Friday, July 14, 2006

Former Coal-Mining Town More Progressive Than Windsor?
I just read a news article announcing that the town of Hazleton, PA (a place I know cuz I've been there), recently found a way to restrict immigration by requiring all legal documents to be written in English.

Aside from being impressed that this relatively small town could get its poop in a group to pass this law (4-1), I immediately thought of Windsor, and how we're not even able to develop ordinances to deal with the cats-at-large situation we've got going on.

Both papers in town have run articles about residents who are upset with all the cats that just roam through neighborhoods. One woman even found a cat corpse in her window well! Imagine how that animal suffered, especially in this searing heat we've been experiencing. That cat probably cooked from the inside. Other residents complain of finding cat poop in their sandboxes (been there) and on their lawns (been there, too). And what does our amazingly unenlightened police chief have to say? "What do you want, cats on leashes?"

Yes! Cats on leashes would be one option. A quick search on the Internet brings up cat ordinances from towns all across America. How is it those towns can devise guidelines and plans, but ours can't? Some towns require cats over the age of six months to be spayed and neutered. Others require leashes, nearly all require registration and collars. Cats that are allowed to roam freely are picked up by animal control, and owners are required to pay an impound fee if they want their pet back.

All of these laws make sense; surely Windsor can come up with something. Free-roaming cats are more than a nuisance. They can become dangerous because they carry and spread numerous diseases. With all the children this town is home to, do you want diseased cats running around? And let's look at it from the cat's perspective for a moment: The life of a free-roaming cat is shorter and harder than the life of one who is treated as a real pet (meaning, kept safe at home; well-fed; generally taken care of).

When people acquire pets, they assume an inherent responsibility for their well-being and safety. Let's hold them up to that responsibility. We wouldn't allow parents to let their babies and toddlers run through the streets, poop in neighbors' yards, or climb up someone's screen door. Why is it we allow pets to do that?


Jen said...

The cat issue seems to bother everyone except those that have free-roaming cats. Every vet I've spoken to agrees that cats should be kept indoors or be supervised when outdoors. This is an issue that I tried to get the town board, police dept., etc. to listen to 10 years ago, but they thought I was crazy to suggest that cat owners follow the same rules that are set forth for dog owners. So, my crazy self has had to clean cat messes from my garden, flower beds and even out of my garage. Not to mention the sandbox that my children played in. I think the time has come to bring this issue before the board once again. Maybe if there are enough people fed up, we can get some new rules implemented.

Anonymous said...

Not only free-roaming cats, but even leashed dogs! There are several doggy-do bags along the trail system here in Windsor and people STILL won't clean up after their dogs. Dare I say that Windsor pet-owners don't give a s***?!! Sorry, couldn't resist...