Tuesday, June 27, 2006

saving pets AND preserve wildlife

Man saves unwanted pets from Gilbert preserve with Web site
KVOA, Arizona - June 27, 2007
[Excerpts]
Donald Bloom can't count the number of times he has heard faint yelps and mews while walking Gilbert's Riparian Preserve.
The cries come from everywhere: the bushes, along the waterfall, sometimes from the trees. They're mostly from pets some owners try to forget.
His heart breaks a little each time.
"It's just not fair what happens to these poor animals," the 53-year-old said. "No one wants them, and they don't stand much of a chance in (the preserve)."
Now, he's reaching out into cyberspace to solve a problem that Gilbert officials say has been long-standing at the 110-acre park.
Bloom has started a Web site, http://www.savethecatsarizona.org. His hope is to link discarded pets found in the preserve with new homes. .....

..... It's a felony to let a domesticated pet lose in the wild. Becker said no one has been charged with such a crime in recent months, though domestic animals continue to turn up in the park.
Rangers believe pet abandoners have become better at avoiding detection.
Bloom has rounded up 18 pets in the preserve since November, and has found homes for three. His concern, though, is that space to shelter his rescued animals is running out.
Bloom said he plans to run a booth at the nearby Southeast Regional Library to try to match abandoned and abused pets with homes and caring owners.
"The bottom line is that people just shouldn't abandon their pets, especially not in the Riparian," Bloom said. "Finding these animals a home helps everybody."

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

chip & contain Kangaroo Isl cats

Kangaroo Is cats to be microchipped
[Excerpt]
Domestic cats on Kangaroo Island will be required by law to be microchipped and contained in a move to combat the feral cat problem. It is the first council region in South Australia to introduce the legislation, which applies from July 1.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Long Island Cat Project

Courtesy of LICP -- thanks Frankie!

Long Island Cat Project has a new website with sections on Hubs, Traps, Trapping, Participating Low Cost Veterinarians, and Organizations For Low Cost Spay/ Neuter Certificates & Free Programs.

"The Long Island Cat Project is a network of educational and directional information which will help feral cat rescuers, care givers and individual citizens on Long Island to implement a humane and effective solution toward resolving the feral cat problem on Long Island. TNR; Trap Neuter and Return is a proven successful option and sound solution for the control and reduction of feral cat populations."
Excellent collaboration by various groups and individuals to help feral cats and people! See previous posts on Feral Cats in the News ~ the Feral Cat Blog! about cats on Long Island:

cats Long Island NY parks
20 Apr 2006

Friday April 1 to Wednesday April 13, 2005 18 May 2005

Other excellent feral cat programs on Long Island:

Atlantic Beach Cats

Long Beach Cats

save plovers AND cats!

Feral cat feeders reject order to protect plovers
[Excerpts]
To protect the bird, the Fish and Wildlife Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior has ordered a local group to remove its beach-feeding stations for feral cats to an area west of the salt marshes.
The board of the Seacoast Area Feline Education and Rescue Inc. has decided not to follow that order, according to SAFER President Carol Ritchie. ...

... Instead, SAFER is increasing its vigilance to trap new, abandoned animals, she said.
"We will put high pressure in that area," Ritchie said. ...

... Asked if the cats could be trapped and moved to another location, Ritchie said there was no place to move them. The feeding stations are on private property.
SAFER traps the abandoned cats, and those born wild spays and neuters them and gets them inoculated against disease. The domesticated cats are housed until they are adopted. SAFER has a "no kill" policy.
The cats too wild to become someone?s pet are released where they are found and are fed by volunteers who keep the feeding stations.
One solution I'm curious about here is a piping plover watch! There are watches for other ground-nesting birds, colony birds, and turtle hatchlings. A monitor was hired and volunteers solicited for the piping plover in this area several years ago! It's a short-term need of some weeks. Sounds like a prospect for partnership between local cat and bird or wildlife groups. This is a great opportunity for public education and participation as well!

Learn more about
piping plovers and the Atlantic Coast piping plovers.

cats IN news today!

feral cats news :: Trap Neuter Return news :: Trap Neuter Release ::
stray cats news :: felines news :: homeless cats news ::
spay neuter news :: "no kill" news
thanks to News.Google.com!


