Cat spay-neuter subsidy should be part of Cornwall 2019 budget: report

In this November 2017, file photo, members of the OSPCA make a presentation to Cornwall City Council. City staff are recommending a subsidized spay-neuter program should be part of the 2019 budget, partially paid for by licencing all city cats. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – Days after a humane society spay-neuter mobile clinic came to Cornwall, the city’s administration is leaning heavily toward putting tax dollars toward the service next year.

As well, part of the money would come from putting a little metal tag on your favourite feline.

A report to city council for Tuesday’s meeting (Oct. 9) on coming up with a cat control bylaw, intends to “promote a municipally subsidized spay/neuter program as an item in the upcoming 2019 budget.”

What’s not in Bylaw Enforcement Supervisor Chris Roger’s report is how much money the city would put toward the service, given that sterilization procedures for cats cost $200 to $300 each.

Part of the cash would come from have all cat owners licence their pets, similar to what dog owners do now. Dog licences range from $20-40 a year per pet.

The idea had been floated about having a second OSPCA low-cost mobile clinic before winter conditional on the OSPCA receiving some municipal money. But that won’t happen because the clinic will not be available.

But the demand is there. Twenty cat owners, who had qualified, weren’t able to be part of the clinic on Thursday and Friday because there wasn’t enough time, according to the city report.

Cornwall has made national headlines with its cat problem. Nearly a third of all cats turned into the OSCPA end up on the front door of the Cornwall shelter.

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