Case Against Man Helping Feral Cats is Dismissed

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Charges against Doug Edge have been dismissed.

Readers may recall Doug’s predicament, which we reported on in Man May Go to Jail for Feeding Ferals, back on July 11 of this year. He was charged with two misdemeanors, punishable by a fine and up to 90 days in jail, when his work feeding community cats and conducting TNR (Trap Neuter Release) in an effort to help with the humane management of the Minneapolis/ St. Paul area’s large number of feral cats caused him to violate North Minneapolis law. North Minneapolis, where he and his wife reside, requires that people license their cats and prevent them from roaming free. Doug was deemed the owner of the feral cats he fed and assisted, and he was cited by Animal Control in April of this year for not licensing them and for allowing them to roam freely.

A court date was scheduled for next week, on October 24, but a judge has now dropped the charges.  Judge Kathleen Gearin granted a motion by Doug Edge’s attorney to dismiss the case on the point of harboring or ownership. The judge came to the reasonable conclusion that Doug’s temporary physical possession of the cats during the TNR process lay outside the city’s laws governing the keeping of domestic pets.

Doug may still have to contend with the city’s nuisance laws. Judge Gearin stated that his “good faith efforts” have increased rather than decreased the local community cat population and she said that the city has received complaints from his neighbors.

Minnesota’s largest no-kill shelter, Animal Ark, has offered to help with Doug’s legal fees from his efforts to humanely assist local cats.

Local station ABC5 KSTP covered the story. Doug has a little cat entry cut out of the fence surrounding his property, and we see a couple of  cats come scampering into his yard to be fed.

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5 thoughts on “Case Against Man Helping Feral Cats is Dismissed”

  1. Whereas, I thank the judge who dismissed the charges, of harboring and owning the ferals, on this good-hearted man…I think she is another who is lost, in the greed epidemic…due to the lack of emotion she displayed, in regards to the nuisance charge. People who are trying to make a difference, shouldn’t be punished, but praised and supported….because it is for the “whole”. Unfortuneatly…many people find it difficult to look outside the “me” and break from the chains that prevent them from growing. “Hats off to you Doug Edge and wife…for stepping up, to make a difference, especially…in the lives of these beautiful, innocent creatures. Hold tight to your beliefs…and may all that is good, be with you.”

  2. Well said, Nikki!!! People like Doug should be praised and supported. I’ve been in animal rescue for over 14 years and it’s only gotten worse. I’m glad that judge dismissed the case. It’s the people that dump their cats outside CAUSING them to become feral that should be held accountable. Until that happens, the more things change, the more they stay the same!!

  3. Well the government with its stupid greed and lack of sense have done it again. The person who is helping gets in trouble. Well I hope that all charges are dropped and that Doug and his wife are praised for the good job that they are doing. Good luck and keep up the good work. If more people would be responsible pet owners than a few good people would not have the burden of all the irresponsible ones.

  4. Great news for Doug and Annette Edge!!! I live in NSP and there are more important things then ticketing someone who was trying to keep the feral cat population down. Feral cats are all over in NSP I see them all of the time. I hope that the city will take Doug and Annette’s good deed and continue to work with Animal Ark to help control the feral cat population. Hats of to you Doug and Annette and I am glad to see that the judge dismissed the ridiculous charges.

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