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Ogden rounding up stray cats

OGDEN, Utah (ABC 4 News) - The Ogden city council is considering a cat ordinance that punishes anyone caught feeding stray cats.
OGDEN UTAH – (ABC4 News) – Feeding a stray cat in Ogden could be a crime, and allowing the family Tabby to run loose outside the home could also violate a proposed city ordinance.

The Ogden city council is considering a proposal to rein in stray cats.

That’s caught the attention of feline lovers.

Diana who didn’t want her last name released adopted four stray cats. Ogden city allows up to six pets in a home.

Her cats were roaming the streets before she took them in over a period of time.

"I didn't go out looking for cats but when I saw them in the dumpsters eating tomatoes I knew they were desperate," she said.

Not only did Diana bring them home but she had someone build a two cat house in the backyard.

The home which resembles a kid’s playhouse has heat, light and all the comforts a feline would want.

“Cats like a territory and they like it here and don’t go wandering off,” she said.

But not all stray cats in Ogden have a happy ending.

The animal shelter is filled with stray cats. Workers said stray cats are a health problem spreading diseases and quickly multiply.

That's why the city council is considering a proposal to make it a Class B misdemeanor to feed stray cats and require leash laws for all cats.

Dale Stevenson owns three cats.

“It's virtually impossible to keep a cat locked up in a certain area,” Stevenson said. “Unlike a dog you can't chain them up. They'll either choke themselves or find someway to get out.”

Diana once worked as a volunteer for a non-profit animal group. She helped trap, neuter and return stray cats to the streets.

She claimed it’s a better alternative.

“I don't think you should punish compassion,” she said. “I don't think that's going to get rid of the problem."

No More Homeless Pets in Utah also advocates the trap, neuter and return policy.

“There is no shortage of evidence that TNR (trap, neuter and return) is the most thorough and cost effective technique to lower the population of feral cats and reduce nuisance behaviors,” said Holly Sizemore, executive director of No More Homeless Pets in Utah.

She said that her organization convinced the city council of St. George to earmark money to help start a TNR program.

In addition, Salt Lake City, West Valley City, Taylorsville and Salt Lake County have all adopted TNR ordinances.

Ogden city council will hold a public hearing on the proposed ordinance Tuesday evening at the Municipal Building located at 2549 Washington Boulevard.

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