Florida County Considers Cat Ownership Limits

Collier County, in Floridas northeast panhandle, may limit to three the number of cats that can be owned.

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Collier County, Fla., is mulling over a proposal to limit the number of cats that a homeowner can have to three.

County government spokeswoman Camden Smith said the idea came up after having to deal with a woman who owned 30 cats. Technically, there was nothing the county could do to make the woman get rid of some of the cats, since there was no law on the books.

The countys Domestic Animal Services Advisory Board, which makes recommendations to the county commissioners, will discuss the idea at its next meeting, scheduled for May 16.

Homeowners are already prohibited from owning more than three dogs; however that regulation doesn't apply to puppies under six months in age.

Jan Rich, of the organization For the Love of Cats, Inc., a no-kill shelter that looks after and neuters stray and feral cats, said she's encouraging cat lovers to express their disapproval at the advisory board meeting against the proposal.

Rich said that her worry is that the regulation would punish people who took in stray cats. Currently, anyone found breaking county laws against harboring too many or banned animals -- such as livestock -- in homes faces a $105 fine for a first violation, $255 for a second and $405 for a third.

Posted: May 2, 2006, 5:00 a.m. EST

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Reader Comments

christine    wilmington, DE

10/4/2008 6:31:39 PM

These public officials are getting more fascistic every day. They are suppose to work for us not for them to dictate every minute detail of our lives to us. They can't enforce the laws already on the books, but they sure know how to make up new ones to punish decent citizens.
BTW, at one time I have fourteen cats, plus a few strays and ferals I took care of and I did take excellent care of all of them. Most of my cats are dead now, due to old age and natural causes, but they all lived over double digit ages.
I am sure if there is a cruelty or neglect problem, there are laws on the books that can address those issues handily.
I guess the next thing, and you can bet your sweet life it will happen, is how many children you can have, how much money you are allowed to earn, how many cars you may own, how much electricity you are allowed to use in your own home, well you get the drift...

brenda    dickson, TN

3/2/2008 8:26:04 PM

I am against setting limits on cat ownership for responsible pet owners. If there are limits then how can we help the many needy cats that needs homes.
As long as an owner takes proper care of cats, has them spayed or neutered, takes them to the vet, feeds and water them and gives them a good home then they should be allowed to keep them. The ones that don't take proper care of their animals should not have them

Linda    Zolfo Springs, FL

1/14/2008 1:45:45 AM

I oppose this law about cat limits because of the way it would restrict cat lovers from rescuing and caring for animals. I don't believe in hoarding of animals and certainly believe we have laws against it if animals are in any way abused. Think of all the stray cats that would be on the streets if not for these wonderful rescuers who take them in and give them a better life. Lets keep the laws we have within reason and enforce them, not make people give up their family members (yes cats) because of a number. I know there are organizations in favor of this so lets keep them out of Florida.

Nicole    Daytona, FL

12/12/2007 3:51:02 AM

That it soo wrong. Who would be the one to say this many is too many? How can you judge? What is the difference between 3 and 4? There has been a similar story in a nearby town by me in Florida, the lady was taking care of I don't know maybe a hundred, but they came and went and she fed them and she had a lot of land that they could roam...I can see how some may say it's too much, and I heard neighbors complained about there urine smell and such, not seeing it is hard to imagine. I can see perhaps if there was a problem, that the living conditions weren't kept to a certain standard...that it begins to bother neighbors...but do not punish someone who wants to take care of there 4 cats or however few or many it may be, by limiting there love for these animals.

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