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Salina faces cat suit

Salina's cat law is being challenged in court by the Animal Alliance of Greater Syracuse as well as two town residents. The plaintiffs charge that the law is unconstitutional.

Salina's cat law is being challenged in court by the Animal Alliance of Greater Syracuse as well as two town residents. The plaintiffs charge that the law is unconstitutional.

— Eppolito told the board she was sure the cats were coming from Jenkins’ home.

“We have complained to her for years and all we hear is, ‘Well, people drop them off,” Eppolito said. “Then take them to the SPCA. We’ve had enough.”

The lawsuit, meanwhile, was filed by the AAGS and two individuals against the town in response to the trapping of cats by the town’s animal control officer. It alleges that she trapped at least three cats knowing that they were owned by these two individuals and made no effort to locate the cats’ owners. The suit alleges that the cat owners’ constitutional rights were violated, as they were not given their day in court, and the cats were delivered to the SPCA. In addition, two of the cats were euthanized without notifying the owner. One of the cats was rescued by chance a day before it was to be put down. The suit asks for monetary damages of $700.

Linda Young, president of AAGS, was disappointed that Ventre was using the suit as a reason to put off action on the moratorium.

“The lawsuit has nothing to do with the moratorium,” Young said. “I’m afraid it’s going to set us back.”

She feared the existing law, which will continue to be enforced while the suit is pending, will do more damage in the interim.

“During the moratorium, Jim Magnarelli and I were supposed to be working on this,” Young said. “And actually I have Alley Cat Allies and Humane Society of the United States working with us and sending sample laws and advice to us. They’ve offered to call the town councilors. I don’t know at what point now to have them do that. I don’t know what good it will do.”

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