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Cat Management in Communities

A prevention AND solution action for cities, counties, communities is to immediately implement or support comprehensive cat management programs that CONCURRENTLY promote :

* spay neuter, identification, and containment for 'owned' cats and
* Trap-Neuter-RETURN-Manage (TNRM) for unowned cats.

move beyond "cats vs. birds"

Neighborhood Cats - June 22, 2006:
Moving Beyond Cats vs. Birds -- TNR & The Wildlife Issue
[Excerpts]

The past few years have seen significant growth in the use of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) as a method for managing feral cat populations. ...

But despite these advances, one issue remains a substantial obstacle – the impact of feral cats on wildlife species, whether birds, rodents, reptiles or other potential prey. ...

The time has come to move beyond “cats vs. birds” and many enlightened animal leaders are doing just that.

cover garbage cans!

Camp at your own risk
Big Island park sites vary from the sublime to the ridiculous

[Excerpt]
Punaluu Beach Park: Fantastic. Grassy. Well-maintained facilities include electrical outlets, clean bathrooms, covered pavilions, drinking water and a lighted parking lot. The downside is that it's overrun by feral cats and mongooses feeding out of open, 30-gallon garbage barrels with no covers. The black-sand beach is not safe for children or bad swimmers. Supplies, gas and a restaurant nearby in Pahala.


Why no covers on the refuse containers???

work smarter: focus, animal groups!

From PETsMART Charities Quarterly, Spring 2006
[Excerpted]
Tips for Working Smarter
In this regular feature, we will share creative ways to re-tool a specific element of the important work you do. If your organization is stronger, you can do more for the animals.
Challenge: Your organization is trying to address a large problem (public spay/ neuter, education about a certain issue, TNR, etc.) in your community, but it seems overwhelming for your level of resources in time, people, services, and money.
Solution: Focus, focus, focus. As with so many challenges in life, yours may be more effectively addressed by breaking it into smaller, more manageable chunks. By targeting certain segments of the population for specific periods, you can get more impact for your investment of resources. Try a year of thinking NARROW AND DEEP for that program (rather than BROAD AND SHALLOW). There are ways to target seasonally, by species or gender of the animal in need (for example, neutering male cats), or by specific issue. Some tips for targeting geographically include the following:
• Divide your community into ZIP Codes, neighborhoods, trailer communities, senior communities, etc. Use physical areas with which people easily identify themselves. Prioritize using economic demographics, local identities and loyalties (“my church neighborhood,” “my school district”), or local animal control statistics (for pick-ups, surrenders, bites, complaints, etc.)
• Neighbors can help neighbors with transportation, identification of need, and spreading the word.
• Local businesses, including vets, are more likely to consider helping their own customers rather than a wider audience.
• Because the focus area is more concentrated, you can have more impact with flyers and local media opportunities. Get local leadership on board for built-in “word-ofmouth” assistance.

Feral cats now and future-Dr. Levy

Feature:
An Interview with Dr. Julie Levy
Feral cats now and in the future

in Maddie's Fund Current Newsletter - June 2006
[Excerpt]
Q. If a feral cat comes into an animal shelter, what should the shelter do with the animal? Should they put the cat back in the community?

A. In an ideal world, the solution would be non-lethal. This can encompass a variety of responses. The shelter can return the cat to its place of origin if that's acceptable; relocate the cat; or not take in the cat in the first place—this is what I would favor. Most feral cats come into shelters from complaint calls. It's amazing how many people are satisfied and/or willing to live in proximity to feral cats if the complaint is mediated or solved. For example, if cats are defecating someplace that's offensive, we've found that we can dump a sand pile in a spot where it is OK for the cats to defecate. The cats will go there, and the problem is solved. In some cases, solving the problem might be a case of moving a feeding station. And, of course, getting the animals spayed or neutered is important – this reduces a majority of the nuisance behaviors such as spraying, fighting, calling, and kitten production that are often the real reason that the cats are unwelcome. I think it would be great if shelters refused to take ferals in unless solutions like these were tried first.

Q. How long do you think it will take until ferals are given the respect and treatment they deserve?

A. As a practical goal, I'd guess we're about ten years away from being able to provide non-lethal solutions for all our nation's feral cats.

I understand what Dr. Levy is saying here about the timeframe. I also believe that as all stakeholders network, think creatively, unite, organize, and focus, we can cut some years off this projection!!!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Owner drops 15 cats at shelter

Sadly, this dear person made the best provision she knew for her pets; she did not illegally abandon these cats, and they appeared well-cared for. She felt she must leave her cats at a no-kill animal shelter and surely hoped that the cats would find new adoptive homes. Rooting here for loving, lifetime homes for pets; a wonderful change of fortune for people in difficult life circumstances; and many adoptions, donations and volunteers for animal rescues and shelters.

