Dear Editor. The letter in the Mission Record “Write to council about cat problem” bears correction and sadly, misrepresents facts and seeks to wrongly inflame Guardians (Pet Owners) and the Public at-large about irrational, anecdotal and perceived ignorant bias against Cats, presumably by someone upset about (their) personal encounters which is most unfair to Cats generally..
First, Cats are perceived domesticated but at law are not classed as a Domestic Animal, thus, are not subject to being regulated, such as legal domesticated Dog licences.
Second, contrary to alleged update 1988, the Bylaw governing Cats and in part, Dogs, was amended, I believe, during 2004. But sadly, Council of the day having the opportunity to make progress was pre-occupied with assisting the local Humane Society to qualify for Grants, having a pseudo ineffective spay & neuter bylaw in place.
Cats are readily domesticated and most can remain indoors. Most do not harm Birds. All Cats must be spayed, neutered, tattoo affixed but many irresponsible Cat Guardians place Cats in harm’s way, permit outdoors and notably still observe the stupidity, “its bed time, put the Cat out” myth. Sadly, some are outside and become a meal for local Coyote’s. Others roam neighbourhoods hoping for a compassionate neighbour to feed or in some cases, take indoors. Sadly, some Cats & Dogs are left to possibly die in hot cars in summer or put out to maybe freeze in winter but is it ignorance or irresponsible
The major cause of our massive homeless and/or over-populated Cat dilemma and most subsequent problems arising, from my experience dating back to 1995, is first, indifference & ignorance of Mayor & Council. Secondly, Irresponsible Guardians. Hence, we find over $600,000.00 spent to buy an ill-advised Dog Pound, with no comprehensive no-kill Shelter for both Dogs & Cats. But well over $200,000.00 annually to administer the Dog Control (plus sales of Dog licences), yet the massive population of Cats witness a mere $22,000.00 awarded to local Humane Society to deal with potentially thousands of Cats.
The first step in the solution is three-fold, to subscribe to the Best Friends Society “Guardian” program; adopt a mandatory “Breeder Permit” provision for Cats, could include Dogs; increase penalty to make it undesirable to commit an offence, such as failure to spay or neuter a Cat, fine at least double the cost to perform operations, say $100.00+; failure to obtain Breeder Permit maybe $ 200.00 fine or likewise failure to licence a Dog. Simply, to most offenders the fine must really “hit them in the pocketbook” and the Bylaw easily enforceable but conditions & required paperwork of all breeding must be established properly.
Sadly, in closing, the January 10, 2013 Letter is so misinformed and irrational it really does not warrant serious thought or response. Please refer to web.site www.thecouncilclaw.ca ‘click’ “Our Position On Issues” and scroll to Section 31 “Animal Relations” for more details to impartially & effectively resolve Dog & Cat issues satisfactorily.
George F. Evens