The city of Rockwood, TN recently enacted what sounds like a terrible anti-pet ordinance. I wanted to read the actual ordinance but was unable to find it online so had to rely on the summary provided by an area news outlet:
Pet owners and advocates in Rockwood said they are upset over a new city ordinance that limits the number of animals they can have to five, and allows animal control to trap feral cats and stray cats, and euthanize them after three days.
The local news spoke to a woman who cares for 11 cats, seven of whom are feral. She has trapped, neutered and vaccinated all but 2 of the ferals already. But under the ordinance, she will have to choose which ones she wants to live (up to 5 total) and even then, the feral cats she cares for will still be at risk for being trapped and impounded by AC. The only way for a Rockwood resident to own more than 5 pets is to obtain a kennel license and keep the animals on property in a commercial zone. She told the news she is going to move out of the city.
“Our goal is not going out and trying to roundup all the cats in Rockwood,” said [Mayor James] Watts. “I hope people don’t think the city of Rockwood is an animal hater. We’re not. We’re trying to put the responsibility back on the citizens.”
The city of Rockwood should be trapping, neutering, vaccinating and returning feral cats. They aren’t. Instead private citizens are doing it for them. Now the city wants to punish them and kill their cats. This is putting the “responsibility back on the citizens”?
Watts reassured people who take care of their animals properly would not be targeted.
Really? How can the mayor possibly reassure anyone of that? The lady with 11 cats is taking care of her animals properly but she would be targeted under the ordinance. As will any cat who walks into a trap set by AC, regardless of who owns or feeds him. Traps don’t know whose cats to target.
Punitive legislation doesn’t work. I hope the citizens of Rockwood demand that the city abolishes this anti-pet ordinance.
(Thank you Peter M. for the link.)