The Town of Penhold is creating its first cat bylaw to encourage responsible pet ownership, Mayor Dennis Cooper says.
The town now requires owners to purchase a one-time $10 licensing fee for every cat.
However, the proposed bylaw includes an annual licensing fee of $50 for cats that are not neutered or spayed and $25 for altered felines.
The document also limits the number of cats allowed in each dwelling to three.
Town council is considering amendments to the dog bylaw as well.
“What we want to do is try to put something together that will help protect what I refer to as a family member . . .” Cooper said.
“We want to make sure that we can have effective cat and dog bylaws in our town so that people understand they have to be responsible pet owners.”
Proposed licensing fees are the same for dogs and cats, as is the $200 fine for failing to obtain a licence. Both bylaws received first reading in September.
“We have numerous dog owners who have said, ‘We have to license our dogs. Why don’t other people have to license their cats?’ ” Cooper said.
The proposed dog bylaw limits the number of dogs permitted in each residences to two.
About 70 people attended a community breakfast held on Oct. 22 to discuss the bylaws.
Cooper said some residents voiced concerns about the annual licensing fee and the limit of pets. The cat bylaw does include a grandfather clause that will allow someone to have more than three cats if they owned them prior to the adoption of the bylaw.
The documents are “written in pencil” so far and Cooper said council is open to input and feedback from the community.
Annual licensing, however, will help the town keep accurate numbers of the pets in town, and the fee will cover expenses related to printing licenses as well as a possible increase in the number of hours that the animal control officer works, Cooper said.
The cat and dog bylaws are going before Penhold town council on Monday for further readings.
– copyright Red Deer Advocate