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Ohio's new law

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  • nitemystik
    Akron (Ohio) Cat Ordinance SOURCE: http://www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/3159453.htm; By Julie Wallace, Beacon Journal staff writer Akron City Council aide Barbara
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 30, 2002
      Akron (Ohio) Cat Ordinance

      SOURCE: http://www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/3159453.htm; By Julie Wallace,
      Beacon Journal staff writer

      Akron City Council aide Barbara Beaty won't even guess how many e-
      mails
      she printed out last week concerning a new law regulating cats. But
      she
      knows there were a lot of them. ``You know those 8 ½-by-11 folders?
      We
      have one of those stuffed,'' Beaty said. ``There are hundreds. We
      don't
      normally receive that much e-mail for things.'' The long-debated cat
      ordinance, which has been considered by the council off and on for
      years
      before its passage March 25, has enraged a small but vocal contingent
      of
      cat fanciers. The law, which goes into effect June 25, allows animal
      wardens to pick up prowling felines if someone complains about them.
      Other provisions that had been considered, such as requiring leashes
      and
      limiting the number of cats per household, are not part of the new
      law.
      But the cat contingent, organized under the name Citizens for Humane
      Animal Practices, contends the law will mean death for too many cats
      and
      won't combat the prowling problem. They say that removing a feral cat
      from a location simply will open the territory for another cat to
      take
      over. The best way of managing the feral population, the group
      contends,
      is to trap them, spay or neuter them and return them to their turf.
      ``The consequence is that these cats will be picked up and 98 percent
      will be killed,'' said Deanne Christman-Resch, co-chairwoman of the
      group. ``That's not OK with us.'' Councilwoman Renee Greene, D-4,
      promised to meet with the group this afternoon to hear some of the
      proposed alternatives. Greene chairs the council's Health and Social
      Services Committee that pushed for the law's passage. One alternative
      is
      a mediation program. This would entail recruiting residents with
      animal
      welfare expertise to try to resolve animal-related disputes between
      neighbors, Christman-Resch said.
      ``Mediation would be so much more effective rather than a blanket
      roundup and kill,'' she said. Ultimately, the group is hoping to
      persuade the council to scuttle the law and consider other options.
      But
      that might be a hard sell to those council members who say they
      regularly heard constituents complain about cats. The city has had a
      law
      regulating dogs for years, but cats never were included. ``We needed
      something so that when people call, we can finally do something,''
      said
      Councilwoman Mary Ellen McAvoy, D-7. ``I'm willing to listen, but...
      just take care of your animals, and you won't have any problems.''
      Councilman John Conti, D-at large, has been exchanging electronic
      correspondence with the cat supporters who have written him. But many
      of
      the e-mails have been from out-of-town groups that have jumped on the
      bandwagon, he said. Conti said he was well aware of the controversy
      the
      legislation might stir up. He proposed a similar measure in 1992, but
      it
      was dropped because there was no place to house the rounded-up cats.
      The
      measure moved forward this time around because Summit County is
      building
      a facility to house as many as 50 cats, he said. There are state or
      city
      laws to deal with just about any animal nuisance, but cats always
      were
      the exception. This closes the loophole, but, Conti said, leaves room
      for the rescue groups to step in and save any cats that aren't
      adopted.
      ``We are not trying to single out cats, but who has the greater
      rights?
      These cat proponents feel there is some mystical difference with cats
      that they have the right to roam,'' Conti said. ``But they don't have
      the right to roam on somebody else's property.''

      © 2001 ohio and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
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