Owner drops 15 cats at shelter
The Herald-Tribune, Florida - June 21, 2006
Crowded St. Francis Animal Rescue finds them on the doorstep
[Excerpt]
SOUTH VENICE -- When Judy Lane pulled into the St. Francis Animal Rescue on Sunday morning she found an unusual delivery waiting on the doorstep: 15 cats and an unsigned note.
"Please take care of my babies," the unsigned note read. "I am ill, almost homeless & have no money left. Forgive me for I am in a bad way to take care of them."
There's hardly any room for the new arrivals, which are between 2 and 6 years old, appear to be healthy and well-fed and arrived in seven carriers.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Trap and release success Bandera Texas

Trap and release program reduces kitty litters in Bandera
Bandera Bulletin, Texas - June 22, 2006
[Excerpts]
The exponential reproduction by unchecked feral cats has led to an epidemic across the United States..... Kittens born to feral felines live harsh lives, assuming they survive their first hours on the street; .....
These facts, along with citizen complaints of wild cats raising ruckus, drove the City of Bandera to begin a Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) program last year, successfully spaying 43 female cats. So far this year, the city has altered and released 30-35 felines.
"The program is working out well," Animal Control Officer Christine Gentry said. "With everybody getting on board and making a community effort, animals are not being put to sleep; they are getting fixed, given rabies shots and being released."
Gentry said that the results have been tangible: fewer cats on the streets and fewer cat calls coming in to City Hall.
"When we first started, we had so many cats; you would see them everywhere," Gentry said. "I've been impressed with business owners and residents. Right now, we have about 15-20 people who are on the TNR program."
Participating in the TNR program, citizens who have feral cat problems can have a trapping cage put in on their property during the day, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with food it in. When a cat is trapped, the citizen calls the city, and the city sends someone out to pick up the cage and capture. The captured cat, for a $10 charge from the Hill Country Animal League, is then spayed or neutered, given a rabies shot and put in the city kennel. After a few days of monitoring to ensure good health, the cat is released back into the city. The city is also offering the cats as barn cats to anyone who wants them.
With each unaltered female cat having the capability to produce dozens and dozens of offspring over the course of her life, and each unaltered male able to father hundreds of kittens, every feral cat trapped, neutered and released reduces exponentially the potential numbers of problem cats down the road.
"It takes time; people may not think the program is working, but it is," Gentry said. "Having fixed 43 females [last year], that's prevented many more feral cats from being born."
Adoptable cats are given to the Animal Welfare Society, which assists the city in placing stray animals. Gentry said that the city has only had to put down two animals in as many years thanks to the assistance of AWS, which also served to help mould the city's TNR program.
"[The TNR program] has mainly been a joint effort between the city and AWS," Gentry said. "They do great work for us; they help with food, help us with vet bills...they do a lot." .....

For more information or to participate in the TNR program, contact Gentry at City Hall at 830-796-3765

Thursday, June 15, 2006

cats IN news today!

feral cats news :: Trap Neuter Return news :: Trap Neuter Release ::
stray cats news :: felines news :: homeless cats news ::
spay neuter news :: "no kill" news
thanks to News.Google.com!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Cat Management in Communities

A prevention AND solution action for cities, counties, communities is to immediately implement or support comprehensive cat management programs that CONCURRENTLY promote :

* spay neuter, identification, and containment for 'owned' cats and
* Trap-Neuter-RETURN-Manage (TNRM) for unowned cats.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

feral cat population

Beyond “Sylvester & Tweety”
Animal People News - May 2006
[Excerpt]
Thus the U.S. feral cat population appears to be about 9.3 million on a year-round average, rising in spring and summer, but contracting in fall and winter.
This number is most meaningful when compared to the national carrying capacity, estimated relative to the volume of food that would be available to dogs and cats if humans did not artificially elevate the carrying capacity by deliberately feeding them.
In poor nations where most dogs are street dogs, and few people deliberately feed them, dog populations tend to peak at about one dog per 10 humans, as in India, and run far lower in harsher climates. When street dogs are sterilized or killed, feral cats gradually replace dogs at a ratio of approximately three cats taking the niche of one dog. This is close to their relative average biomass.
Thus the U.S. national feral cat carrying capacity might be as high as 100 million, higher even than the pet cat population––if coyotes, foxes, hawks, owls, eagles, fishers, ferrets, snakes, and many other predators of small rodents were not absorbing most of the carrying capacity wherever they can.

