Joanne Beck suggests cats should be licensed
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