Ohio's new law
- 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-
she printed out last week concerning a new law regulating cats. But
knows there were a lot of them. ``You know those 8 ½-by-11 folders?
have one of those stuffed,'' Beaty said. ``There are hundreds. We
normally receive that much e-mail for things.'' The long-debated cat
ordinance, which has been considered by the council off and on for
before its passage March 25, has enraged a small but vocal contingent
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
limiting the number of cats per household, are not part of the new
But the cat contingent, organized under the name Citizens for Humane
Animal Practices, contends the law will mean death for too many cats
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
over. The best way of managing the feral population, the group
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
a mediation program. This would entail recruiting residents with
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.
that might be a hard sell to those council members who say they
regularly heard constituents complain about cats. The city has had a
regulating dogs for years, but cats never were included. ``We needed
something so that when people call, we can finally do something,''
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
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
legislation might stir up. He proposed a similar measure in 1992, but
was dropped because there was no place to house the rounded-up cats.
measure moved forward this time around because Summit County is
a facility to house as many as 50 cats, he said. There are state or
laws to deal with just about any animal nuisance, but cats always
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
``We are not trying to single out cats, but who has the greater
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.