Opinion

Through the Eyes of the Colonel: City needs ordinance for controlling stray cat population

There are noticeably a lot of cats in Creswell, and the immediate surrounding area, which encouraged me to seek out individuals with knowledge concerning the perceived problem. I went to Mr. and Mrs. Al January.
For 13 years the Januarys have been capturing and feeding stray cats. They have taken many cats to veterinarians to be treated for injuries, to be neutered and spayed – all of this at their expense.
The population of stray or loose cats in Creswell is estimated to be between 500 to 1,000 cats.
Al and Kathy told me that they have averaged spending $200 a month for medical needs for the stray animals. Thankfully the veterinarians give them a discount because of their voluntary efforts. However, that isn’t the end of the story. The January’s spend an additional $200 to $300 a month on cat food, as Kathy goes to places in the city and feeds the stray animals. She is so kind that she can’t stand to see the cats neglected and starving. I have never seen anyone so dedicated as this couple.
The city does not have a ordinance concerning cats; in fact the only ordinance that I know that even mentions cats is ”Ordinance No. 445.” It is for control of dogs and other animals in the city. Paragraph V1.6.05.500(1) Care of Stray Animals says, ”Animals” does not include feral or domestic house cats. So, we don’t have any regulations or rules concerning: Care, feeding, capturing, medicating control of population etc. of CATS. Stray cats are exposed to many diseases such as rabies, distemper, feline leukemia (FLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). I don’t know what the last two are, but both are highly contagious, transferred from cat to cat and can be fatal. Further, cats can mate when about six months old, and they can have as many as three to four litters a year.
Al said they can’t afford this continued work and expense. I agree with him. The city council and administration have been contacted previously about the cat problem, but apparently nothing has been done.
I believe we need an ordinance and enforcement of regulations for control of cats, the same as dogs and other animals, and we need it now.