In July 2021, the City Commission approved an amended animal ordinance to address the increasing number of complaints regarding stray cats. These concerns include noise, sanitary issues, child safety, and the growing stray cat population afflicting certain areas of the city.
Over the past several years, Code Enforcement has worked to deal with these issues in a humane and compassionate manner. Thetrap, neuter/spay and release (TNR) methodhas been utilized, but with limited success due to the feeding and harboring of these animals by some residents.
The amended ordinance provides Code Enforcement personnel with additional tools to address health and safety issues created by animals. As in the past, the first enforcement step is education. The second step involves working with local partners to: (1) humanely impound the animal(s); (2) have the animal(s) trapped, spayed/neutered; (3) released/adopted if possible. Neither the original or amended ordinances allow stray animals to be euthanized, except as determined by a licensed veterinarian.
A total of 100 cats have gone through the TNR program since its inception two years ago. This program is ongoing and is determined by the current feral and stray cat population.
The amended ordinance does not change the number of household pets permitted (up to three cats/dogs). This has been in effect for decades.
Please remember to not feed stray cats, and get your cats spayed and neutered. If you have noticed a problem regarding stray cats, contact Code Enforcement Officer Susan Sanderson (989) 779-5104 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.