Radnor takes up issue of feral cats

Posted: August 15, 2013

Radnor Township officials got an earful Monday night - about cats.

At a packed meeting of the board of commissioners, animal rights organizations, cat rescue groups, and others voiced their opinions about a proposed ordinance that would regulate the feeding of feral felines.

At the same meeting, commissioners passed a resolution supporting groups involved in trap, neuter, and release (TNR) programs for cats at large.

"It was a step in the right direction," said Kathy Siciliano, an animal rights advocate from Bryn Mawr. The resolution would promote TNR as an effective way to control the stray-cat population.

The exact number of feral cats and colonies in the township is not known, officials said.

TNR groups would shoulder the majority of the responsibility for the control of the colonies.

"If there are volunteers out there willing to do it, let them do it," Commissioner John Nagle said Tuesday. He said the township would provide outreach, education, and coordination. Funding is possible, he said.

Board members also took comments on an animal control ordinance that has been in the works for about a year.

Animal advocates' biggest objection concerns language that would have made anyone who fed a stray animal regularly responsible for vaccinating it for rabies and obtaining any required state license. The ordinance stipulated fines of up to $1,000 a day for failure to comply.

Even township employees weighed in on the proposal.

"They felt they could not enforce it," the board president, Elaine Schaefer, said Tuesday. "To me, that kills it right there."

She said that if the ordinance did not pass at the Aug. 26 meeting, the current ordinance, which does not address feral cats, would remain in place.

Contact Mari A. Schaefer at 610-313-8111, mschaefer@phillynews.com or @MariSchaefer on Twitter.

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