Monday, May 16, 2016

On City's agenda tomorrow: The always-contentious issue of feral, roaming, and 'community' cats

The problem of feral and roaming cats in Lake Worth is a regular topic on this blog (here is one), especially as it relates to the devastation of our native bird populations and human health concerns.

This issue will be on the City Commission agenda tomorrow (Tuesday, 5/17) in the form of a County Proclamation. Want to see this for yourself? It's easy. Use this link and scroll down for "May 17, 2016 Regular Meeting" and then click on "Full Version" to download. Here is an excerpt from pages 5–41:

"WHEREAS, Section 125.01, Florida Statutes, authorizes the Board of County Commissioners of Palm Beach County to adopt ordinances to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens and animals of Palm Beach County"

[and. . .]

"WHEREAS, in order to reduce the overpopulation of cats, which are euthanized every year at alarming rates, the Board has determined that all cats must be spayed or neutered by four months of age unless certain exemptions apply; and
WHEREAS, spaying and neutering all cats by four months of age, before they are sexually mature and able to reproduce, will prevent unintended breeding and unwanted litters of kittens; and
WHEREAS, the Board recognizes the need for innovation in addressing the issues presented by the overpopulation of cats and, to that end, it recognizes that there are often community members providing care for cats that have no apparent owner"

[and. . .]

"WHEREAS, it is necessary to amend the Ordinance to provide for consistency with state law; to amend certain definitions; to delete obsolete provisions; to reduce hold times for impounded animals; to provide restrictions on the redemption of animals; to remove regulations pertaining to honeybee hives"

[and lastly. . .]

"to amend language pertaining to livestock; to amend provisions related to hearings before special masters; to shorten the time in which the Division must hold an animal impounded when an owner is involuntarily unable to care for the animal; to amend regulations pertaining to trapping animals and to make other changes necessary for the efficient operation of the Division and in the best interest of the citizens and animals of the county."