Friday, June 09, 2006

MUST fix rhode island cats

Cats must be fixed in Rhode Island, under law signed Friday
Boston Globe, United States - June 9, 2006
PROVIDENCE, R.I. --Rhode Island became the first state in the nation to require cat owners to spay or neuter their pets, as Gov. Don Carcieri signed a bill into law Friday.
The law requires cat owners to spay or neuter pets older than 6 months unless they pay $100 for a breeder's license or permit for an intact animal. Violators will be fined $75 per month.
"By signing this legislation today, we are taking the necessary steps to reduce the number of impounded cats that are euthanized in cities and towns throughout the state," Carcieri said in a written statement.
He added that the law would also save money because it would cut down on housing and feeding costs at city shelters.
East Providence, Pawtucket and Warwick already have similar municipal ordinances.
Supporters said the new law would save thousands of cats from being killed each year. Private shelters and municipal pounds in Rhode Island killed 5,452 cats from 2002 to 2004, according to the state Department of Environmental Management.
Some animal rights advocates worried the bill could lead cat owners to abandon their pets rather than risk a fine or pay for the birth control procedures.
Under the law, low-income pet owners would be able to receive subsidies for low-cost spay and neuter surgery. Farmers are exempt.

© Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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See previous posts on Feral Cats in the News ~ the Feral Cat Blog!:

state to require cats spay neuter?
12 May 2006

Rhode Island cat legislation
29 May 2006

Edmonton cat bylaw not enough

Cat bylaw not enough
Edmonton Sun, Canada - June 9, 2006
The city's cat bylaw is barely scratching the surface when it comes to controlling frisky felines.
Humane Society spokesman Diane Shannon said while more and more of the animals are being fixed and licensed, there is still a big problem.
"Overall, we're still dealing with huge numbers of cats at the humane society and the city still has a huge problem with cats roaming around," said Shannon. "There's an endless amount of cats and kittens coming in every year."
"Is the licensing working? Certainly. Can we do more? Absolutely."
Shannon said one major benefit of the city's cat licensing program, which was implemented six years ago, is that it educates people about the importance of keeping their cats close by.
Under the bylaw, all cats must be licensed with the city. Residents can also trap unwanted cats that roam onto their property and bring it to the city's animal services department.
City animal services director David Leeb said the city is raking in $1 million to $1.2 million a year under the bylaw.
Last year, about 4,400 feral and nuisance cats were brought in and 1,700 of those were euthanized. The rest were either returned to their owners or adopted out.
And the number of trapped cats being brought in is holding steady at about 600 a year even as the city's cat population climbs.
"As Edmonton's population increases, so is the number of cats that are brought to us," said Leeb.
People are only allowed to trap bothersome felines on their own property and not in other yards, or public spaces such as parks and back lanes.
Coun. Mike Nickel stopped short of calling the bylaw a cash grab, saying his concern would be if the licence-to-cat ratio doesn't add up.
"The question is, every time they bring in a tax, and the cat licensing is essentially a tax, any sort of money raised by tax has to equate to the services provided."
The city estimates there are between 70,000 and 80,000 cats living in Edmonton, or about 10% of the human population, and the same amount of dogs. As of last Monday, there were 31,361 cats licensed in Edmonton at $12.50 a piece and 51,167 dogs at $25 each.
The fine for an unlicensed cat is $100.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Cat licensing has merit
(Mar 24, 2006)
[Excerpt]
Hamilton is not unique in looking at the licensing of cats. Calgary recently passed a similar bylaw and Edmonton has had a cat bylaw since 2000.
Edmonton, the first municipality to develop a cat licensing bylaw, is still struggling to get all cat owners to buy in to the new rules.
Since implementation in 2000, 30,000 of an estimated 70,000 cats in the city are now licensed. The number of strays dropped from 10,000 in 1999 to 7,000 in 2002. The euthanization rate has remained steady at 40 per cent.


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See why cat licensing is not desirable under
Cat Laws, Cat Codes, Cat Ordinances /Cat Regulation / Cat Legislation on Cat Management in Communities.

