[Adopted 8-17-1999 by Ord. No. 472]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the repeal of former Art. III, Cats, adopted 4-28-1998 by Ord. No. 454.
The Town Council finds that feral cats and owned cats that damage property of others or cause unsanitary conditions are a nuisance and that it is appropriate and necessary, pursuant to the authority of § 22-339d of the General Statutes, to enact an ordinance to seek to control the population of feral cats and to seek to eliminate the incidence of cats causing damage to property of others or causing unsanitary conditions.
As used in this article the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- FERAL CAT
- A free-roaming domestic cat which is not owned.
- Any person or organization harboring, regularly feeding or having in his or its possession any feral cat.
- OWNED CAT
- A domestic cat owned by any person.
The keepers of feral cats in residential or commercial areas shall register, within one year of the adoption of this article, with the Animal Control Officer at 5 Pent Road who shall thereupon provide information regarding the proper care and management of feral cats.
The keepers of feral cats shall provide for the vaccination of such cats against rabies and for the sterilization of such cats.
The refusal to permit the Animal Control Officer to impound a feral cat shall be deemed evidence of keeping.
Any such keeper shall be considered an eligible owner for purposes of the animal population control program established under §§ 22-380e to 22-380m, inclusive, provided that such cats are adopted from a municipal pound.
No person owning or keeping any cat shall permit such animal to substantially damage property other than the property of the owner or keeper or cause an unsanitary, dangerous or unreasonably offensive condition. Violation of this provision shall be an infraction, payable by a fine of $60.
The Animal Control Officer may take into custody any cat found to be damaging property other than property of its owner or keeper or causing an unsanitary, dangerous or unreasonably offensive condition unless such cat can be identified as under the care of its owner or a registered keeper of feral cats. The officer shall impound such cat at the pound unless, in the opinion of a licensed veterinarian, the cat is so injured or diseased that it should be destroyed immediately, in which case the Municipal Animal Control Officer may cause the cat to be mercifully killed by a licensed veterinarian or disposed of as the State Veterinarian may direct. The Animal Control Officer shall immediately notify the owner or keeper of any cat so taken, if known, of its impoundment. If the owner or keeper of any such cat is unknown, the officer shall immediately tag or employ such other suitable means of identification of the cat as may be approved by the Chief Canine Control Officer and shall promptly cause a description of such cat to be published once in the lost and found column of a newspaper having a circulation in the Town of Wallingford.
If such cat is not claimed by and released to the owner within seven days after the date of publication, the Animal Control Officer, upon finding such cat to be in satisfactory health, may sell such cat to any person who satisfies such officer that he is purchasing it as a pet and that he can give it a good home and proper care. The Animal Control Officer may retain possession of such cat for such additional period of time as he may deem advisable in order to place such cat as a pet. If, within such period, any cat is not claimed by and released to the owner or keeper or purchased as a pet, the officer shall cause such cat to be mercifully killed by a licensed veterinarian or disposed of as the State Veterinarian may direct. No person who so destroys a cat shall be held criminally or civilly liable therefor.
Any cat captured or impounded under the provisions of Subsection A of this section shall be redeemed by the owner or keeper thereof, or the agent of such owner or keeper, upon proper identification and presentation to the Municipal Animal Control Officer of a license, tag or other means of identification for such cat and upon the payment by such owner or keeper or his agent of the redemption fee, which is $15, and the cost of advertising incurred under the provisions of Subsection A of this section. When the owner or keeper of any such impounded cat fails to redeem such cat within 24 hours after receiving notification to do so, or, where the owner was unknown, within 24 hours after notification was effected by means of publication in a newspaper, such owner or keeper shall pay, in addition to such redemption fee and the cost of advertising, the amount determined by the Animal Control Officer to be the full cost of detention and care of such impounded cat. In addition, any owner or keeper of any such impounded cat who fails to redeem such cat within 120 hours after receiving notification to do so shall have committed an infraction, payable by a fine of $60.