The Daily Item
Under the pretense of getting rid of feral cats, Northumberland Borough Council is changing its dog ordinance to an animal ordinance and will require the licensing of cats. Apparently this is in an attempt to rid the borough of all cats as the resulting hassle and cost will likely deter many from having cats as pets. Numerous older residents enjoy the company of cats; however this additional burden to have them as pets may be just too much to absorb on their fixed income.
Owners or keepers of cats will be required to pay a license fee to be determined by resolution which can be changed at will by the borough council. Cats allowed outside must wear the required license tag. The licensing will be for a three-year period, but apparently the firm hired to handle the licensing wants to make more money, so it’s to be done every year.
The requirement for cats allowed outside to wear a license could be done without a lot of expense for anyone. Simply require a tag with the owner’s information. Tags could be made cheaply and attached to the cat’s collar. What difference would it make if the same tag is worn by more than one cat over a period of time? If the object is to differentiate feral cats from pets, a simple tag would do that.
Over the years we’ve had numerous cats as pets. All of them would have been feral cats if we hadn’t decided to take them in as pets. I’m sure there are numerous other residents who’ve done the same. This ordinance will make us think twice about doing this in the future. I won’t be surprised if the initial result of this ordinance is the opposite of ridding the borough of feral cats because people won’t be as willing to adopt the strays.
Thomas I. Propst,