GnRH immunocontraception feral cats

University of Florida / School of Veterinary Medicine

Schedule for Phi Zeta Research Emphasis Day

Friday, June 9, 2006
9:00: John Friary - GnRH immunocontraception for the humane control of feral cats

cats IN news today!

feral cats news :: Trap Neuter Return news :: Trap Neuter Release ::
stray cats news :: felines news :: homeless cats news ::
spay neuter news :: "no kill" news
thanks to News.Google.com!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Cat Management in Communities

A prevention AND solution action for cities, counties, communities is to immediately implement or support comprehensive cat management programs that CONCURRENTLY promote :

* spay neuter, identification, and containment for 'owned' cats and
* Trap-Neuter-RETURN-Manage (TNRM) for unowned cats.

feral cat task force westchester county ny

SPCA Announces Task Force To Help Trap Feral Cats
Westchester.com, NY - June 9, 2006
[Excerpt]
Briarcliff Manor, NY - The SPCA of Westchester has announced the creation of a Feral Cat Task Force to deal with the issues surrounding feral cats in Westchester County.
The Feral Cat Task Force is comprised of local cat rescue organizations that, in conjunction with shelter officials, will assist Westchester residents and businesses in trapping feral cats. The Task Force will also offer guidance in colony management. Task Force members include: SPCA of Westchester, Community Cats, Paws for Love, Forgotten Felines, and Just Strays.
[Excerpt]
The SPCA of Westchester endorses the trap, neuter and returns method of feral cat control. Each member of a cat colony is humanely trapped and taken to a veterinarian. The animals are evaluated, tested for feline health problems, spayed or neutered, and vaccinated for rabies. Kittens and friendly adult cats are taken into the shelter for adoption, and healthy feral cats are returned to their colonies

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Excellent! Intelligent! Collaboration ..... uniting ..... taking action ..... most humane and effective solution. Trap-Neuter-RETURN-Manage of 'unowned' cats is an important component of a community cat management program. Another part is addressing the issues of 'owned' cats. See
Cat Management in Communities

Monday, June 05, 2006

Animal lawyers use web for adoptions

Animal lawyers turn to Web for pet adoption
Attorneys defending felines finding new ways to care for cats
DAILY RECORD New Jersey - 06/5/06

Lawyers In Defense of Animals, a group based in Morristown that defends the legal rights of animals and pet owners, was facing a growing problem: they would fight in courts to delay the killing of animals --often feral cats -- but have no homes for the felines.

The attorneys devote themselves to the intricacies of animal law and advocacy, but "often had to move cats out,"too, said Linda Niedweske, a lawyer on the group's board of directors.

In 2002, for instance, a government agency was going to put down some 125 cats and three dogs living in -- and creating -- unhealthy conditions in a woman's home in Rahway. The group stepped in, essentially representing the cats, Niedweske said.

In that case the group worked with Marie Ansari, a Plainfield woman with experience in finding homes for animals. Ansari said that the group gave her the chance to help find "homes for every single one of those animals."

This April, Ansari joined the group as its rescue liaison and the only member on the board of directors who is not a lawyer. She is responsible for coordinating the medical care and adoptions of the 60 or so pets that the group has in temporary foster homes throughout the area.

One of the first things she did was list the adoptable pets online, she said. The group has already found a home for one of its animals through the Web site, Petfinder.com.

Dozens of local animal shelters -- 329 altogether in New Jersey -- use the free service to find owners for homeless pets.

"It's such a simple concept when you think about it, putting animals for adoption on the Internet," Ansari said.

Ten cats and three dogs were listed by Lawyers In Defense of Animals as of June 1. All of the group's 45 cats and 15 dogs should be listed within the next two weeks, Ansari said. She noted that the number of pets available is "an approximation that literally changes every day."

Ansari had worked with Petfinder and different animal rescue groups since 1999.

Petfinder, based in Pittstown, has facilitated more than 10 million adoptions in the United States and Canada since its creation 10 years ago, according to a press release from the site.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

early-age sterilization: Julie Levy, DVM, PhD, ACVIM

Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights (AVAR)
Directions, Spring 2006
An Interview with Julie Levy, DVM, Ph.D., ACVIM on Early-Age Sterilization Surgery

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

See also my webpage on
Early (Pediatric) Spay/Neuter!

Operation Catnip national model

National Humane Education Society Taps Operation Catnip as National Model for Humane Treatment of Feral Cats.
[Excerpt]
One of Operation Catnip's earliest and most loyal supporters has stepped forward to sponsor the free spay/neuter clinic for a full year. It's a first-ever experience for Operation Catnip and will allow our volunteers to save more furry kitty lives than ever before. The National Humane Education Society has contributed $37,000, the entire operating budget for free monthly clinics in 2006.
NHES President James Taylor explains why Operation Catnip caught the eye of his organization.

