Feral Cat Program To Launch in Cook County, Ill.

New legislation mandates that feral cat populations properly managed by humane societies be allowed to roam free, without the threat of euthanasia.

Posted: November 5 2007 2 a.m. EDT

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The Cook County, Ill., Board of Commissioners passed legislation last month that creates a care program for feral cats, provided that any humane society sponsors the colony and agrees to comply with the ordinance.

The legislation allows feral cats to continue living outdoors and within their colonies as long as regulations are met. The humane societies must approve caretakers who wish to oversee colonies. Caretakers will be responsible for getting the cats spayed or neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and marked to show that they belong to a sponsored colony. Markings may include tattooing or ear-tipping (clipping a small portion of the cat’s ear).

In addition, caretakers are required to observe their colony at least twice a week and make note of cats that display unusual behavior or signs of illness and must seek medical attention for cats that need it. Caretakers also must provide food and water for the cats and periodically report back to the sponsoring humane society on the condition of the colony.

Caretakers must attempt to remove any kittens born into the colony after they have been weaned to place for possible adoption. In addition, caretakers must take all reasonable steps to spay the mother cat.

When a feral cat is picked up by animal control, the officer will scan for a microchip if the cat bears markings showing that it belongs to a sponsored feral cat colony. If so, the sponsor will be notified and given three days to pick up the cat from the shelter.

A feral cat acquired by animal control that does not bear any markings signifying that it is a member of a sponsored colony may be adopted into one, as long as it is healthy.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals praised the legislation as a humane way to handle feral cat populations.

The new ordinance will take effect on Nov. 15.

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Feral Cat Program To Launch in Cook County, Ill.

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Reader Comments

Mary    Bourbonnais, IL

11/18/2008 6:30:34 PM

Fabulous!

kino    Spring Valley, CA

11/5/2007 8:47:07 PM

thanks for sharing

MARTHA    COLUMBUS, OH

11/5/2007 2:40:53 PM

IN 2001 WE WERE OVER RUN WITH CATS GIVING BIRTH.
OUR SHELTER HAD A FERAL PROGRAM THEY SUPPLIED THE TRAPS AND WE DROVE THE CATS TO BE FIXED, HAVE SHOTS, AND ALL WE HAD TO DO WAS HAVE A PLACE FOR THEM TO LIVE,WE DID NOT HAVE TO PAY A CENT. IF WE WOULD HAVE HAD TO PAY WE WOULDNT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HAVE DONE IT.
WE HAD 11 FERALS AT THE TIME. WE HAVE 6 NOW. THOSE 6 STAY CLOSE TO THEIR HOME.THE OTHER 5 WOULD GO EXPLORING. AMD LITTLE BY LITTLE THEY NEVER CAME BACK. WE WERE SORRY ABOUT THAT.
IN THE WINTER WE PUT BALES OF STRAW IN THE GARAGE ( ITS DETATCHED) AND WE HAVE STYROFOAM BOXES THE KIND THAT MEAT COMES IN (BIG ONES )SOME TIMES THREE OR FOUR CATS CAN GET IN ONE.WE HAVE SEVERAL OF THESE.AND ARE THEY EVER WARM.
WE FEED THEM, AND HAVE A HEATED WATER BOWL FOR THEM IN THE WINTER. AND CAN EVEN PET SOME OF THEM. I AM NOT SURE IF THEY OFFER THE PROGRAM HERE ANY MORE. BUT THATS WHAT ALL STATES SHOULD DO,
WE LOVE THESE CATS VERY MUCH.THEY ARE A DELIGHT.
TO THINK THESE CATS WOULD HAVE BEEN PUT TO SLEEP.
THANK YOU FOR THE ARTICLE. MARTHA

Sheryl    Casa Grande, AZ

11/5/2007 9:02:42 AM

Fantastic - wish all states and municipalities would do this!

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