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Why Licence Cats?

wolfcat
January 29th, 2008, 06:18 AM
In many Canadian cities (Halifax, Calgary) and now in my hometown of Toronto, City Councillors have implemented by laws to force owners of not only dogs, but cats as well, to be licenced.

Granted they have a sliding scale that encourages owners to spay/neuter and microchip pets, but at the minimum of $15 per cat, maximum allowable cats = 6, that's $90/year. Fines will be enforced at $240 per cat and the threat of paying $5,000 per cat if you fight it in court.

Doesn't matter if you already have an indoors only cat, and you already spend $500/year per cat on vet visits, vaccinations, spay/neuter, microchip, collars and special pet tags.... The CAT POLICE will do a door to door search and will take away your cat(s). All it takes is a nasty neighbour to inform on you, too.

Alas - in Toronto, the Humane Society was in disrepute in the 80's and again in 1998 (poor financial management). They tried to hold the city to ransom in their animal services contract - and lost it in 2001 when the city set up its own Animal Services group. Now the City is in the business of euthanizing animals, while Torontoi Humane Society and most shelters have a no kill policy.

So - get caught and Fluffy may be forcibly removed and euthanized !!! Yikes!
:mad:

Mindset is that: A. Cats are just property; B. Toronto is broke and needs the tax grab; C. Most city councillors dont have pets.

What do people think? Does this make sense?

Thoughts?

PS> Estimates say there are 250,000 cats in Toronto. After spending a million dollars on marketing campaigns last year, guess how many cats are licenced?
12,000 Less than FIVE PERCENT ! Now the City is going to spend another $800,000 and hiring more enforcement officers.

AND - This does NOTHING to speak to the REAL problem: overpopulation of cats = FERAL cats.

LavenderRott
January 29th, 2008, 06:29 AM
Dog owners have been required to license their dogs for years, so I am not sure what the problem is.

MerlinsHope
January 29th, 2008, 06:36 AM
Mindset is that: A. Cats are just property; B. Toronto is broke and needs the tax grab; C. Most city councillors dont have pets.
I agree to 'some extent'. All they see is revenue. I will say however, that I'm sure the local SPCA's and shelters that do receive governement funding, are constantly banging on their doors for more money, especially since the turn over of rescue dogs and cats have escalated to heights unknown. At the same time however, licensing a roaming cat would allow for a higher possibility of your cat finding it's way back home in the event of some calamity?


What do people think? Does this make sense?

Do people in the city really let their cats out to carouse around? I don't think so. Do they? Personally I don't see anything wrong with cat owners having to license their cats. While it's true, feral cats are an issue, it doesn't mean that feline pet owners should be exempt from licensing.

I wonder if one of the reasons might be secondary in that I would also think in the case of cats, it helps the city discover hoarders (which is a good thing). You have no idea the amount of horror stories out there just waiting to be discovered. In large cities it is often cats. little old ladies, small appartments with rooms laden with cats, and cats, and cats. This might be an attempt to take control of that situation.

I'm curious as to what others may have to say.

wolfcat
January 29th, 2008, 06:46 AM
LavenderRott - I didn't want to make the initial post too long to read, but briefly what bothers me is:

1. Cats are capable of relatively little damage versus dogs eg. There is the infamous pit bull ban that has citizens up in arms about scary dogs biting children (happens - but we should worry about the scary owners in my opinion) Many cats stay indoors so why tax them?

2. Many cat owners are isolated, low income people who have cats as companion animals and cannot afford more costs to support them. eg. People on disability live on under $ 1,000/month who simply cannot afford most costs.

3. The enforcement will cause many bad cat owners to simply abandon animals and shelters are tremendously overcrowded already.

4. Animal Services in Toronto has a bad track record on actually reuniting pets with owners, even when they are microchipped.

hazelrunpack
January 29th, 2008, 10:28 AM
We lived 20 years in Eau Claire. In that time, we saw maybe 3 dogs loose. Wandering cats, however, were a daily sight. So yes, people do let their cats out in the city (and we were half a block from a very busy intersection). Cats and dogs were both licensed in the city--I believe the proceeds were in part used to support Animal Control functions and the shelters.

As for cats causing less damage, it depends on what sort of damage you're looking at. Dogs probably are capable of more physical damage to property, but I've seen cats really thin out bird populations. Feeders in the city make great hunting grounds for cats that are allowed to wander.

Also, the feral cat population is much larger and damaging than the feral dog population, even in the rural area where I live now.

