City Bans Pet Trapping

A proposed ordinance to allow pet trapping is voted down.

Posted: March 01, 2007, 5 a.m. EST

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The City Council in Edmonds, Wash., has voted 4-3 against a proposed ordinance that would have legalized and regulated pet trapping. The Council then ordered that an ordinance be drafted forbidding intentional pet trapping.

The impetus behind the proposed ordinance was a neighborhood dispute about a cat. A couple claimed a neighbor’s pet cat named Turbo had killed a pet quail they’d released in their yard and had threatened wild birds frequenting their bird feeders.

The couple then captured Turbo to make a point, luring him into a cage with cat food. They kept the cat for 24 hours before turning him over to Edmonds Animal Control.

Current Edmonds and Washington state ordinances neither forbid nor permit temporary pet trapping. To clarify city codes, city officials drew up the ordinance regulating pet trapping.

The proposed ordinance stated that anyone who traps an animal trespassing on private property must notify animal control within 12 hours. It also forbids “applying unreasonable force or inflicting more pain or harm to said animal than the situation reasonably requires.”

During a public meeting on the matter, Edmonds Council Member Deanna Dawson said the ordinance amounted to a sanction of pet trapping by the city. Council members Ron Wambolt, Michael Plunkett and Mauri Moore joined Dawson in the 4-3 rejection of the proposed ordinance.

On Dawson’s recommendation, the council unanimously requested a new ordinance be created forbidding intentional pet trapping. Complainants instead could notify animal control about
nuisance pets.

The proposal is expected to be finished in the next several weeks and will face a public hearing before a formal vote by the Council.

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Reader Comments

Debora    Payette, ID

2/13/2011 6:11:15 PM

I had several cats disappear. All where fixed, and immunized. We walked the neighborhood and asked if anyone seen our kittys. Of course no one had. A day ago I went looking for our latest addition of 6 months. I heard meowing, knocked on the neighbors door, no answer, went into their back yard and retained my kitten. Called the cops and they said he could trap ferral cats. What should I do.

Lillian    Eden, TX

11/9/2009 9:43:13 AM

Animal Control Officers can do this job. However as a service to the citizens, post a piece in the paper that the officers are putting out traps to catch wild cats. People can keep an eye for their own that might end up in a trap. Attitude is 90% of any job. Everyone CAN work together.

Kiff    Albuquerque, NM

3/2/2007 12:28:39 AM

"Pet" trapping is a very important tool for feral cat control. I have a colony of lovely feral cats living in the vicinty of my home. Over the past few months, I have trapped almost all of them for local spay/neuter/vaccination clinics. There will be no more sick or dead kittens this spring, and no more overpopulation, and no more cute little kitties I feel compelled to adopt in addition to the six I already have. Nope - I've spayed all the females!

If it were illegal to trap cats, I would not be able to save their lives and prevent overpopulation. Well, I'd probably do it anyway. Feeding feral cats is technically illegal here in Albuquerque, but I'm not going to stop...

I'd say, if you live in an area where trapping cats is illegal, but you still want to engage in a trap/neuter/return control program, just buy your own traps and keep it "on the lowdown" - hide the traps in your bushes, your backyard, etc...

People who trap and detain cats to "teach their neighbors a lesson" are pretty weird. I'd be careful of such a person, and hold them suspect if any of my cats ever disappeared. They should be forbidden from trapping pets.

And don;t bug your neighbors. Just keep your kitties indoors. I live in a small house with 6 indoor-only cats. No problem.

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