Cat owners should be required to licence their pets

The City of Red Deer has a double standard when it comes to dogs and cats. Dogs must be licensed. Cats do not require licences.

The City of Red Deer has a double standard when it comes to dogs and cats.

Dogs must be licensed. Cats do not require licences.

As well, if Bowser runs loose, the fine is higher than if kitty decides to go wandering.

And now, there appears to be evidence that cat owners are not as responsible as dog owners.

At one point, my household included three dogs. The city was always kind enough to send out a reminder in December that licence renewal time was around the corner.

Over the past couple of years, all three of our dogs made their way to that place all good souls go. Even after they died, we still received notice from the city that the next year’s licence needed to be purchased. Of course, the notices stopped once I informed the city we no longer had any dogs.

Cat owners don’t get this special attention from the city, but they should.

The city only recommends that people purchase cat identification tags as a means of returning lost kitties to their owners.

The city doesn’t actually offer the cat identification tags.

They can be bought at places like Alberta Animals Services for about $10.

While wandering dogs or cats are a no-no, if you own a dog, and you don’t get a licence, the first fine is $65. If you own a cat, the fine for a first offence is only $30.

Yet it probably requires more time and effort to catch a cat than dog.

And cats can be as troublesome as loose dogs. If there’s any doubt, you’ll be reminded as you start digging up those flower beds in the not too distant future.

In Red Deer, if you have a dog, it’ll cost you $23 per licence if it’s been altered, or $53 if it hasn’t been spayed or neutered. A tomcat, on the other hand, is free to prowl the neighbourhood looking for action at no extra cost to its owner for being unaltered.

That simply doesn’t make sense, nor is it fair.

Unfortunately, apparently about half of Red Deer’s dog owners are not licensing their pets.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that, according to an Ipsos Reid survey, about 40 per cent of city dog owners don’t think they should have to license their dogs when the animal lives mostly indoors (small cat-sized breeds most likely), and a full 30 per cent think licensing shouldn’t be required at all.

They will especially think this when they realize that cat owners are not required to buy a pet licence.

The Ipsos Reid survey, conducted last fall, also appeared to show that dog owners are more responsible than cat owners.

Heaven forbid we should have a cat owner/dog owner war, but 91 per cent of dog owners have vaccinated their pet for rabies, while only 77 per cent of cat owners have done so.

And the local animal control staff say up to 90 per cent of cats they pick up have no identification, while 80 per cent of the dogs they find do have identification.

What’s with cat owners?

Maybe because the city doesn’t have a cat licensing bylaw, some of them figure they can slack off in other ways.

I’m not anti-cat. If I weren’t so allergic to them, I would have had one. I admire their independent and playful nature.

But cat owners should be required to licence their pets and, whether it’s a dog or a cat running loose, the fines should be equal.

Mary-Ann Barr is Advocate assistant city editor. She can be reached by email at barr@bprda.wpengine.com or by phone at 403-314-4332.

Just Posted

Two women rescue abandoned tarantula in Airdrie

The tarantula has a new home and Facebook followers

Red Deer woman wins Edmonton marathon

A Red Deer runner just wanted to do her best Sunday in… Continue reading

Expert panel to review supervised consumption sites in Alberta including Red Deer

Eight experts will hear from Albertans on the social and economic impacts… Continue reading

Environment groups warned saying climate change is real could be seen as partisan

OTTAWA — A pre-election chill has descended over some environment charities after… Continue reading

WATCH: ‘Lots to see and do’ at Pioneer Days in Red Deer

Sunnybrook Farm Museum is celebrating its 24th annual Pioneer Days this weekend.… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Thursday The Red Deer and District Garden Club hosts its annual Flower… Continue reading

Health: It’s safer to play baseball than hockey or football: Doc

Today, what’s the best message that parents can give their children about… Continue reading

34% of economists in survey expect a US recession in 2021

WASHINGTON — A number of U.S. business economists appear sufficiently concerned about… Continue reading

Ontario cannabis retailer returns $2.9M in CannTrust products to company

VAUGHAN, Ont. — CannTrust Holdings Inc. says the Ontario government’s cannabis retailer… Continue reading

Pipeline rupture sends 40,000 litres of oil into Alberta creek

DRAYTON VALLEY, Alta. — The Alberta Energy Regulator says a pipeline has… Continue reading

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has condemned violence in Hong… Continue reading

Turtles, butterflies and foxes: Captive breeding for endangered species growing

LANGLEY, B.C. — The turtle in my hand dangles its churning feet… Continue reading

Saskatoon Cubs win Westerns with wild extra-innings comeback

The Saskatoon Cubs showed no quit in the finals of the 18UAAA… Continue reading

Most Read