The Lee County Health Department is proposing a “Community Cats Provision” to the Lee County Animal Control Ordinance that will include a “trap/neuter/return” policy to control the area’s booming feral cat population and reduce the risk of rabies exposure to air-breathing humans such as yourselves.
The Health Department held its first of two public forums on June 23 (the second is scheduled for July 14) to provide opportunity for public input on the proposed provision. According to a draft of the proposal (DOWNLOAD PDF HERE), rabies became more of a concern to county officials after a rabid skunk and cat were found in Lee County in 2014 “on either side of a highly populated commercial center and a couple of community cat colonies.”
The provision would allow Animal Control workers to trap stray cats, vaccinate them for rabies and other feline diseases and neuter them before returning them to their “colony.” The mark that the cat has been vaccinated, vets will “tip” the cat’s ear (cut it off at the tip). More importantly, the provision will call for the establishment of a registration process where cat-lovers and those involved in various groups engaged in TNR will work closely with Animal Control to make rabies laws and rules public and to help place “community cats” in homes. Should the animal shelter receive a “tipped” cat, the “Nominated Community Cat Sponsoring Organization” will notify community cat caregivers of the situation.
Responsibilities of Community Cat Care Givers will include:
- Cats must be trapped using humane trapping techniques.
- Cats must be assessed by a veterinarian and deemed healthy at the time of spay/neuter surgery.
- Cats must be spay or neutered.
- Cats must be vaccinated for rabies and FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia).
- Rabies vaccines must be kept up to date for each community cat.
- Cats must be ear tipped and microchipped.
- Cat bites must be reported to Lee County Animal Control or the Health Director.
- Community cat care givers assume post-bite rabies prophylaxis liability for the cats that they feed and/or shelter that are not kept up to date on their rabies vaccines unless the nominated community cat sponsoring organization has assumed that liability backed by liability insurance.
- Cat colonies may not be located on state or local government property unless a waiver is issued.
- Community cat care givers must obtain written permission from commercial or private property owner(s) to place community cats on their property. Copies of the written permissions must be kept on record at the Lee County Animal Shelter.
(complete list on the downloadable PDF)
Questions about the provision can be sent to Lee County Health Director Terrell Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org
And now, the reason you really came here … Cat Memes.