CORNWALL, Ontario – The City of Cornwall is encouraging residents to take their new Cat Consultation Survey up until March 8 as they seek public opinion on the prevalence of feral cats in our community.
“This is of significant community relevance…it’s pretty important to consider and obtain feedback on the principal tenements of the proposed strategy,” said Chris Rogers, Chief Building Official and Bylaw Officer.
In May of 2018, Rogers presented a preliminary report to City Council outlining a potential strategy following an announcement from the OSPCA that Cornwall has a cat population management problem. Rogers is pleased with the level of activity involving the survey thus far, contending the topic is of public interest in the community.
“First and foremost, we need to analyze the outcome of the survey…this is quite an initiative and it will take time,” said Rogers. “Whatever comes out of this…there’s no question: spay and neuter your cat.”
Rogers is hoping to better determine what could be contained in a cat bylaw, with the possibility of a licensing program parallel to dog licenses, making owners more accountable for their pets. He advised that cat owners should keep their cats inside or install an enclosed cat hotel to a window, which would allow the cat to enjoy the outdoors in a safe and secure manner. Rogers also projects a goal of having almost all cats in Cornwall spayed in neutered within five years, depending on the public’s opinion.
“I think this is a really good thing,” said Mary Jane Proulx, Coordinator with Roy and Cher’s Rescue Farm. “We want peoples’ opinions. I want to know what people think…maybe we will get some other ideas. We are all learning and it’s going to be interesting to see (the outcome).”
Proulx, who ran for a position on Cornwall City Council in last year’s Municipal Election, is happy to have received over 1,500 votes as her platform mainly consisted of her stance on the feral cat issue. Proulx has trapped over 80 cats in four years.
“It’s not the cats fault, it’s our fault,” said Proulx. “The City dropped the ball many of years ago and now look where we are. We can’t drop the ball anymore, we have got to figure this out and the survey is a great start.”
To participate in the survey, follow the link here.