I had no intention of addressing this slice of your impression of what I had as an agenda at the council meeting. But a few people who have witnessed my experiences and efforts and also have been impacted said they would be furious if that was said about their efforts to bring forward information for responsible cat ownership. I had critized the non gender inclusive language used in an Our View article recently. I was waiting for the response Animal Control Officer to invite information or his presence at the meeting. I feel very strongly there is a need for change as not taking any action impacts on the quality of people and my own life, continues to endorse no responsibility or consequences to the people who are affecting the “peace and enjoyment of one’s property.”
The issues common theme of the night was on nuisance behavior of deer, racoons and cats. Your statement in no way addresses that there are solutions for the cat problem. On a larger scale they rummage through garbage and in addition to the soiling of people’s gardens, their use of playground spaces creates another health risk.
There was a unanimous vote by council to clarify what “nuisance behavior” is and to define that in the bylaw. This will include cats roaming at large from their own home without the permission of citizens. In my neighborhood five households at minimum are affected by the actions of two cats belonging to one household. The reason given to me by the cat owner, “my cat doesn’t like to use its litter box.” There is an available solution — invisible fencing which is likely less than the cost for medical care if the cat is injured.
I forgot the most important fact. I have been working with CRD Animal Control for six months in their efforts to elevate the response from warning, to fine with photographic proof, to pounding by trapping and fined again. Final step would be the costly appearance in court with $10,000 fine maximum for continued violations as allowed by the current bylaws.
I took the intiative to see if Sooke can get more teeth into the bylaw. But education is a much needed step as well around nuisance cat behavior. One can work around any laws if they have no conscience and willing co-participants but it doesn’t mean it’s a waste of time to pursue this.