Cornwall to finalize cat licencing, subsidized sterilization program

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – Cornwall City Council is expected to approve the final changes to its animal control bylaw on Monday to licence household cats and control the feline overpopulation in the municipality.

In a report to council, Acting Chief Building Official and Bylaw Division Manager Charles Bray says the registry would mirror what is already in place for dogs.

There will be an exemption for rescue groups – called Approved Fostering Organizations – that capture feral cats and have them de-sexed.

As for dealing with the city’s overpopulation of cats, Bray suggests that the city offer a long term subsidized spay and neuter program. The city earmarked $40,000 in this year’s budget for the program.

“Previous research has shown that such a program would have to be in place for a minimum of 5-10 years to be effective,” Bray writes.

The report makes no mention of some of the more highly controversial proposals from Bray’s predecessor, Chris Rogers, who had a “feeding is owning” proposal to deal with the feral cat problem.

In August, city councillors conceded that enforcing that would be tough.

The whole feral or “community cat” issue started three years ago when residents of Bergin Avenue brought a petition to city council seeking help with the amount of stray cats on their street.