[HISTORY: Adopted by the Annual Town Meeting of the Town of Blackstone 5-28-1997 by Art. 33. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to provide reasonable regulations for the control, care and maintenance of cats in the Town of Blackstone. It is recognized by the Board of Selectmen, as well as the Animal Control Department, that cats are generally excellent pets but they can become a nuisance without proper care. This chapter is not intended to impair, restrict or otherwise interfere with the relationship that exists between owners and their pets. Cat owners are strongly advised to ensure the safety of their pets. It is quite easy for a cat to be designated "feral."
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any animal of the feline species.
- FERAL CAT
- Any cat existing in an untamed state.
- Any person who has taken charge in the care of any cat.
- STRAY CAT
- Any cat having no known owner or keeper.
- UNTAMED STATE
- Afraid, timid, wild, not domesticated, uncontrollable, unrestrainable.
No person within the Town shall feed any feral cat. This section shall not apply to persons feeding feral cats with the express purpose of adopting said cat(s) within 30 days and, in accordance with MGL c. 140, § 145B, having them vaccinated against rabies within 90 days, or upon said cat(s) reaching the age of six months, whichever last occurs.
All cat owners are required to keep a collar or harness on all cats.
All cat owners shall be in compliance of MGL c. 140, § 145B.
Any person filing a complaint with the Animal Control Department regarding feral cats will be advised to procure from the property owner a written statement that there exists a feral cat problem on the property and that the owner gives permission to the Town to enter upon said property to trap and remove said cats.
If the Animal Control Department intends to trap feral cats, officers shall post intent to trap notices for a period of five days which shall include a location, date and time of trapping. Said notices shall be posted at the following locations:
The Animal Control Department shall erect upon the owner's property a sign clearly visible to the public to read as follows:
TOWN OF BLACKSTONE ANIMAL CONTROL DEPARTMENT:
TRAPPING ON THIS PROPERTY IS IN EFFECT.
After the Animal Control Department has received the written authorization of the property owner and in accordance with MGL c. 131, §§ 79 and 80, trapping will begin. At this time, owners are strongly advised to take every precaution to protect their pets, including their household cats, from being trapped. In accordance with § 60-3B, owners are advised to keep a collar or harness on their cats to ensure their pet will not be mistaken as a feral cat and trapped. Any feral cat trapped will be destroyed in a humane manner immediately. Any cat trapped that is not defined as a feral shall be released.