2012-05-26 / Editorials & Letters

Kirkersville planning to kill cats

Editor:

This is a warning to anyone in Kirkersville with cats and young children:

According to the April 4th Kirkersville Council meeting minutes, council member Gary Raines urged council to change the curfew for children age 14 and under because he thought 10 pm seemed kind of late! The draft minutes of May 2 meeting show that the curfew is being changed to EIGHT O’CLOCK!!! A local pastor tried to urge Mayor Ashcraft and council to consider having the police do a bike patrol and get to know the kids. He “wants the kids in this village to grow up trusting the police; seeing them as a friend and not somebody that they should be afraid of.”

Council member Temple said, “Almost every community has a curfew and kids should be taught to respect that curfew and that starts with the parents. Council member Woods said we have had foot patrol and bike patrol and they haven’t worked.”

But according to May’s (draft) minutes, Temple was absent, Woods, Raines and Frischen voted for the 8 o’clock curfew and Council members Paglione and Denton voted against it. The minutes say that the motion failed by a vote of 3-2 (it takes 4 votes to pass an ordinance). Way to go Paglione and Denton....for now. That was just the first reading and doesn’t mean they won’t try again when ALL council members are present.

And as for cats in Kirkersville, I spoke to Kirkersville Police Chief Chapman and asked him if he told a resident (who fed a couple of stray cats and now is being targeted by the village for doing so) that Kirkersville was going to make a “sweep” and kill the cats in Kirkersville. He said that it was true that they are going to hire someone to EXTERMINATE cats in the village of Kirkersville.

Chapman said he had three people complain about all the cats that surfaced in the village. Chapman claims that these three complainants were told by a county agency that “cats are no different than a groundhog and people have the right to exterminate groundhogs at will” and he claims that he verified that. He also says there is nothing in the Ohio Revised Code protecting cats. I tried to tell him that cats are “companion animals” and most certainly are protected as such. He insisted that he researched and couldn’t find anything. I believe his research is about as trustworthy as his background checks on new officers.

He added that one of the three complainants said, “”If you can’t get rid of (the cats), I will... and when dead cats start showing up maybe something will be done.” Chapman says he can’t stop residents from “leaving poison out or sitting outside at 2 in the morning with a BB gun and trying to pick them off when (the cats) try to grab food that is left out purposely. You can’t stop the residents from doing that.” (If someone is purposely putting food in their yard to lure the cats in, aren’t they also guilty of feeding cats?)

Whereas feeding a stray cat in Kirkersville is a minor misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $100.00, abandoning a cat, according to the state of Ohio, is a harsher penalty . Section 959.01 of the Ohio Revised Code says, “No owner or keeper of a dog, cat, or other domestic animal, shall abandon such animal.” This crime is a misdemeanor of the second degree on a first offense and a misdemeanor of the first degree on each subsequent offense. (An M1 and an M2 both carry jail time.)

If someone feeds a stray cat in Kirkersville (and Buckeye Lake, too), by that action they become the owner of the stray cat. There are then numerous laws that come into play as far as someone harming those cats. I pray that the village stops ANYONE from poisoning or shooting animals for obvious reasons but also before someone’s child gets harmed. And as I have always said, who would want to live in a village where no one had compassion for a hungry animal?

Bonnie Mansfield
Buckeye Lake

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