(Editor’s Note: The following article was submitted by the Valier Town Council.)
The Valier Town Council is seeking feedback from community members by the next council meeting June 8 at 7 p.m. Please have your input and suggestions in writing to the city office. You can drop by or mail a note or email prior to the meeting.
Comments may be mailed to Town of Valier Office, P.O Box 512 Valier, MT 59486: or dropped off at the Town of Valier office at 514 Montana St.; or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As some of you know we have been trying to figure out what to do about the high number of feral cats roaming around the town of Valier. There are no easy answers.
We have sought assistance from two animal adopting shelters, and they have suggested live trapping the feral cats, spay/neutering and vaccinating the cats and then returning them back to the town.
A few concerns and questions with these options are:
• The Town of Valier has nowhere to “house” the trapped animals until we can get a date for free spaying or neutering. Neither humane places have room to house feral cats.
• Who will transport the trapped cats to the spay/ neuter clinic?
• After they have been spayed or neutered, then they need to be monitored and “housed” for 24 hours. The Town of Valier does not have this resource.
• Returning the spayed/-neutered cats back to town does not eliminate the concerns being brought to our attention by community members. These concerns include: the cats’ body waste elimination on residences property, fighting and injuries to domestic cats and smells from harbored feral cats. Licensing cats, much like the ordinance for dogs residing in the city limits can be a help to reunite the owner with their cat if it should get found or live trapped.
We are looking at the animal ordinance and licensing of dogs and cats. There are some responsible pet owners that are licensing their dogs and cats to ensure a safe return if they should be found loose in town. The cost is $5 per dog per year. Not everyone is licensing. We are concerned that pets may get swept up in the effort to get rid of the feral cats.
Other considerations include: enforcement of the licensing; “housing” caught pets; timeframe of housing before humanely euthanizing; the expense of euthanizing and who would conduct the process.
The Town would need to purchase live traps and the Town must find a place to “house” them for a couple days so owners would have a chance to claim their pet. Through investigating other Montana town’s ordinances, they hold the trapped cats for a couple days, if unclaimed, then they are euthanized.
Other items to consider: What to do with community members who harbor/feed feral cats? What will it cost to enforce the ordinance? The low cost of licensing will not pay for it.
We do need to address this issue, and with any ordinance, enforcement is the key. If you cannot enforce it, what good is it?
Please let us know your thoughts. Unfortunately, with the COVID-19 and ensuring the safety of our community members, it is harder to communicate. We are doing the best we can under the circumstances.
Thank you in advance to our community members for actively engaging in concerns and providing input to make our community better.
We value your insight!
We are happy to serve!
Stay safe and healthy!
Community reminder: If you haven’t gotten your beloved dog’s and/or cat’s annual license please do so at the Town of Valier office. The required documentation is your pet’s veterinarian proof of rabies vaccination as well as your address and contact information. Please call or email the Town of Valier for more information.