So I think it makes just as much 'sense' to license cats as dogs. In the end it comes down to responsible owners paying for services necessitated by the irresponsible owners. :shrug:

LavenderRott
January 29th, 2008, 11:29 AM
LavenderRott - I didn't want to make the initial post too long to read, but briefly what bothers me is:

1. Cats are capable of relatively little damage versus dogs eg. There is the infamous pit bull ban that has citizens up in arms about scary dogs biting children (happens - but we should worry about the scary owners in my opinion) Many cats stay indoors so why tax them?

2. Many cat owners are isolated, low income people who have cats as companion animals and cannot afford more costs to support them. eg. People on disability live on under $ 1,000/month who simply cannot afford most costs.

3. The enforcement will cause many bad cat owners to simply abandon animals and shelters are tremendously overcrowded already.

4. Animal Services in Toronto has a bad track record on actually reuniting pets with owners, even when they are microchipped.

Sorry - these are exactly the same arguements used when you mention any type of city/county/province/state wide legislation concerning dogs. I have never heard of a city that didn't/doesn't have provisions for the cost for the low income/or elderly owners.

While I do understand what you are saying about damage - you will find that 98% of dog owners are responsible and their dogs do not cause damage to people or property. I can't think of a single homeowner however, who doesn't mind the neighbor's cat climbing on their car or crapping in their garden.

wolfcat
January 29th, 2008, 03:13 PM
Yikes!

I didn't want to make this a cat person vs dog person thread.:sorry:

It's just that the reality here in Toronto is that there are estimated 323,000 cats and so far the city has spent $2 million on campaigns to inform residents cat must be licenced. So far, 12,000 cats are licenced (4 per cent)

Feral cat overpopulation is THE biggest threat here with attendant fears of rabies and charity shelters (who handle 60% of the load) being overcrowded and stretched thin.

Heavy handed approach to licences is a poorly disguised tax grab with monies likely to go to euthanizing 50% of animals by city run Animal Services. No gain in pet sheltering, lost/found, etc.

By the way (at risk of igniting whats better cat or dog), all parties agree that feral dogs are not a problem, and most say keep your cats indoors.

So agin WHY LICENCE CATS ?

krdahmer
January 29th, 2008, 03:27 PM
Why liscence dogs?

For their safety and ours.... so um same answer.:shrug:

$15 is really not that big of a hit for most cat owners who have only one or two... the only ones who will feel a big hit are those like me and you who have mulitples (say 6).

It is also a way for the authorities to know who has pets, and how many. I would assume that there is some sort of database for that sort of thing.

Now is this a fee paid every year? If so thats a little ridiculous. For dogs or cats... it should only be once, and then again only if something changes like address, or owners.... the same as all of our required liscences etc.

I also understand that some would have trouble with any additional fees, but having pets is costly and should be taken into account before adopting/purchasing one. And it is high time that the myth that cats are a cheap pet be dispelled... because there are plenty of us here that can attest to the opposite! :)

wolfcat
January 29th, 2008, 03:52 PM
fee paid every year - Yes, and subject to yearly increases

I concede that maybe they want to find the 100+ cat lady situations with animals suffering - but that was NOT any justification I have seen (and I researched all the boring bits too)

Wont repeat it here but see the For those residing in Toronto: questions about cat safety thread....

cue Monty Python skit about licences and the "Cat Detector Van":laughing:

PS : some sort of database for that sort of thing.
Yes calling it ePet (maybe like the billion dollar boondoggle Gun Registry? or the Sex Offender Registry that also does not work)

LavenderRott
January 29th, 2008, 04:50 PM
I have a cat. And if it was required that I would register her in my city or state - I would get on that.

One big reason for licensing is to be assured that the animals that are licensed are current on rabies vaccines. In my city - the money raised from licensing helps to pay salaries and such for our animal control unit.

chico2
January 29th, 2008, 05:01 PM
I would have no problems with licencing my 3 cats,if it was required.
My cats do not roam,do not go outside unsupervised,cause no damaged to anything,other than my cedar-bushes.
Another tax-grab,of course it is,but if the money goes to help other animals,it's a good thing.

I believe Mayor Miller has extra staff employed,just to think up anything new to tax:laughing:

sinonomis
April 10th, 2008, 08:25 AM
My neighbour is reason that people should license their cats. Most of her cats are outdoor cats and not neutered/spayed. Or at least not yet. 5 of her cats are pregnant, apparently due to one male (not hers) that is free to wander the streets (owned by another neighbor). She recently told my roommate that there are now 42 cats in the neighborhood. I highly doubt all these cats are licensed, and the ones that are, probably don't pose the problem. Every day I hear a cat fight going on outside. I really want to call the Humane society or the city on her or at least so they can address the issue of the number of cats so my backyard can be a little cleaner and so that our basement doesn't reek of cat pee (smell has been seeping into the house since the snow has been melting). She also feeds the cats outside so it ends up bringing more cats to her backyard since they know there is food.

