Residents Upset Over Change To OKC Stray Cat Ordinance

Wednesday, June 21st 2017, 12:56 pm
By: Karl Torp

There's a cat fight brewing over a proposed city ordinance

Animal welfare is trying to reduce the cat population, but neighbors would lose one of their rights under the current proposal.

Under the city’s current community cats program, people can trap and deliver a feral cat to animal welfare.

The cats are spayed and neutered, and then returned to the neighborhood where they were found, unless the person who delivered the animal objects.

“They are getting poisoned and shot in the neighborhoods,” said Claudia Ayers who lives near Lake Overholser.

For years, she has been trapping cats near the lake and delivering them to animal welfare with instructions not to return the animal.

“I would like the unwanted cats to become the responsibility of the shelter. That’s what the taxpayers pay the shelter for,” said Ayers.

Under the new proposal, neighbors wouldn't have the "Do Not Return" option if the cat isn't adopted.

“It’s good for our shelter because it won't be euthanizing as many cats,” said Animal Welfare Superintendent Jon Gary.

Gary said cats wouldn't be returned to places where they could be abused if city council approves the new ordinance on July 5.

Gary said spay, neuter and return has already been hugely successful at local lakes where cat colonies have been popular.

Ayers credits the success to her cat deliveries which haven’t been returned to her neighborhood.

“Why put the animal back where it won’t be cared for?  Abuse will increase,” said Ayers, who feels in some case euthanasia is a better option than returning a cat to where they can be abused or struggle to survive.