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Council asks for ordinance on feral cats

September 16, 2013
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Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

BACKGROUND

Source Cove Herald
By Mason W. Canales | Herald staff writer

The Copperas Cove City Council asked city staff to draft an ordinance prohibiting any form of a trap, neuter and release program for feral cats in the city limits.

Trapping and releasing at-large animals are already prohibited by the city ordinance as is feeding stray animals. But City Manager Andrea Gardner said her staff will work to clarify the ordinance and forbid such activities from taking place, as was directed by the council.

“I am a cat person,” said Councilman Kenn Smith, who made the request backed by numerous other council members present at a Tuesday meeting. “But the issue of feral cats is not the same.”

Councilwoman Cheryl Meredith and Councilman Jim Schmitz were not at the meeting.

The council’s decision comes after the topic has been discussed for about four years by members of the Animal Advisory Committee. It also comes after the council gave the direction to the two differing opinion factions in the committee to come to a compromise and draft an ordinance by a marginal decision last December.

Vice chairwoman Michaela Ramos said Tuesday said she was trying to do that when she attempted to place the issue back on the committee’s agenda.

“I want to stop any litter from being born,” Ramos said Tuesday night to the council.

Her suggestion was to continue to allow residents to trap cats and surrender them to animal control, but also allow animal welfare groups to operate trap, neuter and release programs.

Ramos said she was not allowed to present her plan to the committee.

Instead, the committee killed the suggestion before hearing it by a vote of 3 to 2.

“This is a very heated topic that has been going on time after time,” said Beau Brabbin, the committee’s chairman.

“It has been voted down each time.”

Every time the group meets, a form of trap, neuter and release is on its agenda, Brabbin said.

Creating a trap, neuter and release program does not solve the city’s problems of dealing with nuisance animals who may cause property damage and defecate in residents’ yards, said Deputy Police Chief Mike Heintzelman, who also is on the committee.

Residents have been trapping cats daily and surrendering them to animal control, but Heintzelman didn’t know of any true cat colonies.

“We can’t go back to this every six months,” Smith said.

Committee member Robyn Bandinel, who was not at the last animal advisory meeting and was called out during Tuesday’s council meeting for her lack of attendance, said the group is once again “regressing.”

“We are all supposed to play nice, and I don’t see that being done,” Bandinel said Tuesday.

Despite Bandinel being present at Tuesday’s meeting, the council authorized Mayor John Hull to send her a letter reminding her of her obligation to the committee.

Bandinel said she sent several emails to the group stating she would miss meetings because of family obligations.

“The attached letter simply ensures Robyn is properly notified of the council’s concern of her lack of attendance at the meeting and that the ordinance provides language for removal should the council decide it appropriate,” stated the council’s agenda item.

No time line was given Tuesday for the drafting of the ordinance, but the council directed the staff to handle it rather than the committee.

The Animal Advisory Committee is regulated by state law because the city operates an animal shelter.

Its job is to focus on how the city manages the shelter and programs that “benefit not only the residents but the animals,” Heintzelman said.

Contact Mason W. Canales at ​mcanales@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7474


WHOM TO CONTACT

cmeredith@copperascovetx.gov ; gkent@copperascovetx.gov ; dpalmer@copperascovetx.gov ; ksmith@copperascovetx.gov ; animal_control@copperascovetx.gov


SUBJECT
Texas – Stop Inhumane City Ordinance Against Feral Cats



SAMPLE LETTER

City of Copperas Cove
Mayor & City Council
Mayor John Hull
City Council Cheryl Meredith
City Council Mark Peterson
City Council Gary Kent
City Council Danny Palmer
City Council Kenn Smith
City Council Jim Schmitz
City Council Frank Seffrood
Animal Control

To Whom It Concerns,

The City Council in Copperas Cove, Texas, amended an animal control ordinance attempting to stop trap, neuter, and release (TNR) programs for feral cats in the city. The ordinance seeks to forbid such activities from taking place, such as releasing a spayed feral cat within the city limits and feeding feral cats. Those who violate the ordinance can be fined $200.

