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May 11, 2009 - 9:59am

Joanne Beck suggests cats should be licensed

posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, fees.

Joanne Beck wants to license cats.  I sympathize with her concern for the animals and the overburdened shelters that often take in far more unwanted kitties than they can handle.

The extra revenue, if directed toward shelters, could be put to good use, and the program might, overtime help in keeping better track of cat ownership.

We license dogs, so why not cats?

Well, let's look at the differences between dogs and cats.

Dogs, unlike cats, if improperly raised and handled can pose a significant public safety threat, especially when it comes to larger breeds.  It's important to be able to know who owns a particular dog.  Dogs who get rabies can also be a significantly greater public health threat than a cat with rabies.

Dogs, being pack animals, however, are far more likely to stick close to home, especially with good owners who exert alpha-like control over the animals.

Cats on the other hand are more independent.  They are not likely to wander far from a good home, but if allowed outside, they can take off for days at a time and possibly find a new place to live. Ownership, then, becomes much harder to track. 

A good dog owner can be expected to control a canine, but cats are beyond the same level of control.

So I question whether licensing is practical.

Then there is the lifestyle question: Cats are often more affordable pets than dogs. They are animals that people on more limited incomes can afford.  I would be concerned that any licensing scheme would hit the working poor harder than those who can afford to shrug off another $10 or $15 fee.

Sorry, Joanne, I'm just not buying into the licensing idea, no matter how well intentioned.L

Mark Potwora
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I agree with Joanne on this...There are cats roaming all over my neighbor .Getting into trash,using mulch beds for litter boxes..If people want cats then let them take responsibly for them..Too many cat owners just let their cats roam free ,only to be a nuisance to others...Cmon, Howard licensing scheme would hit the working poor.I don't think so...that must mean they have to many cats to begin with.If anything maybe it will make people think and have their cats neutered..Whats wrong with making owners responsible....
Howard B. Owens
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Mark, I didn't expect you to come out in favor of more government regulation.
Gabor Deutsch
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The price to spay or neuter cats is the major problem for many low income cat owners. I can deal with the garbage picking and bird hunting part. There are people who try to place their cats or take them to the shelter for many reasons and its too difficult because they are not fixed in the first place. Cats allowed outside or abandoned that are not fixed are the problem. How is a liscense gonna help that ?
Andrew Erbell
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Great! Let's give the State another idea to find a way to tax us. My daughter has some goldfish, perhaps if people had to pay a fee to own them, they would be less likely to flush em. No wait, that would probably work totally the opposite. Why not just simplify it. The government gets 90% of every dollar my company earns and I'll try to pay my staff and make a living myself with the pittance that's left.
Mark Potwora
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Gabor those that aren't licensed can be pick up by animal control .They in turn will put them to sleep.......
Gabor Deutsch
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That will sure keep them busy. I would pay a few bucks to watch them try to catch a cat ! My neighbor had a skunk in her basement and animal control wouldnt help do anything !
Tammy Way
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I have three cats -- all neutered --- and they do roam outside -- though usually by night are at the door wanting in--- affordable neutering would be a great idea -- i would licence mine if the money would go for a neutering program. but goverment and money -- you know!!!!!
Karen Miconi
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This would be a good way to hold cat owners accountable for the health of their animals, as some just don't care, and leave them out in all kinds of weather, let them have litters of kittens, that are left to fend for themselves. Our kitten was found on the sidewalk, on Vine st, in January, the size of the palm of my hand. We warmed her and fed her, spayed her,and immunized her. Yes it does cost a few bucks to have a pet, but its all part of the pet owners resposibility, and for animal lovers its not to much to ask.
Gary Spencer
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It all comes down to ownership responsibility, if people would have their cats spayed/neutered most of this problem would be eliminated, like Howard said, cats are independent and too hard to track. Licensing will be just another way for The Great State of New York to take more of my hard earned money. I have two cats, both are "fixed" and neither has ever been outside (indoor cats have a much longer life expectancy) I need to add this (and I will await the public flogging for saying it!) These "no kill" shelters are adding to the problem, when a shelter has 200 cats that cannot be placed it may be time to turn on the gas (believe me I LOVE cats, but sometimes it's better to put them down than to have 200 of them in a shelter!) By the way there is a program that helps low income people with the cost of "fixing" their animals, I don't have all the info in front of me, but can get it if anybody is iterested!
C D
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I'm with Gary. This is just (another) pathetic excuse to take more of my money.
Peter O'Brien
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While we are at it, dog licensing needs to be removed.
Howard B. Owens
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I think there is a legitimate public safety need for licensing dogs. As I say, improperly handled dogs can be dangerous. We need to know who owns such animals.
Karen Miconi
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What about all the pitbull owners that sport their dogs like jewelery on their arm, down Ellicott St, trying to intimidate people. What about the dogs that are loose, and bite or attack someone? Licensing has always been a good way to keep tract of the Canine population.
Mark Potwora
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Gary is right ..we have to decrease the wild cat population..Turn on the Gas...but back to license fees..Those would be a city issue not state..And the city would use the money for the animal shelter.And to help keep the cat population under control...As long as its only for those things .How else should the shelter be paid for,but from the monies raise from dog and cat fees...
Peter O'Brien
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I live on Ellicott St and have no sense of intimidation just because someone has a dog. If you get killed by a dog, you don't belong at the top of the food chain anyways. And if you can't protect your child from such an attack, then you shouldn't have kids.
Kim Grant
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I don't think that licensing a cat would help control the population at all. If you're not responsible enough to spay or neuter your animal, what does licensing them do besides fill the government pockets? A licensed cat can still have a few unchecked litters a year. I am the proud owner of four spayed/neutered cats. If they want to get any kind of money from me for just owning them, then I want to see it go directly to the SPCA. It's not the fault of the animal for being left on the side of the road. One other point while I'm here. With all of the overcrowding of the animal shelters, why won't they let farms adopt these cats which would be put to good use as mouse catchers? 90% of the time, a cat will stay put once it is spayed or neutered unless it is truly unhappy in it's home.
Gabor Deutsch
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If you take a cat to be put down it will cost you 35 bucks. I agree with Gary and Kim for the most part. I have a street cat (abandoned) that I tried to get rid of when it was around but nobody claimed. I fostered her and paid for shots, deworming and many other things but fixing. I still dont have her fixed but she never goes outdoors and never will being fixed or not. I would be willing to register her incase she got out, but if she did i would pay a reward to get her back ! There is no collar or tag gonna stay on her either ! When people arent responsible for cats then a 10 dollar charge wont keep them from dumping them. I hate to say it but even a put down shelter is not going to stop people from letting cats roam. My cat has two rules: no outside, dont chew the wires. The only one not broken is outside.
Mary E DelPlato
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Why this is not a good idea. First off, people that get cats just for their kids and are on assistance, would rather buy a pack of smokes then to license a cat. There will be more drop offs at the shelters. There will be dead cats. Second, what of those of us who take care of strays? I feed the strays in my nieghborhood and there are probably 15 that come around. I am taking care of someone elses responsibility. Should I have to license these strays? What of my own? I have 12 unwanted cats.Do I have to get each of them licensed? Some stay in. Some love it outdoors. The strays cant come in. Do you want these cats to be euthanized? What would this whole license thing really accomplish? Cat haters will only win.

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