Doylestown Debates Proposed Pet Ordinance

Doylestown Debates Proposed Pet Ordinance

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Cats are in the sights of Doylestown Borough officials as they look to crack down on felines that run wild through the neighborhoods and may eventually become strays.

Council members took a step closer to requiring cat owners to install locator chips or collars on their pets. Violators could face hundreds of dollars in fines if the measure gets passed. Outraged residents flooded Borough Hall, calling the plan absurd.

"I think it's overkill. I really do. I think it's overkill," says one resident.

"All of this is silly. Why are we even discussing this? I don't think it's an enforceable thing," says another.

"You ought not to make a laughing stock of yourselves," says a third.

Officials are looking to beef up current regulations on pet owners, in part to rid the amount of feral cats in the community.

"This is a big deal. This is a huge deal," says Dr. Marisa Brunetti.

Dr. Marisa Brunetti of the Doylestown Animal Medical Center is one that welcomes the new rules and points to the rescue of a little guy named Crackers as reason to save cats before they could become strays.

"We want these cats to be identified. There are national studies that show if your cat has a microchip, it's going to be returned to you about 50 percent of the time whereas if it doesn't? Two percent," she says.

The move has a separate set of regulations for dog owners, but most residents at the meeting say it's only the cat portion that seems impractical.

And there is even division amongst officials presiding over the plan.

"I, for one, have had cats personally since 1964. I've never put a collar on them," says a council member in opposition to the measure in question.

"It does respond to an issue that's come up more than once," responds a council member in support of the new proposition.

A final vote on the pet ordinance will happen in September.

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