find the argeement with New Hope partners there.

I would bet that if Barry has asked the front desk originally for impound number (Ivana), they would have told him the name of the rescue, hoping to reunite him and the cat. I can't see them trying to make it so hard to either reunite or adopt.

The City Controller is somewhat involved. She is doing an audit of LA Animal Services and needs to be contacted about this one. Reason being is the microchip removal dog is still being debated. Councilmember Bernard Parks called for an investigation of the microchipped dog and Parks needs to be contacted.

As far as Ivana being spay before leaving the shelter, I can't answer that. As she was being presented or rather misrepresented, they could have gotten a medical reprieve on that one. I see the concern at this point about that.

The person who brought up the issue of the giving away of public property is Phyllis Daugherty, Phyllis M. Daugherty of Animal Issues in LA. Might want to try to contact her about this and get an answer.

Barry said...

When I went to the front desk and described the cat, showed pictures the desk person found Ivana but told me she was adopted and was nothing I could do and directly and outright refused to name the Rescue who had her saying it was against the law for them to reveal the identity. The supervisor treated me like human detritis, disdain and contempt & I couldn't understand it. I stood there for 2.5 hours until someone gave me Ivana's mugshot and Impound #. Read the website for the details, although the Shelter was totally against helping me from the start.

HonestyHelps said...

Barry, this isn't right for them to keep you from your cat.

Get in contact with Councilmember Bernard Parks, he called for the investigation of the microchipped dog. He probably would like to hear this story too.

We're behind you, we've got your back.

Anonymous said...

I posted a comment and it's not up. Did I do something wrong?
Should I rewrite it or are you still reviewing comments?

HonestyHelps said...

Anon, I didn't get it, I checked the spam even. Rewrite it and send again. I never edit comments, they are all posted. I'll take 'em all on, good or bad.

Anonymous said...

Thank you HH.

I read the long list of exemptions under the CPRA. It's possible they do not have to give you the address and name of the individual that pulled the kitty to protect privacy. However, it's very possible they are obliged to give the name of the tax exempt corporation, especially since they have entered a formal agreement with the city.

HonestyHelps said...

You are correct, this agreement should be public knowledge. However, they could ask you request it via a public records request which they have 10 working days to respond. Meanwhile back at the ranch, Ivana is probably grieving herself and needs to go home.

By the way, Barnette can voluntarily surrender the info, I confirmed that this morning. There is no law that says they have to surrender the info, but they can if they chose.

Anonymous said...

Hoestyly Honesty, I agree.
Poor Ivana needs to be with her person. My heart is breaking for her. It's the older ones that get me the most. Sorry Barry, I don't mean to rub it in. It just hurts so much to read about this.

By the way, I think it would be cruel for them to take ten days (though legally allowed). That info can be acquired in ten seconds.

HonestyHelps said...

I agree, Anon, it's the old ones that get to me the most. Especially ones that been taken care of. Shit happens, no matter how careful you are. Granted Ivana needed a microchip but hell, look at what happened to the dog with the microchip!! Even that isn't the totally foolproof with Barnette. This isn't a typical situation, this is a case of a good owner taking care of his elderly cat, and it just isn't right to keep this cat from him. If he didn't care, he wouldn't be going through all this to get his cat back.

Anonymous said...

I agree Honesty. Cats get out, even with the best of precautions.
Not everyone considers checking the shelter. We live it day in and day out, so we know. In fact, most folks spend days walking their neighborhood and hanging signs before going to the shelter.
Looking for a lost kitty is almost like looking for a needle in a hay stack. I'm so glad someone found Ivana. I just wish this power trip group would return her. Shame on them.

HonestyHelps said...

The fact that ACOs do not pick up stray cats, UNLESS, they are contained by a citizen or brought into the shelter by a citizen, does make most cat owners hesitate to call the shelter, I agree. What are the chances of cats being caught? Most cats are so nervous outside, they run from you. Some come up, yes, but you do have to chase.

Does anyone know what excuses the so called "rescue" made as why they aren't returning Ivana?

Barry said...

Please read the website -- The excuses the shelter made to me personally as a private citzen, after repeated attempts, were that I just could not get her back. Later excuses made to the good Rescues helping me was that Ivana was in the most terrible condition when brought in and I was a despicable person for treating her so badly. This of course was proven to be completely false by the Intake Records.

Can we please table this discussion for a few days as I am told we may be on the brink of getting Ivana back. Thanks. I like the questions you ask, Honesty.

HonestyHelps said...

Just keep us posted. And keep the faith that Ivana will be returned to her home.

Anonymous said...

I just hope the next chapter isn't entitled: Barry and Ivana held hostage by rescue. Oh wait, that's this chapter.

Barry said...

Just wanted to say Thank You! to this blog for general rejuvination & getting me going with real fighting spirit & assistance. There were so many mysteries surrounding the Shelter's disdain, and later the Rescue's complete disdain. So far, the records do not support any evidence of condemnation, least of all the need for 38 days in a cage collecting boarding fees of $1600 & med fees of $540.

Let me ask a simple question to those way more experienced than I: I can prove 4 attempts were made notifying and sending materials about Ivana to the Rescue. They chose to ignore me totally, until hitting me with the $2140 but still treating me with contempt. If they were really interested in finding a good adoption, would they have charged the same amount to the new person?

HonestyHelps said...

They wouldn't have charged those fees to a new person. They have standard adoption fees. Nothing makes sense on this one, Barry. You might want to track down something on their facebook account and see if they said something about Ivana. You shouldn't have had to pay those fees, the rescue made those decisions, not animal control. I would take them to small claims court about something, there have to have been some law broken, it can't be right.