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City eyes cat traps

December 9th, 2002, 04:10 PM
City eyes cat traps

Let Fluffy out and your neighbour could nab her under proposed bylaw

The Daily News
Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Owners of nuisance cats running at large could end up paying a high price for their felines’ freedom — and so, too, could Fluffy.

If approved by Halifax regional council on Tuesday, a proposed bylaw will let residents use live traps to capture nuisance cats, which will be impounded by animal control services.

Complainants will pay $75 refundable deposits for the live traps and instructions on how to nab the troublemakers themselves without hurting them. If that fails, Animal Control officers will investigate the complaints, and, if necessary, dispatch officers.

Once cats are impounded, owners will have 72 hours to retrieve their animals after paying applicable boarding, impound and associated veterinary fees.

If a cat’s owner is not identifiable, the animal will either be put up for adoption or euthanized. An impounded cat may be boarded for a maximum of 30 days.

Currently, HRM does not have a cat bylaw, an oversight that has infuriated many residents with legitimate complaints concerning property damage caused by roaming cats, said Eastern Passage Coun. Harry McInroy.

While the proposed bylaw does not envision Animal Control officers randomly picking up loose cats, it does give the city the authority to deal with complaint-driven problems.

“Like a jaywalking bylaw, if it ever needs to be enforced, there’s legislation there to back it up,” McInroy said yesterday.

Cat-lovers say the live-trap bylaw isn’t perfect — but it’s better than the city’s previous cat-chasing schemes.

Cecily Honig has owned outdoor roaming felines for more than 40 years in Halifax, and she’s never had a problem with neighbours. But she doesn’t mind the latest measure aimed at clamping down on nuisance cats.

“It would seem to be only targetting cats that are causing significant problems,” said Honig. “I have no objection to there being one line of recourse.”

Honig said the bylaw is a better one than ones floated in recent years that would have seen cat-control officers catching large numbers of animals, or requiring owners to keep their pets on their own property.

“The last version they seemed to be contemplating had cat-police climbing trees and leaping over fences ... It just seemed so totally ridiculous,” said Honig, whose pet, Cameo, ranges far and wide in her neighbourhood.

The live-trap proposal seems more sensible, she said.

Dartmouth cat fan Kate Cummings — whose pet cat Fred disappeared a month ago — was concerned the live trap might hurt young children who tamper with it, or that it might send the wrong animal to the pound.

“That’s pretty heavy,” she said, when told of the bylaw. “I’d just be concerned about the safety of other cats.”

Megan McGovern of Halifax, who takes care of eight cats and works in a vet office, supports the bylaw. She said it will encourage more pet-owners to raise their cat indoors where they will be healthier and live longer.

But McGovern said the key to the bylaw’s success will be for it to be properly publicized, so that pet-owners are aware their cats might end up at the pound.

“They need to know, so that if the cat’s been away a day, maybe it’s time we call,” said McGovern.

McGovern said the bylaw’s big drawback is that it will kill some innocent wild cats.

“It definitely threatens the healthy, wild cats who are sort of doing their own things and aren’t being a nuisance,” said McGovern.

Source: The Daily News

Cali Co
December 30th, 2002, 05:34 AM
There has been an increasing trend amongst cities and now rural communities, in implementing cat bylaws to trap "nuisance" cats. I am wondering how a cat trap that is bated with a juicy morsel of fish can discern between a "nuisance" cat and any cat that happens to love fish. Who defines what constitutes a nuisance cat? To cat haters, every cat is a nuisance.

I think many cats are going to lose their lives as a result of these bylaws. If a cat will not tolerate being imprisioned in its own home after having years of freedom, what decision do you think the owner will make? If a cat develops "behavior problems" from being confined, what do you think its fate will be? In the vet clinic I have been affiliated with, there have already been euthanizations simply because the owners felt it more humane than confining their cat inside.

At this point in time, cats are the only animals that are being confined indoors for an entire lifetime. Some veterinarians even endorse this. Along with this endorsement is an increasing trend in prescribing antidepressants for cats. Does this not say it all?!

I truly feel sorry for cats. They can not enjoy a car ride like dogs. There aren't "off-leash" parks specifically for them to run in. Hotels won't accept them as they do dogs. Cats can't travel with their owners to expand their horizons. More and more a cat's world is being constricted to the size of the home they live in.

Winston Churchill said that you can tell a society by the way it treats its animals and old people. At the rate at which our country (Canada) has been implementing cat bylaws, we do not have a society to be proud of.