I think the reason for the prices in licensing is to deter people from owning too many cats, or to make sure that people are being responsible and neutering/spaying their cats.

SARAH
April 10th, 2008, 08:43 AM
I have 2 cats and 2 dogs, and I think it's as ridiculous to tax either species. It's the same as with the arms laws, the good guys comply and the bad guys that thery really are after, slip through the system anyway. Still, we're law-abiding citizens, right?

However, add more taxes like this ... on top of all the other taxes already paid and pre-paid ... don't expect me to voluntarily open my wallet when someone rings my doorbell at night asking for a donation to this, that or the other!

The compulsory pay-outs are taxing enough (pun intended) on the personal economy as it is. :frustrated:

ancientgirl
April 10th, 2008, 09:53 AM
I don't live in Canada, but I wouldn't mind having to license my cats. I think it's probably the only way to get some people to take their pets in for their yearly shots or exams. I don't think however that should be an excuse for the local government to gauge people out of more tax dollars. It should be set at a workable amount for people who do have multiple pets.

jealma
April 10th, 2008, 10:09 AM
I don't see where it would hurt to treat dogs and cats equal.

Hogansma
April 12th, 2008, 11:21 PM
I'm in favour of licensing cats for one big reason. The shelters need the money. Where I volunteer, there are about twice as many cats in the shelter at any one time, than dogs. They also need food, bedding, litter and vet care. Why should only the dog owners have to fork out $$$ and not the cat owners?

jealma
April 13th, 2008, 10:29 AM
I thought I would do a little looking at my local shelter. Not going in but just posted on the net. ( cause going in I may end up bringing one home and now isn't a good time :-) and there was listed 49 cats needing homes and 9 dogs. Since I live in a small town I thought it only fair to check out a city so I went to the ottawa web site where I found listed 10 dogs and 50 cats needing a home. Now I will admit that I did not look outside of ontario and I did not check places that take just dogs or just cats or rescue places,, this was just the little I saw on humane society's,,

Love4himies
April 13th, 2008, 11:39 AM
I don't have a problem with licensing cats, think it is for the protection of the cat. I do understand that for low income people that it may be the difference between a meal that month or licensing their cat. Maybe low income people could have fees waived so that it encourages all to license.

I don't think licensing is going to solve the problem with roaming cats, you have to change owners thinking for that to happen.

Harley's_Mom
April 13th, 2008, 01:34 PM
I live in a small town in military housing (PMQ). My dogs are registered but my cat isn't. Yum Yum never, ever goes outside unless we're putting him in a vehicle to go to the vet. He HATES going outside. You can sit him in front of an open door and he'll run the other way. The biggest reason I stopped registering him is because I believe in our area it's become a way to make money for our local SPCA. If you live in a PMQ you register through the SPCA and it's $20 a year, not much I know but if you live in civilian housing in the town you register through town hall and it's $5 a year. Does this make sense to anyone??? Our local SPCA is actually quite fortunate. The land they are on was donated by the military, the building they use was donated by the military and they received a new trailer last year from the military free of charge. I also don't see how registering a cat keeps it from pooping in your garden or climbing all over your vehicle. My neighbours cat was registered and it pooped in my flower bed and climbed all over my brand new Jeep. It's responsible owners, NOT laws that prevent these issues.

Love4himies
April 13th, 2008, 02:50 PM
You are right Harley's mom. I don't understand why you would pay more than civilians? That makes not sense, and is kind of a type of discrimination is it not? Unless the fees are set by animal control on the base vs animal control for the local municipality and the SPCA just collects the fees on behalf of these two organizations.:shrug: NPF would set the fees for the base and normally they have their own contract with animal control, or at least it used to be this way.

zarhad
April 13th, 2008, 06:17 PM
its actually like $50 or $80 something along tose lines - persoanlly I can understand it would hold more people accountible for their animals in some respects - but I think its more for torontos gain or any cities gain, anyway they can get money they will.

I haven't licenced my cat i would be devistated if serious megers were taken due to the fact. I'm sure they would give a warning neways, no?

