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Northern Ky. city weighing cat licensing

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) - It may not be a purr-fect solution to
slowing an increase in cats making their way to a northern Kentucky
animal shelter, but Dan Evans is willing to try.
Evans, who runs the Kenton County Animal Shelter in Covington,
is pitching the idea of licensing and animal control regulations
for cats.
"We need to let people know we are taking in 1,000 more cats
than dogs," Evans said. "We need to bring the issue of cats
roaming at large to the forefront."
The Kentucky Enquirer reported that, as of Dec. 1, 3,053 cats
that came into the shelter in 2009, compared with 2,192 dogs. Only
29 of those cats were reclaimed by their owners, compared with 462
dogs.
The shelter adopted out another 276 cats this year. The rest
were euthanized. Most of the 3,000-plus cats each year that come
into the shelter don't get claimed.
Evans and shelter volunteer Janet Scanlon of Fort Wright have
approached the Covington City Commission about adopting regulations
for cats similar to the one the Cincinnati suburb and many other
cities have in place for dogs.
Scanlon and Evans want Covington to adopt an ordinance similar
to Kenton County Fiscal Court's ordinances that require cat
licenses and prohibit the owner of any vertebrate animal to let
that animal run at large. They will also go to other large cities
in Kenton County with the same plea.
In Kenton County's ordinances, failure of cat owners to license
cats or keep them off the street results in a fine.
Stray cats are held three days before being put up for adoption
so owners can claim them. They can stay at the shelter for a month.
If people are required to get a license for their cats, they may
be less likely to discard them, Scanlon said. Too many see cats as
disposable pets, she said.
"I want to bring the level and status of cats where it should
be," Scanlon said.
Scanlon calls the summer months "cat season" when people bring
in litters. July had the most cats processed this year, with 416.
The shelter can accommodate 100 cats and 100 dogs at a time.
"They bring in cats by the boxes," Scanlon said.
Evans and Scanlon may have an ally in City Commissioner Sherry
Carran, who hopes to get such an ordinance considered in early
2010.
"It is very hard to see the cats roaming around, not cared for,
being euthanized," Carran said.
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Information from: The Kentucky Enquirer, http://www.nky.com

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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