North Saanich residents are being warned to keep their cats inside after a threatening letter was found in the area.
A note, addressed to ‘cat owners,’ was found posted near mailboxes in Ardmore Drive on Oct. 28 threatening to trap cats that come into the writer’s yard and to not take them into the SPCA and not returned to the owner.
The note states there are “several cats” that frequent the writer’s yard. Lesli Steeves, administrator and founder of Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing (ROAM), says because the note is so specific, anyone with cats matching the description of “a black and tan Siamese, a pure black one and a marmalade one” should keep their cats home.
|The note found posted in a North Saanich neighbourhood, which refers to cats as “beasts” and says they will be trapped. (ROAM/Facebook)|
“If you are the owner(s) of these beasts, please be warned that we do not want them pooping in our yard or stalking the birds,” reads the note, adding that Havahart traps have been set up throughout the author’s property. “If we catch any of these cats, we will not be taking them to the SPCA to be returned to you.”
The person who reported the note to ROAM said they were afraid the author of the note was planning to “kill or abandon the animals somewhere else.” Steeves says that there have been instances in the past where cats were trapped and then released in remote locations.
Don Brown, chief bylaw officer for the CRD, said it’s more often a cat owner who dumps at cat than someone dumping a stranger’s pet. Although these types of instances are difficult to investigate, Brown said if someone was caught, it would be considered a humane issue but also theft.
Brown added that there’s not much the CRD can do about the note unless someone actually saw the person who posted it.
“If someone saw them, then we’d need to have a chat,” he said, adding that there is a bylaw for cats running at large which can result in a fine of $100. “We don’t get a lot of complaints about cats, mostly about dogs.”
Steeves says it’s best if people keep their cats contained, adding that she often has to pick up dead cats from the side of the road.
“It just makes you think twice about how busy the world is these days and how tough it is for a cat to be outside,” she said, pointing out that as the days get darker cats don’t adjust their movements in order to be seen.
Steeves warns pet owners to be vigilant on Halloween night, along with New Year’s Eve, as fireworks often scare pets who can run away and put themselves in harm’s way.