(Atlantic) The Atlantic Community Protection Committee is trying to find out whether cats are a problem in the city of Atlantic. The Committee met Wednesday afternoon to discuss their options on regulating cats.
“This all started with a call from a lady complaining that a neighbors cat was harassing her birds in her backyard bird sanctuary,” stated Atlantic Community Protection Committee Chairman Steve Livengood.
Livengood admits most of chapter 55 of the cities animal control ordinance covers cats and the problems that are occurring.
“So if you look at Chapter 55.01 the definition states that an animal is a non human vertebrate, which sounds like a cat to me,” said Livengood. “Therefore, this animal control ordinance covers cats.”
Livegood said, “55.13 in the definition say an owner is a person, owning, keeping, or harboring any animal that feeds or maintains an animal on their premises for three days.”
The ordinance also states that it is unlawful for an animal owner to abandon a cat, and it’s also unlawful for an owner to allow their cat to cause damage to cause interference with others property.
“I don’t pay much attention to cats except when I mow the yard and I am reminded that there are cats around,” stated Livengood. “55.11 states that the owner shall not permit his or her animal to discharge their feces, unless they immediately take steps to remove the feces from the property. So if an owner’s animal is depositing feces on somebody else’s property, and that is definitely interference in my opinion…because it didn’t smell like that before…they are guilty of a violation. ”
The ordinance becomes a little tricky when it talks about destruction of animals at-large.
“It is lawful for an animal control officer, with assistance from the Police Department, to destroy if necessary any animal, including (cats), found at-large and cannot be captured. So does that say an animal control officer and the PD can shoot cats if they cannot catch them?”
The committee continues to investigate this to find out if there really is a problem, and what more can be done to control them.
June 14, 2012