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M e m b e r s h i p ♦ D o n a t i o n s ♦ V o l u n t e e r ♦ A b o u t ♦ C o n t a c t
More than you might think . . .
Turns out it can cost you your financial security, your career, your sanity, and your freedom. It can take all your time, all your patience, and damage your reputation. So why does it take so much just to save homeless cats, you ask? Well, read on . . .
What is it like running a rescue for cats? It's like always watching for the dreaded Animal Control. It's like always having one eye peeled at the driveway. It's like always being afraid, always worried about what could happen if gun wielding vindictive officers broke into your yard right now. It's like never being able to relax, or let yourself go and get into your work. You always have to keep a vigilant watch for the Gestapo, and never knowing when the next "inspection" raid will be. Animal Control doesn't need a search warrant like police. They have a permanent 24/7 search warrant for your property, and they're like cockroaches, you know they're coming, you just don't know when.
Running a legal 501c3 non-profit rescue can be more dangerous than being a criminal. Being under the watch of Animal Control is like being a rat in a shooting gallery. It's putting your entire life on the line for your animals, and always being at the mercy of sadistic officers. Unlike with normal police officers, Animal Control Officers are lacking in supervision. There is no psychological screening and no consequences for their actions. One sick officer can harass the same rescue for decades. One rotten officer can ruin an entire county's reputation and put every rescued animal at risk. When supervision is lacking, vendettas are the norm. Insatiable jacked-up vindictive officers target the same rescues over and over until the bully becomes the monster. When their only tool is hammer, everyone starts to look like a nail.
Fighting for your animals can be a dangerous experience, for both you and the animals. Rogue Animal Control officers with guns have the power to ruin people's lives with nothing more than a medical opinion. Then boom, they deliver citations, raids, extortion, ransom letters, and punishment against rescue operators by killing their animals. These lifetime officers have no term limits. They have unscrupulous veterinarians on staff, or in their pocket, and they have unlimited tax-payer funds for attorney fees. You may have heard that Kern County police officers are the worst in America, well their Animal Control Officers are even worse.
Today's lack of compassion for animals is a big factor in the mis-direction of Animal Control. Other factors include a lack of legal protection for rescues, and a lack of restraints against hardened staff that have seen so many pets and animals killed that they have no compassion left. These rogue officers with a "wanna be cop" attitude, believe euthanasia (killing) is the answer to homeless pets, and so they target activists and rescues that have a passion to save animals.
News reports about "animal hoarders" are generally exaggerated by Animal Control to demonize all rescues. The media then takes Animal Control's lies and runs with them, and witch hunts against activists have turned society against rescues. It seems that Americans now want to buy new clean puppies and kitties from puppy mills, not homeless animals from a rescue. Something is terribly wrong with our society when puppy mills are making a fortune while Animal Control is killing thousands of good pets every day. Laws need to be passed to force society to save homeless pets. This should be a standard in a civilized society.
Activists have long clammered for stronger laws against animal cruelty, and so new stronger laws have been recently passed. Penalties for animal cruelty have increased greatly, now becoming felonies, but there are unintended consequences to this. Power tripping officers are using the new increased penalties to threaten and intimidate anyone with animals, and have forced animal activists and rescues to go underground. Animal Control has become the Gestapo of our time, all they need now is more boot polish and arm bands.
This is the story of the Kern County Animal Control Agency and the horrifying trail of destroyed animals that lie in it's path. This story highlights the events of one non-profit animal rescue and the damage caused by rogue officers. The premise of this story is that Kern County Animal Control needs a complete overhaul, and it's out-of-control officers need to be removed and charged for their crimes. Something is rotten in the state of Kern County.
This story is told by Ruben Lopez, also known as Ruben MacBlue, a former publisher/editor from Los Angeles. Because of his love for cats, Ruben has became involved with Save-a-LIfe Cat Rescue. "Save-a-Life" is more than just a rescue or a name, it is also a belief, a philosophy, and a moral duty of all living beings. Save-a-Life represents the caring and compassion for animals and the desire to save them. Life is precious, especially for these loving and furry feline creatures that humans have bred into being companions. "Save a Life" represents the NO-KILL philosophy of many cat and dog rescues, the philosophy of not killing a creature just because it's unfortunate, just because it's homeless or not as strong as it's peers.
Save-a-Life New President, Ruben Lopez
Ruben volunteered to help Save-a-LIfe after the former president resigned and the business was in shambles. The original founder had long since disappeared and the remaining staff were struggling to keep it going. With over 300 cats to care for, and the place being a wreck, life was looking looking grim, especially for the animals. Unless things could be improved fast, all the cats would be in danger of death by the notorious Kern County Animal Control.
Ruben tried. He tried his hardest. He closed his business in Los Angeles and moved to the ranch, but even constant improvements to all aspects of Save-a-Life rescue was not enough to stop from being bullied and threatened by Animal Control.
Kern County Animal Control Officer Daniel Burgess, who was secretly working with a disgruntled caretaker at Save a LIfe, began weekly and monthly "inspections" as soon as Ruben became president. Threats and demands were never ending, and on June 16, 2016 he seized 24 cats from Save-a-Life Rescue at the behest of his disgruntled informant, and then killed them for no good reason, and then Officer Burgess seized 50 more cats on August 2, 2016 for no good reason.
We contend that both "seizures" were illegal, and that Officer Daniel Burgess is an unethical and cruel officer that should be removed from Kern County Animal Control. He has lied under oath multiple times and has threatened, intimidated, and bullied Save-a-LIfe. He became complicit with a disgruntled caretaker and then used his badge to illegally harm a rescue and it's operator. (under color of law).
Officer Burgess's witch hunt against Save-a-LIfe cost Kern County taxpayers over $100,000 and has caused extensive damages to the rescue and it's cats, only to have all charges dropped due to lack of evidence. Is there no oversight in Kern County? No one cares how much money he wastes?
Non-profit rescues and shelters are a benefit to society, and are supported by donations from their communities, rather than by tax payers. Animal rescues believe in saving the lives of animals, whereas Animal Control believes in killing them. Rescues should be viewed as saving animals and giving society a humane alternative to "puppy mills."
The Hayden law requires government shelters to work with non-profit rescues, but apparently Kern County Animal Control didn't get the message and still prefers to kill animals rather than save them. They also didn't get the message requiring them to give animals to rescues that request them before they euthnaize them.
After the Hayden Law was enacted, Kern County was the first county in the state to openly violate it. (see case #). They also violate the law by not returning animals they seize, and then by killing them without notice. Kern County Animal Services is severely lacking in compassion and reason.
For Save-a-Life, Burgess represents a clear and present danger. For Ruben, there is no way out. Burgess has a badge, an attitude, and a mission to threaten and destroy any rescue that saves animals.
Officer Daniel "Cat Killer" Burgess
Stay tuned for more as the story/documentary unfolds