Feeding bans don’t stop cats from “multiplying”; neutering does. Trap-Neuter-Return is the only effective way to stabilize feral cat populations. Since TNR requires scheduled feeding to be successful, it is impossible to carry out with a feeding ban in place.

One unspayed female cat, her mate, and all of their offspring can produce 370,092 cats in just seven years.

Feeding bans are counterproductive and unenforceable, wasting taxpayer dollars without doing anything to fix the underlying issue. The only effective way to stabilize cat populations and keep cats out of shelters is through humane programs like TNR (Trap/Neuter/Release).

I ask The City Council in Copperas Cove to revisit the amended animal control ordinance and remove feeding bans and allow for Trap/Neuter/Release programs.

Source: http://kdhnews.com/copperas_cove_herald/news/council-asks-for-ordinance-on-feral-cats/article_f57d28d4-0ae1-11e3-8f8a-001a4bcf6878.html

Thank you for taking the time to consider this urgent appeal.

NAME




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dear humans,
we did not ask to be
feral or stray,
things for us just
turned out that way.
so we are counting
on you, to trap neuter
and spay…
keep our populations at bay.
please do not punish
the kind ones of you,
the ones with a heart
and know the right thing to do.
starving us will not
stop our numbers…
they will increase.
please trap/spay/neuter
and feed us,
after release.

signed,
all cats

Karen Lyons Kalmenson


9 Comments leave one →
  1. September 16, 2013 10:35 am

    emails kicking back:
    mpeterson@copperascovetx.gov>: host mail.copperascovetx.gov[67.79.126.20]
    refused to talk to me: 450 4.3.2 try again later

    : host mail.copperascovetx.gov[67.79.126.20]
    refused to talk to me: 450 4.3.2 try again later

    : host mail.copperascovetx.gov[67.79.126.20]
    refused to talk to me: 450 4.3.2 try again later

    : host mail.copperascovetx.gov[67.79.126.20] refused
    to talk to me: 450 4.3.2 try again later
    jschmitz@copperascovetx.gov>: host mail.copperascovetx.gov[67.79.126.20]
    refused to talk to me: 450 4.3.2 try again later

    : host mail.copperascovetx.gov[67.79.126.20] refused
    to talk to me: 450 4.3.2 try again

    me tinks we got their dander up!

    Like

    • September 16, 2013 11:02 am

      Those did not bounce back to me, but I sent my mail yesterday. Thanks for letting me know, hon, I have removed those.

      Like

      • karenlyonskalmenson permalink
        September 16, 2013 11:11 am

        you are so welcome and thank you

        Like

  2. September 16, 2013 2:42 pm

    Wait! Am I understanding this correctly, they do not want to trap/spay/neuter/release they just want to what, gas these poor animals to death?

    Like

    • September 16, 2013 3:52 pm

      They aren’t really clear on what they intend to do minus the TNR and food programs. I cannot expect that it would be good, though. Thanks, GAL.

      Like

  3. September 17, 2013 12:56 am

    Murdering innocent animals never solves a small group of humans preconceived notions of a solution. Our entire world is up-side-down.

    Like

    • September 18, 2013 7:57 pm

      The world certainly IS upside down … inside out, bass-ackwards…. fatally flawed, logically incorrect, politically corrupt & getting closer & closer to a police state that violates our human rights & animal birthrights daily!! Have you noticed how just about EVERYTHING is Wrong, Wrong, Wrong…. with this New World Order??? Politicians need to wake up and butt out of our lives!!

      Like

  4. September 18, 2013 7:47 pm

    Couldn’t believe what I read at first, but then not surprising with typical gov’t decisions by the usual suspects and an agenda full of their own importance!. Really gets my back and dander up ~ Yowwww!! I will sign & send your very well written letter, as is Stacey, and hopefully the email addresses that kicked back have been changed or removed now? I hope you sent your poem to each and every one of these officials Karen because it’s purrfect & says it all so succinctly – even if that is ALL they read!! Let’s hope that with some help from Our Compass campaign, more thoughtful heads will prevail at the next council vote!!!

    Like

    • September 18, 2013 8:14 pm

      Hi, Cat, thank you so much for your comments and participation. I have removed the stuck emails so it should be okay now. Thanks so much for your help, I agree with what you write.

      Like

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