Letter to the Editor

OKEECHOBEE — Community cats?

To County Administrator Robbie Chartier,

I am writing after reading the article in the Okeechobee News regarding low cost spay/neuter rabies vaccination and ear notch for “community” cats. In that, “community cat” is frequently a synonym for trap/neuter/release free roam cat colonies.

My question is, will these “community cats” be considered as owned cats (that is, required to follow the animal ordinances, regulations and state laws, i.e. ownership number limits, rabies vaccination requirements, etc)?

If so, who will be considered the owner? (Since community cats frequently have no owner, just people who feed them but deny ownership.)

And if not, will these “community cats” be considered ownerless stray/feral cats (which may be a danger to native fauna, ecological balance and potentially public health) even though they have access to outdoor, regularly stocked feeding stations?

Animal control could not answer these questions and directed me to you and the county commissioners. Thank you in advance for the time and attention to this matter.

James Letcher

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