I’m going to share this story not as a complaint but rather to show the typical mentality of many people (and some police officers) toward cats.
On Friday (AUG 12), a local police chief came to me and asked me to take a cat that his girlfriend brought to his house. He said he didn’t want the cat but she brought it anyway. This cat came from a horrible situation where, according to this officer, it had been beaten nearly to death and another cat in the same household had been beaten so bad it had to be euthanized due to a broken spine.
I arranged for the Licking County Humane Society to take the cat. The Chief took the cat down there but had it loose in his truck. He said the cat was frightened and it bit him when he took it to his truck. One of the employees at the humane society had to capture the terrified, loose cat from his truck. The Chief told one of the employees if he had to take the cat back he would “put it in a field somewhere.”
The Chief said that he shouldn’t have said what he did and says he wouldn’t have done it. But he claims that the employee must have been having a bad day because she “lit him up like a candle” and implied he would have to take it back if she couldn’t get it without getting bit. I told him she would have “lit him up” because he was threatening to dump this terrified cat in a field.
Just for clarification, not only is it inhumane to dump a cat, it is illegal! The Ohio Revised Code says, “No owner or keeper of a dog, cat, or other domestic animal, shall abandon such animal.” (Recently, a Licking County judge ordered a Buckeye Lake couple to spend 60 days in jail for abandoning a puppy. Let’s hope that sentence would have been the same had the animal been a cat.)
I believe the solution to the cat over population is MANDATORY spay/neuter for cats. I know that the former Buckeye Lake solicitor was concerned that some people aren’t going to claim that they own the cat. To that I say, “Who cares who owns it! Any cat found outside MUST be altered.” Hold landlords responsible who allow tenants to have unaltered cats. Stop letting people give away unaltered cats and kittens.
On a monthly basis, a LOW COST mobile spay/neuter clinic for cats has been coming to Buckeye Lake. On several occasions, I have been able to get FREE spays/ neuters for community stray cats. There’s no reason why we can’t have a successful cat sterilization program in our communities. I am proposing that the Village of Buckeye Lake pioneer a mandatory spay/ neuter program for cats in Licking County. Let’s create a program that will not punish the cats but one that will actually be humane and proactive for all of us!
You will see positive results in one year or less.