Either way I keep my cat ID with a tag and saftey collar, I think that Licencing Indoor only cats is kinda dumb and pointless, maybe if you let your cat ouside or for dogs I can understand it, but dispite everythign else I don't see a reason behind licencing my cat.:frustrated:

zarhad
April 13th, 2008, 06:21 PM
I'm in favour of licensing cats for one big reason. The shelters need the money. Where I volunteer, there are about twice as many cats in the shelter at any one time, than dogs. They also need food, bedding, litter and vet care. Why should only the dog owners have to fork out $$$ and not the cat owners?

but I doubt the money goes to the shelters....sadly...:sad:

chico2
April 14th, 2008, 07:55 AM
If it would mean more money to the right causes,stray homeless animals,I would certainly license my cats.
But so far,in Oakville I've heard no talk about cat-licenses.

snowflake1
April 14th, 2008, 07:42 PM
even though my cats are strickly indoor cats. I have not licenced them with the town hall, but i have them all tattooed so if one happens to go outside, they can be traced back to the vet clinic and to me. I rather do that then licenced, collars can slip off. tattoos stay on the cat.

CyberKitten
April 14th, 2008, 07:59 PM
We have been debating tis for over a year now in Halifax- more than seemingly more important issues, according to SOME ppl, lol BUT if I thought the money would go to a worthwhile cause, yes I would see nothing wrong with it- and if I thought it would protect my kitties, yes. Alas, the way the current legislation is written, it does none of those so I am against the current proposals in Hfx.

The proposal would only allow three cats so with four, this means I would have to give one up - as would some others I know - unless they could be grandfathered (mothered) In. Plus, there is no worthwhile facility yet for cats yet in the city and all it would man is death to especially feral cats to whom it really is directed at to start with. We - rescue groups et al, cat lovers and s forth - have suggested TNR to them = so we hope for the best!

But so far, here, no thanks. It sounds fine in principle. Just read the stories iof lost dogs being sent to new homes because their owners did not get there in 72 hrs! Will this happen with cats too? I can envision someone wanting an expensive cat - and stealing one and saying the 72 hrs is up and this is MY cat! The owners made a mistake. Same old story. Where did the 73 hrs come from anyway - I know groups need space but no kill shelters do well, surely to God the ones working for taxpayers can do just as well!

MIA
April 14th, 2008, 09:05 PM
I used to live in Calgary and would be happy to license any animal there, if you look at the services they offer hell it's not a hard decision!!! Where I live now they offer very little so really I see no point in licensing my animals and find a chip, tattoo and color cuts it but alas my animals are generally with me etc.

As someone who used to work in a shelter I wished cats were licensed so there was hope in returning them to the owner! Cats really get a bum deal in the system and there are just so many of them out there. Even if you have an indoor cat be sure to have a tattoo or chip in case it ever gets out. I do think indoor cats should get a break in the fees along with fixed cats. I see cats all over the place here and it's a shame as some don't have homes and scavenge. We have a shelter here that has OVER 600 cats! At least if people license or have to, they might be able to be held responsible for their pets and for those that care and their pet goes missing a shelter could maybe match them up again.

shane 123
April 14th, 2008, 09:41 PM
I see no reason not to licence cats as well as dogs. Cats do more harm than dogs to our gardens, flower beds, and bird feeders, etc. The city didn't pass this law to make big bucks, it passed it to try to contol the overpopulation of cats. One cat that rams 24/7 can produce many litters that will end up dead on the streets, in shelters, homeless, or feral if not caught and tortured by some sicko. If the owner is worried about the fine that goes with this law then maybe they will keep their cats at home where they belong and we'll see a decline in overpopulation. We have so many people who just don't care what happens to their cats. One homeowner has 3 cats and a permanent sign in the yard "kittens for sale". If the cat was altered and stayed at home those kittens wouldn't have been born for a life of who knows what.

zarhad
April 15th, 2008, 12:12 AM
even though my cats are strickly indoor cats. I have not licenced them with the town hall, but i have them all tattooed so if one happens to go outside, they can be traced back to the vet clinic and to me. I rather do that then licenced, collars can slip off. tattoos stay on the cat.


I've never heard of cat tattoos..

Love4himies
April 15th, 2008, 08:10 AM
I've never heard of cat tattoos..

My Puddles and Sweet Pea have ear tattoes.

snowflake1
April 15th, 2008, 11:25 AM
I've never heard of cat tattoos..
the tattoos are in their ears. My vet clinic does it for free when they are put under to get spay/neutured. I like it better then collars.

ancientgirl
April 15th, 2008, 11:43 AM
I've heard of tattooing and it's a good idea, but I like having collars as a back up. I read once that tattoo's can be altered, just like if you have a micro-chip some places don't have universal readers. Covering all your basis is always a good idea.

Mine are indoors anyway, but I have safety collars which snap off if they get stuck on something. I've had a couple get bold and get past me when I come home from work. So having the collar gives me at least peace of mind knowing if they do get away from me, someone will see the collar immediately. Eventually though, when I have the money, I'd like to have them all microchipped. :D