Does Strathcona County need a cat bylaw?
Some people in the area think so, said county mayor Rod Frank.
"That's basically a concern that arose on the campaign trail.... I got a lot of public input on concern about there not being a cat bylaw."
Partly in response to these concerns, Frank is asking Strathcona County administration to look into the issue. At Mar. 27's council meeting, he filed a notice of motion for staff to develop a report on issues related to implementing a possible cat bylaw.
"I think it's time to take a fresh look at the issue. Whether or not a cat bylaw is workable, whether or not it's needed, how it works in other communities. And whether or not Strathcona County should be pursuing something like that. So we're at the information stage right now," added Frank.
Citizens brought several cat-related concerns to Frank's attention while he was campaigning. Allergies, feral cats, and damage to birds and gardens were all among the problems mentioned. Frank is still hearing from people through e-mails and phone calls.
According to Frank, not all citizens think a bylaw is necessary.
"On the other side of the fence, there's people that say the cat bylaw isn't needed. By and large cat owners are responsible, and that it's not really enforceable. So there's two sides to the coin."
The potential bylaw could cover a range of things, Frank said, including making sure cats are licensed and that complaints about problem felines are properly dealt with.
"Really, it's all on the table."
The cat bylaw issue will come back to council on Apr.10.
"I expect a recommendation will be made or at least different options will be made available from administration to council."