Wausau’s public health and safety committee is working on changing the city ordinances to allow for a pilot trap neuter release program for stray and feral cats. Among other things, it would reduce the number of songbirds being killed.
Wausau alderman Romey Wagner says the city would need to change the legal definition of a pet owner in order to allow the program to operate. “Part of it is maintaining the group, and right now it’s against city ordinance to feed free roaming animals. So we need to take a look at that, but we also needed to make it clear that just anybody can’t do it.”
A group called Community Cat Action Team would be taking control of the program, and Wagner says they would be tracked by the city. “So part of the new ordinance would be to have a registry so we would be able to tell who, legally, can do it, and be able to have our humane officer be able to track them.” The group would not be an official part of the city staff, nor work under the Humane Society. Care for animals brought in to the Humane Society by the group would not be covered under the city’s contract for housing strays.
Wagner says the program might not be perfect, but it’s a start. “If we do nothing, nothing changes. The birds still get eaten and everything, the breeding goes on, but if we give it a chance to work, maybe it is a solution. It’s a step forward from doing nothing.”
Committee chair Lisa Rasmussen wants the CCAT group to come back with definite guidelines as to where the pilot program would operate before any recommendation would be made.
A Finance Committee proposal to modify the price of pet licensing was not on the agenda.
Raymond Neupert, WSAU