City Commission discusses feral cats

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

The Leavenworth police chief said he plans to ramp up public education about feral cats following a meeting with the City Commission.

Chief Pat Kitchens and Les Cline, Animal Control supervisor, met with commissioners Tuesday during a study session.

Kitchens said a resident of the city had previously inquired about city ordinances regarding cats.

Kitchens said Tuesday that the city has no ordinance dealing with cats other than a limit on the number of cats people can have in their homes.

The police chief reviewed possible solutions for dealing with stray and feral cats including a trap, neuter and release program to slowly reduce the population of the animals as well as a trap and euthanasia program.

Kitchens said the city also could start requiring cat owners to register and vaccinate their pets. The city already has similar requirements in place for dogs. He said the city could enact a leash law for cats. The city also could make it illegal to feed feral cats.

Commissioner Mark Preisinger said he does not see the need for the City Commission to take any action on the issue.

“I just don’t see it as that big of a problem,” he said.

Preisinger acknowledged there are feral cats in the city.

“It’s not something that government should get involved in at this point,” he said. “We’re not overrun with them.”

Mayor Nancy Bauder asked her fellow commissioners if they wish to hear from members of the community about the issue.

“I’m going to bet you’re going to hear about this from the community,” Kitchens said.

The police chief suggested he can focus on educating members of the public by providing information about ways people can solve problems they are having with cats.

Preisinger suggested creating a public service announcement as well as newspaper articles to discourage people from feeding feral cats.

In other business

The Leavenworth City Commission:

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