In a victory for unowned cats and animal lovers, the Sparks, Nevada city council voted Monday night to allow feral cat colonies to remain in place.
Monday’s vote followed several months of debate over a proposed ordinance to ban the colonies from Sparks.
Kimberly Wade of the Nevada Humane Society added some important context to the discussion at the special public meeting held Monday, telling the city councilmembers and meeting attendees that passage of the no-colonies ordinance would jeopardie the NHS’ no-kill stats and result in a loss of funding.
“In Sparks alone, the Nevada Humane Society has received over 2.5 million dollars in grants, if this ordnance would have passed, we would have first of all lost our status as a no kill community, which in turn means we would have lost those grants because people don’t want to give money to places that are not saving lives,” Wade said during the public forum on the matter.
Thousands of feral cats are said to live within the Sparks region. The colonies being cared for by area residents provide shelter, food, TNR and vaccinations for the cats. The colonies are reglated and have to meet the guidelines.
“I really did believe that i[the ordinance] was a solution looking for a problem, that we really don’t have a problem, on my time on the council I have never received a single complaint, not one about feral cats and I also sit on the Board of Health and we’ve had no complaints about a rise of rabies and toxoplasmosis or some of the issues that were thrown out there,” said council member Julia Ratti.
Sparks City Attorney Chet Adams proposed and championed the ordinance. His one-hour presentation to the city council stressed issues of public health, or more pointedly, the so-called public health threat he claimed feral cats create. among his points, Adams said disease bearing animals such as raccoons are attracted to feral colonies.
“They spread diseases that are associated with fighting, biting and scratching,” said Adams.
“We have seen a decrease in cat intake in Washoe County of 38 percent, that’s a big number, and that number was not there before TNR and that truly shows that TNR is making a big impact.” said the NHS representative.
Many attendees were pleased with the outcome of the vote.
Watch the News4 report on the story: