West Virginia Considers Stray Cat Legislation

Bill would enable counties to pass ordinances to corral loose felines.

Posted: January 26, 2007, 5 a.m. EST

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A bill has been proposed in the West Virginia House of Delegates that could enable county commissions throughout the state to enact ordinances to limit the number of stray cats in their areas.

The bill, HB 2096, was introduced by Delegate Richard Browning, D-Wyoming on Jan. 12. It would permit commissioners to “enact ordinances prohibiting cats from running at large.”

Currently, there’s no statewide law allowing animal control authorities to round up stray and feral cats, but if HB 2096 is approved and enacted by county commissioners, animal control officers would be able to pick up cats as they now pick up stray dogs.

The bill would authorize county dog wardens or others to seize and impound cats and require notice to owners of impounded cats and make owners of cats causing damage while running loose liable for the damage.

If the bill becomes law, it could mean financial and other challenges for animal control officials in some counties, which would be responsible for not only collecting, but housing the animals.

It’s possible that in some counties, more animal control officers would have to be hired, and extra facilities would need to be built to contain the animals. Also, the felines might have to be contained in a separate area from dogs in cat-specific kennels.

The full bill can be read at the West Virginia state legislature website.

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Reader Comments

al    culloden, WV

2/16/2015 2:41:27 PM

this law should keep shelters from just murdering healthy animals for no earthly reason.according to this only animals with no possible recovery are to be euthanized.

§ 7-10-5. Destruction of animals
Any humane officer or animal shelter lawfully may humanely destroy or cause to be humanely destroyed any animal in a manner consistent with the provisions of section four of this article when, in the judgment of the humane officer or director or supervisor of an animal shelter and upon the written certificate of a regularly licensed veterinary surgeon, the animal appears to be injured, disabled or diseased past recovery or the animal is unclaimed.

Acts 1901, c. 4, § 6; Acts 1919, c. 118, § 14e; Acts 1923, c. 47, § 14e; Acts 1989, c. 51; Acts 2001, c. 8, eff. 90 days after April 16, 2001.

al    culloden, WV

2/16/2015 2:38:25 PM

there is a law on the books pertaining to murdering animals. and here it is. supposed to have a vet sign off on animal killing. TNR works well if only given a chance.
§ 7-10-5. Destruction of animals

Any humane officer or animal shelter lawfully may humanely destroy or cause to be humanely destroyed any animal in a manner consistent with the provisions of section four of this article when, in the judgment of the humane officer or director or supervisor of an animal shelter and upon the written certificate of a regularly licensed veterinary surgeon, the animal appears to be injured, disabled or diseased past recovery or the animal is unclaimed.

Acts 1901, c. 4, § 6; Acts 1919, c. 118, § 14e; Acts 1923, c. 47, § 14e; Acts 1989, c. 51; Acts 2001, c. 8, eff. 90 days after April 16, 2001.

Joy    Wheeling, WV

3/18/2013 10:57:32 AM

There should be some kind of ordinance for stray animals that are nuisance to community living.

Vicki    Andrews, NC

1/26/2007 11:45:38 AM

This is where a compassionate organization like Alley Cat Allies would have fertile ground. the policy of Trap, Neuter, and Release would cause a significant reduction in the number of stray and feral cats roaming around West Virginia. If these cats are picked up and sent to shelters, they will most probably be euthanized.

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