Feral Cat Caretakers Coalition Dona Baker

2006 Honorees
Citizen of the Week
Each week KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO honors a person who has made an extraordinary contribution to the community or has performed an heroic action in a time of need.
The Citizen of the Week, hosted by Jack Salvatore, airs Saturdays at 6:55 a.m., 8:55 p.m., 11:25 p.m. and Sundays at 6:55 a.m., 3:55 p.m., 10:25 p.m.

Dona Cosgrove Baker of Los Angeles
June 3, 2006
Founded the Feral Cat Caretakers Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a voice for feral cats and the people who care for them.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Permanent link for
Feral Cat Caretakers Coalition is under Resources/Links in the right sidebar!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

cats IN news today!

feral cats news :: Trap Neuter Return news :: Trap Neuter Release ::
stray cats news :: felines news :: homeless cats news ::
spay neuter news :: "no kill" news
thanks to News.Google.com!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Cat Management in Communities

A prevention AND solution action for cities, counties, communities is to immediately implement or support comprehensive cat management programs that CONCURRENTLY promote :

* spay neuter, identification, and containment for 'owned' cats and
* Trap-Neuter-RETURN-Manage (TNRM) for unowned cats.

"arbitrary and capricious" code application

Many thanks to Julie!

Resolution to a May 2005 case:


Judge favors landlord in city feral-cat case

Rules property owner must be given certificate of compliance
The Daily Star, Oneonta New York - 06/01/06
[Excerpt]
ONEONTA — A state Supreme Court judge who ruled in favor of a city property owner in a dispute over a cat shelter on Fairview Street said the city’s actions were "arbitrary and capricious."
In his decision dated May 9, Judge Kevin M. Dowd ordered the city to grant Nicholas Knoll a certificate of substantial compliance for his apartment building at 43 Fairview St., where a tenant has been operating a cat shelter for the past few years with the help of the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Knoll’s building failed a housing inspection July 30, 2003, but he was denied a certificate of substantial compliance by the Code Enforcement Office in March 2005 after making repairs on the building.
The reason for the denial, as described in a letter from the Code Enforcement Office, was because of the cat shelter on the property.
The denial was upheld May 23, 2005 by a 4-1 vote by the Housing Board of Appeals.
However, Dowd, ruling on an Article 78 proceeding initiated by Knoll’s attorney Delice Seligman of Kingston, said there were no specific municipal codes being violated by the cat shelter and therefore no reason not to grant a certificate of substantial compliance by Knoll. Article 78 proceedings are civil actions against governments or government officers.
"Instead of reading the applicable codes and determining if they applied to the feeding and sheltering of cats, in this case it was determined that the feeding and sheltering of cats was not appropriate and then support for that position was sought," Dowd said.
Dowd cites an April 15, 2005, letter from the Code Enforcement Office to Knoll: "The use of premises at 43 Fairview St. as a cat feeding center and cat shelter is dangerous and because it is dangerous it is against the law."
Dowd also weighed in on the city’s lack of a specific municipal code dealing with cat shelters.
"Anyone familiar with zoning and housing regulations knows how specific they are. This specificity provides everyone with defined guidelines. In this case, no one reading the cited sections could have any idea what feeding and sheltering of cats is permitted and what is prohibited," Dowd said.
"The inappropriate application of regulations can only be characterized as arbitrary and capricious. It is unfortunate that a situation had arisen that was not envisioned and addressed by the various applicable codes."


The original news article from May 2005:
SSPCA: Woman should continue feeding cats
Oneonta resident’s landlord says he’s willing to close shelter
Oneonta Daily Star, New York - 05/26/05
[Excerpt]
But there is no prohibition against Self owning the cats, one of Self’s supporters said.
The city code sets no limitations on the number of cats a person may have and only requires that cats that go outside be spayed or neutered.
"She has to feed the cats. They’re her cats," Patty Timoney, executive director of the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said. "It would be illegal for her to not feed the cats."
Timoney cited state Agriculture and Markets law regarding the feeding of animals.
The Housing Board reasoned that a cat feeding station or a cat shelter are not authorized uses of the property under the city zoning code. The board is also concerned about general safety issues involving stray or feral cats congregating in a residential area.
The SSPCA and the Greater Oneonta Fund for Animal Responsibility are lobbying to preserve the cat shelter and say Self has done a service to the community by removing strays from the breeding population.