Some homeowners say new stray cats ordinance doesn't go far enough

Some homeowners say new stray cats ordinance doesn't go far enough

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Some Baton Rouge homeowners complain they are frustrated with the number of stray cats in their neighborhoods.

The East Baton Rouge Metro Council passed an ordinance on Wednesday that will allow animal control enforcement officers to seize free-roaming cats, fix them, and release them in the same neighborhood in which they were caught. But some homeowners want the strays gone for good.

Edna Mae Jack enjoys a relaxing morning outside her home in the Garden District. But Jack said every once in a while she is distracted by an unwanted visitor.

"Every now and then you see the cats come by," Jack said.

Jack said she does not know who they belong too, but she said they can be a nuisance.

"I never did like cats," Jack said.

She is not the only one dealing with strays.

9News spotted several cats in south Baton Rouge lounging on furniture, roaming the streets, and waiting at front doors.

Darlene Lanaute said they are on the prowl.

"Oh I see them every day. Every morning I open the back door and those cats are out there. It's about six or seven cats," Lanaute said.

Baton Rouge Animal Control Director, Hilton Cole, said stray cats have become a big problem in the Capital City.

"Generally it's where houses are jacked up off the ground and where there's an intense amount of people per square mile. Those are good hiding places for cats. People feed cats and don't neuter them," Cole explained.

Cole said his office picks up between 3,500 and 4,000 free-roaming cats a year. The animals are usually brought to the Companion Animal Alliance (CAA) shelter where they wait to be adopted. The CAA reported last year it euthanized more than 1,700 cats that could not be adopted.

The new "trap-spay-neuter" ordinance will allow animal control to capture stray cats, vaccinate them, spay or neuter them, and then release them back onto the streets. The CAA will return the cats back to the streets. Those cats will have their ears clipped so that agents know which ones have been through the process.

But not everyone thinks that is a good idea.

"Guess what? If they are going to come get them cats and drop them off that don't make any sense," Lanaute said.

Cole said residents will be given the option of filling out a form to request that a certain cat not be returned to their neighborhood.

Jack and Lanaute said they will have their pens ready.

"I'm not going to feed those cats. Those cats are not my cats. I don't mess with cats," Lanaute said.

"I just don't like cats, never did," Jack said.

CAA has not said how much the "trap-spay-neuter" process will cost.

To report stray cats in your neighborhood, call Baton Rouge Animal Control and Rescue at (225) 774-7700.

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