Phoenix panel to put forward stray-cat ideas

PHOENIX — Cat owners and people who trap stray felines could face new restrictions under proposals batted around by a citizens' advisory group that has been studying the issue for several months.

The City Council will begin considering the group's ideas when it meets at 6:45 p.m. today at the Public Works Office, 1000 S. B St., Phoenix.

If you go

What: Trapping Advisory Group meeting

When: 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5

Where: Public Works Office, 1000 S. B St., Phoenix

Next up: At 6:45 p.m., City Council will begin to discuss proposals for cat-trapping rules, and possible new rules for cat owners, forwarded by the advisory group

Ideas scratched up by the committee include registration for pet cats, and rules that would require people who trap cats to obtain permits, post notices and trap only during hours when area shelters are available to receive trapped cats. Trappers might also have to guarantee humane treatment and even identify the specific cats they intend to trap, while cat owners could face penalties if their animals were to be deemed a nuisance to neighbors.

The issue of cat trapping cropped up earlier this year when cat owners in a neighborhood off Colver Road complained about a property owner who was trapping pet cats and leaving the animals without access to water or shade during hot summer weather. That followed a series of incidents in which other cats had been poisoned or trapped in various parts of town.

While allowing pet cats to wander "at large" is prohibited under city law, regulations on animal trapping are nonexistent.

The city responded to the incidents by forming a citizens' Trapping Advisory Group to study possible solutions.

Resident Steve Kious, who urged the council to ban trapping of cats after his own pet was trapped and taken to the county shelter, said the committee's meetings have been contentious at times. But he said he approves of some suggested ordinance changes discussed by the committee.

One would require trappers to identify specific animals they plan to trap.

"That would mean they would have to specify if it was a certain black cat or a white and gray cat that was causing them problems, so they can't just engage in freelance trapping of any cat that wanders on their property," Kious said.

"Because, as we all know, if they bait a trap, any neighborhood cat will be drawn there, which is what started this all to begin with when they trapped my cat."

The Trapping Advisory Group will meet at 5 p.m. at the Public Works Office, 1000 S. B St., prior to the council meeting. City officials said the trapping group meeting will be open to the public.

The regular City Council meeting will commence at 6:45 p.m., following an executive session scheduled for 6:15 p.m.

Buffy Pollock is a freelance reporter living in Medford. Email her at

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