Letter writer concerned about Antioch’s ordinance banning feeding of cats
In January, angry animal advocates packed the Antioch City Council Chambers to vehemently object to a ban on feeding community cats on public property and the requirement of a permit for households that own more than five cats. An annual application and fee of $108 is required for multiple pets and includes an agreement to have a home inspection if asked. The City Council delayed implementation and requested that the ordinance be discussed at a future meeting.
I have been told that the item is on the agenda for March 25 and the staff is coming back with the same recommendation with regard to a ban and a pet limit.
As an alternative to a feeding ban which has been ineffective in other communities, HARP and several organizations have proposed a community endorsed Trap/Neuter/Return (T/N/R) program in partnership with the city. No funding is being requested from the city. T/N/R has been going on for ten years. The groups humanely trap the cats, transport them for surgeries and immunizations, and recover them before they are returned to their original spot. Tame cats and kittens are placed for adoption. T/N/R decreases the number of kittens born and keeps the population from exploding.
One of the reasons the situation has gotten out of hand in Antioch is that an overwhelming number of cats and dogs are being abandoned by irresponsible people. This is a community problem and should be addressed. Pet abandonment will not be solved by a feeding ban.
Karen A. Kops, President, Homeless Animals Response Program (HARP)
President, Spay/Neuter Impact Program (SNIP)