June 23rd, 2024

Committee discusses cat bylaw

By Tim Kalinowski on May 27, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDtkalinowski@lethbridgeherald.com

The Community Safety Standing Policy Committee of city council held a wide ranging discussion during Wednesday’s meeting on what it would take to bring in a cat bylaw in Lethbridge which might limit the number of cats a homeowner could possess to something in the neighbourhood of six felines in total.
The discussion was prompted by a submission to the SPC from community member Josh Russomanno who said he has been having issues with the Last Chance Cat Ranch, and which, he suggests, has more than 100 rescue cats on their property near his home.
He said he did not understand why the City has no current cat bylaw in place to limit the numbers of cats that can be in one home just as it does for dogs. The City currently only allows two dogs per home, or with a special licence permit up to four maximum.
SPC members referred the question to City staff.
City of Lethbridge regulatory services manager Duane Ens reported previous councils had considered two such proposed bylaws over the years which limited the number of cats one homeowner could have, but ultimately failed to pass either one after receiving a lot of community feedback around the issue of grandfathering, which would allow those homeowners with more than the allowed number before the bylaw passed to keep the ones they have– which would not address Russomanno’s concerns. There were also mixed results reported in jurisdictions elsewhere, Ens confirmed, on the effectiveness of cat bylaws, and the large costs involved in enforcing and administering those bylaws.
“It’s not a quick fix,” he stated, “and it is something we would have to go back to the public to see what they want, and see what kind of resources we would need given what a new bylaw would look like.”
Part of Russomanno’s concerns also dealt with the issue of what he termed “deplorable conditions” he saw at the Cat Ranch that were “not liveable.”
Senior bylaw officer Dave Henley said the City had dealt unproductively with the Cat Ranch directly on numerous occasions, and had investigated the site.
“There is a difference between this residential situation and a cat-hoarding situation,” he stated. “I have dealt with both, and this is not that. The residential property we are talking about today doesn’t fall in anywhere near the category of an animal hoarding residence or disorder. What I mean by the difference of those is this property is maintained, the cats are cared for, they do clean the property up. They made adjustments to have the cats have as good a residence as possible, and maintain the property to a degree that is consistent with the houses in a one block radius; aside from the number of cats on the property.”
The Community Safety Standing Policy Committee received the submission from Russomanno for information, but Coun. Blaine Hyggen did promise to bring a motion forward to city council that City staff begin exploring options for a new cat bylaw, and to bring those options back to city council for decision no later than July 31.
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Don’t we have better things to discuss?! What’s next, too many Canada Geese at Henderson Lake?!


Geese are wild animals not living in a residential house


what a dolt of a complaint. if the cat ranch were a hoarding situation, then indeed act. however, that is not the case. they are picking up after losers that discard pets, and losers that do not fix their pets.
so much more important to whine about – even in this case, the whining should be about why lethbridge has so many dumped cats. why do we allow people to trap? nothing good comes of it; it is ultimately cruel, as the trapped cats get hurt by haters, and otherwise get dumped far from home…only to endure hat too often amounts to a bitterly cruel end. the whining could be focused on figuring out how to ensure all cat and dog owners can affordably cover the cost of neuter/spay; finding a few more dollars for the good hearted people and orgs that sacrifice a lot to help abandoned or tossed pets…noka, paws, cat ranch, the humane society, (and less so, the lethbridge shelter, which is not as good as the others – but which gets the most funding by far…a classic case of who you know, and not what you know).
we have helped, through noka, place too many cats to count anymore in just the 15 years we have lived in our home. it is never ending the hurting cats that come our way…and it is a hassle to feed and tend to and trap and deliver. it is a matter of heart as much as a matter of fact. pet care must be taught in school – it is an exercise in empathy and reality. not at all saying people must have pets; just saying that if one is going to have them, it is best they know how to care and what they are in for.