After a story about the city’s nuisance cat bylaw was published in last week’s Castlegar News, the local pet store which houses trapped cats wanted to clarify its role in the whole process.
“It’s a free service that we provide,” Angie Noad of Kootenay Critters said. “We just want to make sure that (unclaimed cats) get good homes.”
As reported last week, a largely unknown city bylaw allows private citizens to pick up live traps from city hall in order to catch cats that are wandering around their properties.
The law requires that citizens take care of any cats that they trap and then turn the animals over to a city bylaw officer.
The city then hands the cats over to Kootenay Critters, where the animals are kept pending claims from their rightful owners.
Noad said it was Kootenay Critters that first came up with the idea about nine years ago after learning that, at that time, owners only had 72 hours to claim cats picked up under the nuisance bylaw.
“We just thought that was simply not long enough,” she said. “We approached the city and said look, can we offer a service here.”
With the pet store offering up a place for the cats to be kept, Noad said the city agreed to extend the claim period to a full week.
“They said they can’t hold them longer than that,” she said. “And we thought well at least seven days is better than three days.”
Even if a cat isn’t claimed after seven days, Noad added, Kootenay Critters will often hold on to an animal even longer, provided it is relatively well behaved.
“If they’re friendly … we take responsibility and then we try to find them homes,” she said.
The pet store currently has two cats up for adoption. One is about eight months old and has been there since Feb. 17; the other is an adult and has been at the store since Feb. 22.
Noad said Kootenay Critters doesn’t spay or neuter the cats and doesn’t charge for the adoptions, other than asking adoptive owners to buy a bag of food or two from the store.
She said the main concern is finding the cats a good home rather than seeing them euthanized — which would be the fate of many more unclaimed animals if it weren’t for the pet store’s service.
“We do have authorization from the city and we actually do have experience,” Noad said.
“We have the knowledge to take care of these cats.”