Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Leash law--for cats?!?!?!

My parents live about 1200 miles from me. I moved when I got married and have been living away from them and my hometown friends for almost 22 years now. I enjoy the times we visit, either in person or on the phone. We catch up on family things, news from the neighborhood, and all of the concerns and curiosities in between.

I visited with my mom this morning for about an hour about the usual various and sundry things. One thing she did mention, though, has me a bit on-edge. I thought that a public blog would be a perfect place to vent my frustrations and get others' views on this subject.

It seems a few weeks ago my mother heard a knock on the door. A man from animal control was there to inform her of the leash law for cats in their fair city. It seems he was driving by and saw my parents' cat (neutered, licensed, and current on all shots and paperwork, by the way) on their DOORSTEP and stopped to offer an official warning. He told her she had to take the paperwork, etc. to the courthouse to prove this cat was "legal". If he (or any other AC representative) saw the cat outside and not on a leash, he would have no choice but to impound the cat. Another woman had her cat impounded FROM her front porch. They came onto her property and took her cat.

My mother was quite upset, as was I. A cat on a leash? And this isn't exactly a thriving metropolis we are talking about. What right did that man have to come on my mother's porch to get the cat (the cat had been laying there, soaking up the sun). Cats are not meant to be on a leash or completely indoors, in my opinion. My parents' cat is a rescue--a stray--and he goes stir crazy if he stays in all day. He wants to climb & run! They usually let him out for a few hours during the day and have him in all night and the balance of the day. He doesn't terrorize the neighbors. He doesn't terrorize the local animals. He cannot procreate. I don't see the problem.

I have found some other nuggets of information about their town's animal control laws. No animal can be left outside (tethered or even loose in a fenced yard) unless directly supervised from inside or outside the home. You cannot leave an animal outside in your fenced yard for longer than two hours. An animal control officer went to my parents' neighbors' home at 1:00 in the morning! to tell her her dog was barking in her backyard. Her dog was inside and not barking, obviously, but the officer wanted her to go to the backyard with him to "investigate". This woman is in her 80's, on oxygen full-time, is recovering from a broken back, and is widowed...there was no way she was going anywhere with this strange man at that time of night, no matter what his credentials!

What do you think about leash laws for cats? Do you think city officials have the right to come onto your property for a leash law violation, if there is no imminent danger?


  1. RIDICULOUS!!! Poor Helen... What was he thinking being so rude to an old woman?? Good grief! What are they going to do??

  2. Couldn't believe it, so I checked the web page for your parent's city...YIKES, IT IS TRUE!!! What kind of freakish law requires people to put their cats on leashes? Ok, if you had a siberian tiger I could understand it, but a domesticated house cat? Makes me shudder!

  3. Does this city have nothing better to spend its money and time on than going to houses of the elderly and harrassing them in the middle of the night investigating mysterious dog barking? Or forcing them to take paperwork to a courthouse downtown or have their cat impounded? That is so crazy. What next?