Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

Archive for the tag “animal abuse”

What’s on America’s Mind Wednesday at 6:30 PM

Radio RED 104.9 FM

Radio RED 104.9 FM (Photo credit: Mahdi Ayat.)

Topics include a conversation regarding Salida’s contaminated water and when did Modesto’s Mayor know, the upcoming TIN CUP change proposal for lowering the contribution limits, Riverbank’s election dilemma, The Cat Abuse ordinance gets finalized, these and more so tune in at 6:30 PM Wednesday and find out the things you really  need to know.

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Our live or archive link is http://www.blogtalkradio.com/centralvalleyhornet/2013/03/07/whats-on-americas-mind-with-emerson-drake

And our call in number is (347)215-9414

Live Callers are welcome, dead ones even more.:)


Modesto’s Animal Abuse Ordinance to Council on Tuesday 3/5/12


cat-yoga (Photo credit: ilexxx)

By Emerson Drake

Modesto’s Cat Killers now have reason to fear as the Modesto City Council will be voting on an update to the municipal Code.  Section 5-4-405 will be added to Article 4 of Chapter 4 of Title 5 outlawing abandonment of animals including cats.  Seems like a mouthful but it should give cat killers like Phillip Sumner and Jeff Reed second thoughts keeping from enticing pets into their yards, trapping , and then abandoning them to die a probable death of starvation.

The new ordinance will require the cats to be turned into animal services for potential recovery by their owners. Exceptions are made in the ordinance for recognized groups who capture then spay and neuter the animals.  We brought this into the glare of the public eye after hearing the heartfelt pleas of owners of missing pets taken by these animal abusers. The original story can be found at:


Many thanks go out to Former Interim Police Chief Gene Ballentine and Captain Mike Harris.  The on the Council to support an ordinace and to speak up in support was Councilman Joe Muratore followed by Mayor Garrad Marsh, Councilmen Dave Geer and John Gunderson and Dave Lopez.  City Attorney Susanna Acala Wood was very supportive and helpful from the beginning.

While this ordinance can’t reverse past issues it will help going forward and I hope those grieving pet owners who first brought this to the publics attention back on October 23,2012 will be able to attend the meeting Tuesday night at 5:30.

The ordinance is under hearing in the Council Agenda Hearing Item #5 for Tuesday.  The Ordinance reads as follows :

ORDINANCE NO. _______-C.S.




The Council of the City of Modesto does ordain as follows:

SECTION 1. AMENDMENT OF CODE. Section 5-4.405 is hereby added to

Article 4 of Chapter 4 of Title 5 of the Modesto Municipal Code to read as follows:


(a) It shall be unlawful and a misdemeanor offense for any person who

contains any stray animal (including cats) found at large or on their

property to abandon the animal.

For the purposes of this section only the following definitions shall apply:

(1) “Contains” shall mean traps, corners, confines or in some manner

restricts the animal’s freedom from continuing to roam.

(2) “Stray animal” means an animal that is running loose and at large

with no owner present, and/or an animal that is trespassing on

another’s property.

(3) “Abandons” means once the animal is contained, the person

transports the animal to a location other than where it was

originally contained and releases the animal to freely roam.

(b) Within twenty-four (24) hours after containing any such animal, the person

doing so shall do one of the following:

(1) Release the animal where it was originally contained or return the

animal to the owner, if the owner is known;

(2) Report to City of Modesto Animal Control officials the fact that

such animal is contained and include the location where the animal

is contained, a description of the animal and license number of

such animal, if any; or


(3) Transport the animal to the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency

facility and provide the date, time and location of when and where

the animal was located when surrendering the animal to facility


(c) Animal Control Officers shall pick up and dispose of such animal in the

same manner as though such animal had been found at large and


(d) This section shall not be interpreted to apply to a person or organization

registered with the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency as a caretaker for

feral cats when that person is caring for feral cats.

SECTION 2. EFFECTIVE DATE. This ordinance shall go into effect and be in

full force and operation from and after thirty (30) days after its final passage and adoption.

SECTION 3. PUBLICATION. At least two (2) days prior to its final adoption,

copies of this ordinance shall be posted in at least three (3) prominent and distinct locations in

the City; and a notice shall be published once in

The Modesto Bee, the official newspaper of the

City of Modesto, setting forth the title of this ordinance, the date of its introduction and the

places where this ordinance is posted.

Getting D.A. Fladager Up Off Her Chair to do Her Job

Scale of justice

By Emerson Drake

On Tuesday Jan. 8, 2013, I appeared before the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors in the morning and the Modesto City Council at night and each time I talked about the animal abuse happening in Modesto. I recited District Attorney Birgit Fladager’s  office number (525-5550 ) and requested for people to call and ask for her to get up off of her chair and do her job. These weren’t the first times nor will they be the last.  I’ll keep appearing until she does something towards defending the pets/animals and families  in Stanislaus County.

This originated when several women appeared in front of both of the official bodies, City and County , to plead their case and ask  for justice. Phillip Sumner and Jeff Reed have been baiting, capturing and disposing of people’s pet cats for years.  Sumner actually claims to have been doing this for more than ten years.  These women have filed complaints and have a case number, 12-32208, which has been presented to the District Attorney by the Modesto Police Department whose hands are tied until the D.A. decides to prosecute.  There is an existing California state law, 597-S which D.A.’s around the state have been using successfully.  Our D.A,. Ms. Birgit Fladager, doesn’t feel it’s adequate and says the District Attorney’s office has more important things to do and just doesn’t have the time.

I first wrote about this story in November after being at the City Council meeting on Oct. 23,2012, when several women came and spoke.  I still find it hard to believe Ms. Fladager, who claims to be a cat fancier, is ignoring these families’ pain.  Luring, trapping, and disposing of a neighbors family pet is despicable.  And when you consider it was done by a neighbor to a  four-year-old autistic boy’s pet it becomes even worse.

Obviously some Customer Service Skills are Lacking

When I called and requested the D.A. take action I was met with a hostile attitude by the person that answered the phone.  The woman seemed more interested in deterring any request for action by asking many questions designed to dishearten callers. She actually suggested people who weren’t principals in the case had no business in calling.  I take  exception to that.  D.A. Birgit Fladager’s representatives had been very explicit in saying “Go away and don’t bother us any more: and it’s time for them to be informed that wasn’t going to happen.

Finally, on Friday afternoon at 4:45  former Modesto Police Captain and now Chief D.A. Investigator Dan Interbitzen called wanting to talk and left a voicemail.  I returned his call about twenty minutes later but his weekend had already started. I left a message and will try again on Monday.  I’ll be happy to talk with him. I’ll even give him the number of the case file he already has in a file cabinet.  We’ll do anything we can to assist D.A. Birgit Fladager and Chief  Investigator Dan Interbitzen in acquiring some motivation to proceed with charges in the case.

It’s nice to see Modesto is progressing with an ordinance of its own while at the same time hoping to get all of the cities in Stanislaus County to do the same through the Joint Powers Authority(animal services).  Unfortunately the Safety and Communities Committee won’t be able to hear the ordinance until February as Councilman Lopez isn’t fond of committee meetings lasting more than an hour despite the fact that prior to last week they met only two times in the last six months.

Please feel free to call Ms. Fladager’s office at 209-525-5550 and request she get up off of her chair and help stop animal abuse in Stanislaus County.  When they ask you can tell them the case, # 12-32208 and you that have a friend who told you about the four-year-old autistic boy and the rest of the families who have lost beloved pets to these men.

And a big heart-felt thank you to those who have already called from all the families involved and a special thank you from the little boy who continues to leave his bedroom window open so his friend can come back to be with him.

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