New Law Targets Caretakers of Ferals

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A new city ordinance in Columbia, Missouri will have costly effects on those who care for feral cat colonies.

At the city council meeting on Tuesday, members of the local chapter of Spay, Neuter, and Protect (SNAP) voiced their disapproval regarding most of the details of the new city ordinance that was passed.   Although the requirement to purchase a $25 permit in order to keep feral cats on private property was waived, the following specifications aimed at anyone harboring or feeding a feral colony stuck:

  • Individuals must register to become a feral colony caretaker and maintain the colony on private property.
  • The cats must be spayed/neutered, microchipped, and trapped for annual Feline Leukemia and Feline Immune Deficiency tests.
  • Cats must be up to date with all immunizations.
  • Efforts must be made to remove any weaned kittens from the colony and place them in homes or foster care.  The mother must be trapped and spayed.

The members of SNAP said the new ordinance would undoubtedly discourage caretakers to step forward  and attend to cats living in colonies.  They believe the funds required to fulfill these new terms would be better used toward the Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) efforts the organization supports.

The Board cited public health issues and lack of space and funds at the Humane Society as reasons for the new ordinance.  The Board, referencing the best interest of the cats, was unwilling to reconsider the new requirements, saying they had worked on the ordinance for two years and needed an outcome.

SNAP members say there are an estimated 37,000 feral cats living in Columbia.

7 thoughts on “New Law Targets Caretakers of Ferals”

  1. Awful, why can’t they just support those who tries to make a difference instead of finding ways to punish them… xoxo

  2. Here’s a thought: Make it easier for people to help feral cats. What is wrong with these people?

  3. What happens to the cats and kittens if nobody does anything? They continue breeding unchecked, suffer from many causes and eventually die. Many people feel they spread diseases. Is this what the city of Columbia prefers? Why not help instead of hinder? Do they think people care-take for fun? WTF? indeed!

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