Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter
From 11 July 2002
City Council Passes Emergency Cat Ordinance Deadly To Felines.
UPDATE 6/29/02: Cats slaughtered before 5-day waiting period; Fleas are
considered a death sentence.
Akron strays caught by animal police, killed
Michael Sangiacomo, Plain Dealer Reporter
Akron animal wardens, enforcing a new law banning free-roaming felines, have killed 43 of the 53 cats and kittens rounded up in the first three days.
That drew sharp criticism yesterday from Deanna Christenson, head of Citizens for Humane Animal Practices. She said some were killed within hours of being brought to the Summit County Animal Shelter. John Hoffman, Akron's customer service administrator, does not dispute the numbers, but said all the cats picked up were strays and had medical problems such as fleas, ringworm or distemper.
"The true lesson here is that anyone in Akron who cares about their cat had
better get it an identification tag if it goes outside," said Christenson.
"Stray cats don't have a chance, even though other cities, like Cleveland,
are having success reducing the population with a spay-neuter-release
Before the ordinance took effect Tuesday, Hoffman said that cats would be
held for three days to see if they would be claimed by their owners. After
that, they would be put up for adoption for two days and killed on the third.
"That applies to cats we believe are owned by someone," Hoffman said. "All
these cats were strays and had health problems and were put down quickly."
Christenson wondered how the city knew that the cats were strays. "These cats are being killed within hours of being picked up," said Christenson. "How do they know they are not pets if they don't hold them for three days until the
owners miss them? "The county is saying they have cage stress. Well, of
course they have cage stress. What animal would not? And what animal that
spends any time outside would not have fleas?"
Hoffman said based on this week's actitivies, the number of cats captured and
killed would likely be higher than the original estimate of 3,500 per year.
Source: ©2002 The Plain Dealer
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