Sunday, November 12, 2006

cat leash law: edmond oklahoma

New city ordinance enforces leash law
Edmond Sun Oklahoma - November 12, 2006
David Hartman, The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Does your tom tear up the neighbors’ tulips as a toilet? Is your Persian pussycat on the prowl?

If so, the cuddly, cute kitty could get caged in a kennel at the Edmond Animal Shelter.

A relatively new city ordinance enacted in August makes it illegal for cats to be at large while outdoors.

Specifically, the ordinance states: “No owner, keeper or other person in control shall permit any cat owned, harbored or kept by him to be at large. It is unlawful for such cat to be at large at any time within the city.”

That means any free-roaming cat could end up at the Edmond Animal Shelter. If there’s anything the shelter doesn’t need right now, it’s more cats.

Supervisor Jim Fish said the facility currently fosters about 30 felines, ranging from feral strays to owner turn-ins to those simply captured by fed-up neighbors.

And that’s about as many cats as the shelter can take. To help alleviate the cat crowding, the shelter is extending its half-price kitty sale through the end of November.

Fish said the indoors usually provide better environments for domesticated cats.

In the great outdoors, cats can encounter skunks, raccoons, bobcats, coyotes, dogs and even other cats.

Not to mention cars and trucks.

“A lot of people who let their cats roam, when they disappear, they think something untoward happened to the cat,” Fish said.

Sometimes, though, the cat has simply been trapped by someone — maybe a neighbor — and turned in to the shelter.

If the cat’s not tagged, the shelter has no way to reunite Morris and master, and more often than not, the owner doesn’t think to call the shelter.

So a lot of cats are then put up for adoption by new owners, or, if they aren’t adopted, eventually have to be put down.

Communication between neighbors is a good way to help the shelter control its cat population, Fish said.

If your neighbor’s cat is tearing up your flower bed, talk to your neighbor about it.

Even if you end up trapping a trespassing cat and taking it to the shelter, you still should call the owners and let them know where their cat is, Fish said.

With so many pet toys available these days, cats can be just as happy inside as they are outside, Fish said.

“When you weigh what’s best for the cat, staying indoors is so much safer than being outside,” Fish said.

During the shelter’s half-price sale, cats can be adopted for $35, Fish said.

For more information, call the shelter at

216-7615.

(David Hartman may be reached via e-mail at dhartman@edmondsun.

com.)