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Salina cat law comes under fire again

Linda Young of Kitty Corner, a cat rescue organization in Liverpool, speaks to members of the Salina Town Board regarding the town's cat law at the town board meeting Monday, Feb. 13. Several residents spoke against the law at the meeting.

Linda Young of Kitty Corner, a cat rescue organization in Liverpool, speaks to members of the Salina Town Board regarding the town's cat law at the town board meeting Monday, Feb. 13. Several residents spoke against the law at the meeting. Photo by Sarah Hall.

— Zinsmeyer told the board she was able to free her cat from the trap in her neighbors’ yard and, through a personal contact at the SPCA, she learned that her other cat had also been trapped and brought there. She had to pay $170 to retrieve her own cat.

“Had I not had this contact, he could have been euthanized, because his fifth day would have been up,” Zinsmeyer said.

Zinsmeyer said no effort was made by the animal control officer to locate the cat’s owner. In addition, the cat that was brought to the SPCA had a puncture wound in his chest that required three staples.

Zinsmeyer said she discussed the issue with her third-grade class at KWS Bear Road Elementary in North Syracuse.

“My students wanted to know, why didn’t my neighbors ask about the cats?” she said. “Why didn’t the town ask me about the cats or post fliers at the five houses that I live around? So when I have 8- and 9-year-olds asking me why a town didn’t promote cohesiveness in their neighborhood, that tells me that those kids know better than the town of Salina.”

Salina Local Law 2005-3

The original law, Salina Local Law 2005-3, which went into effect Sept. 26, 2005, was drafted to address the growing population of feral cats within the town. It defined feral cat colonies, set guidelines for the registration and care of those colonies and mandated that all adult cats that could be captured be spayed or neutered and vaccinated. The law also made an effort to regulate domestic pets. Cats deemed to be a nuisance could be impounded by the animal control officer based upon a complaint and taken to the SPCA. That aspect of the law is what has proved to be so problematic for so many residents. There has been discussion of changing the law since at least 2008, at which time cat rescuer Linda Young estimated the trapping program was costing the town approximately $20,000 a year.

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