CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A proposed cat ordinance in the City of Charleston has been put on hold.

“We are going to take the input that we got from the public, which was very good, and begin to work on the bill and try to refine it,” said Charleston City Council’s Ordinance & Rules Committee Chair Jack Harrison.

During public hearing Monday evening, community members voiced their concerns about a proposed cat ordinance sitting before the Ordinance & Rules Committee that would, among other things, restrict the number of cats one could have to three, unless they had a special permit for more and an enforced fine for the owners of cats that ran all over the neighborhood.

Anthony Majestro, who lives on the east end, lets his cat run around the neighborhood. He did not like the bill.

“This proposed bill would make it illegal for me to let my cat do what is natural to him,” he said.

Majestro along with numerous other residents thought it hurt the wrong people.

“I think we can solve the problems we have with cats in the city without punishing the responsible pet owners who get their cats fixed, vaccinated and make sure they’re not a nuisance to other people,” Majestro said.

John Taylor, who lives on Sugar Creek, told the committee that he is just fed up with the mess the cats leave behind at his house.

“There are irresponsible cat owners that have cats that keep breeding, having more cats, they come over and do their business like urinate and feces in my flower bed and in my yard,” he said.

The opinions on how to fix the cat problem varied, but everyone agreed that irresponsible pet owners were to blame. Taylor said this would be a different story if people were more responsible when it came to their pets.

“I’m a responsible pet owner. My dog stays in my house and he stays in my fenced in yard and he never, ever goes out of it,” he said. “If people would be responsible for their pets, there wouldn’t be this problem.”

One of the possible solutions that was brought up several times during the meeting was the trap and release method where feral cats are captured, spayed or neutered and given the necessary shots and then released back into the neighborhoods.

Residents questioned whether that would really take care of the problem, while city officials debated the costs of undergoing such a plan in Charleston.

After an hour long meeting, committee members heard enough opposition to vote to table the proposed ordinance for further consideration. Harrison said this is something they really need to look more into.

“This is an emotional issue and we are serious about the work that we do and so we are going to go back, take what we learned and try to put together some reasonable bill that will address some of the problems that we have,” he said.

The committee plans to address the matter again at their next meeting. No time line was given for the proposal.

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Comments

  • Mike

    Oh, and how soon will it be before they make dog owners pick up their dog's poop like they do in New York?

    I mean, I could care less if a dog poops in my yard, but apparently there are some "private property" owners who hate animals doing their business on their property.

    • Walsingham

      I'm a property owner that minds when peoples' pets defecate in my yard and don't bother to clean it up. There are many responsible owners in my neighborhood that walk their animals on a leash and clean-up after them, not because it's mandated but because it is common courtesy. There is a small minority of pet owners who let there animals roam free and do not clean up after them. I don't think of it as an issue of law, rather an issue of respect towards one's neighbors..

      • Mike

        Well, I usually just take the hose out and spray it which just dissolves it to feed the grass.

        It is part of my effort to share this world with the animals that have every right to be here.

        This planet doesn't belong just to "private property" owners.

      • Mike

        Also, I have never ever seen someone walking their dog in WV with a baggie to pick up their poop.

        Please take a pic the next time that happens because I am sure that Big Foot will appear in the background.

  • Billy Hill

    For real, Travis, feral cats are "spade?" Jeez, get a dictionary, or get a better editor.

  • greenspace

    Every feral cat will kill songbirds, chipmunks, etc, just for sport. Hundreds, over time. It's their nature, what they do. But cats do not belong in our natural environment, and should best be managed as an "invasive species" that harms our true natural environment. Do not release these cats.

    • Mike

      Cities are cats natural environment. They have been since they were domesticated thousands of years ago.

      Humans are the invasive species.

  • Walsingham

    In my neighborhood, we have people just feeding and attracting random cats. It's a real problem and no one is actively doing anything about it. The elephant in the corner of the room of this issue, is that much of the cat feeding is due to older citizens. I say that with a great deal of respect and these folks think their doing the Christian thing with regard to these animals. No local politician will write an ordinance that touches these folks. You can make-up all the rules you want to that penalize responsible owners, but until you actively deal with the people passively supporting the feral cats, nothing will change.

  • JJ

    People need to realize that having pets is a privilege with responsibilities, not a right. If they had to take care of their animals properly I would bet there would be quite a few less people with animals.

    • Mike

      This world doesn't just belong to humans.

      And your "amen" to the suggestion of shooting cats shows what kind of person you are.

  • GregG

    It's just a matter of time before King Danny "User Fee" Jones puts a tax on pu.............kitty.

  • ConservativeRealist

    Anthony Majestro, who lives on the east end, lets his cat run around the neighborhood. He did not like the bill.

    “This proposed bill would make it illegal for me to let my cat do what is natural to him,” he said.

    Well Mr. Majestro, why don't you pay a $250.00 per year fee since you want the East End to be your cat's litter box - "...what is natural to him...". How do you know what your cat does while it is out? Does it tell you? Are you the, "Cat Whisperer"? Whose flower bed does it litter in? Whose car does it jump on and scratch? Who is responsible for it while you are letting it run around? If you want to live in a neighborhood where cats "free range" around you, move to the Serengeti...

    • Mike

      Should we shot birds to keep them from pooping on your property? What about squirrels? I mean, they all poop and pee.

      • Larry

        *shoot, birds, squirrels, deer, and most other forms of wildlife are mostly herbivores, their excrement is not nearly as offensive as a cats.

        • Mike

          My car is always covered in bird poop because they sit on the telephone. Is that not my "property"?

          Should we outlaw birdfeeders because they attract birds that destroy "my property"?

          Also, those animals don't carry diseases?

          • Mike

            "telephone wires" it should say.

          • Larry

            It is actually not recommended to feed any wild animals, including birds, there is plenty for them to eat and survive on in their natural habitats. If their food supply becomes scarce and some of them die as a result, that is the natural order of things.

          • Mike

            Should I be allowed to kill cardinals, bluejays and songbirds because they poop on my car, though?

            I mean, apparently someone's "private property" rights trumps any rights that animals have.

          • Larry

            Yes, yes you should.

          • Mike

            That's ludicrous and you know it.

            We have claimed every inch of this world as our "private property" so I guess you view the whole animal kingdom as a nuisance.

            Really pathetic.

  • Janice

    Nothing meaner than an untamed cat.

  • Dale

    City should be aggressive with trapping, dart/tranquilizeing, and removing ALL cats found outside and transported to pound. Hold for 30 days.

  • blugldmn

    Puuurrrrrrrrrrrrr.........

  • blugldmn

    Meow! Mow mow pfffssst! Meow

  • Dave

    Trap and release.....LOL...How about trap...then pull and shoot!

  • wv4evah

    Charleston is an embarrassment.

  • Dale

    Letting your cats run free isn't being responsible in an urban setting Mr. Majestro. Cats will naturally dig and scratch doing their business in neighbors flower/mulch beds leaving behind that horrible, lingering stench that worsens with repition and time. Lets be fair. Keep your cats on your own property!

  • blugldmn

    Meow...meowmeerowmmoeeewmm. Meows meoowz. Mow!