The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

February 12, 2013

Northumberland Borough Council to adopt policy on stray animals

NORTHUMBERLAND — The Borough Council’s Rules Committee Chairman Ty Sees, also a council member, released on Monday a 13-page draft of an ordinance that addressed the problem of nuisance animals such as feral cats running amuck on neighborhood streets.

The proposed plan is still a work in progress, Sees said. “But it’s the framework for a comprehensive approach to all animals in the borough. When we are ready with our final version, it will establish, among other things, a procedure for the disposition of licensed, unlicensed and threatening animals, and prescribe penalties for violation of those procedures.

The ordinance will address not only dogs and cats, but also birds and other pets such as fish, and common pet rodents such as gerbils and hamsters.

As for the feral cat problem in the district, “We want to do the right thing,” Sees said. “The proposed plan will involve a trap-neuter-release of stray cats option, but we will also not exclude the possible euthanasia of cats as a last resort. Let me stress, we really don’t want to do that.”

The object of regulations on animals is to prevent them from contracting disease, to prevent the spread of disease of any kind, which animals may contract, and protect the safety of residents, including children, from animals that may be diseased. The safety of property will also be addressed by the ordinance.

The borough will also propose that “every person owning, keeping or harboring  ... any cat over 120 days old to procure a license from the borough. The ordinance will also require that owners who allow their cats outdoors have their license tag attached to a collar “about the neck.”

Sees emphasized that the ordinance will be available to the public for comment when the final draft has been presented to council for discussion.

He could not say at this time when that might be.

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