On average the animal shelter takes in more than a dozen cats each day. But there are countless strays. With so many cats thousands are euthanized each year. A new ordinance is hoping to curb the cat problem but owners aren't exactly purring over the idea.
The Lubbock Animal Shelter, is overrun with stray cats, but Manager of Lubbock Animal Services, Jamey Cantrell, is proposing a city ordinance to curb the problem. "The new ordinance is that cats would have to be confined to their owners property just as all other animals currently have to be," says Cantrell.
Cantrell says they receive complaints daily about strays and cat owners who let their cats roam the neighborhood. "If we could curb their ability to be roaming loose we're thinking we're gonna have benefits in a number of ways," says Cantrell.
But cat owners say roaming free is what felines do best, and they say the new ordinance isn't exactly the cat's meow. "They are different from dogs, I mean you can't keep them by your side, they want to roam and do what they want to do," says cat owner, Cortney Rodriguez.
"Because they're independent and I've had dogs really up until five years ago I had my first cat. The nature of cats are they don't stay on leashes. I have one that stays on a leash but that's only because I started with her very very young," says cat owner, Patty Gisch.
But Cantrell says for other Texas cities, cat ordinances are common. With laws for keeping dogs and other pets, it's time to put the proposed ordinance before city council for cat ownership to be regulated. "Some people are not happy about that. There are a lot of people that really would be happy about that. Really it comes down to the council to make that decision but we feel it's a good idea because the majority of the problems we deal with are due to owned cats," says Cantrell.
Another proposed ordinance is the number of pets you can own. They are limiting that number to ten total, with no more than 4 cats or 4 dogs at one time. You'll have to get a multi pet permit from the city to have more than that. The ordinances will be up for a vote by city council this Spring.