2017-08-30

Bridgewater examines cat bylaw request

by Keith Corcoran

  • <p>FILE PHOTO</p><p>The Town of Bridgewater is looking into a cat bylaw.</p>

Civic politicians in Bridgewater want staff to produce a report with recommendations on how to deal with town cat owners who let their felines roam onto other people's property.

"I think it's time we looked at it in a serious manner," said town councillor Bill McInnis, who forwarded an email from east side residents Adrien and Betty Martel.

Mayor David Mitchell said the request of staff time to look into the matter was not solely triggered by the Martel's note as council receives complaints throughout the year about roaming cats defecating on land that doesn't belong to the pet owner.

Town council referred the Martel's request to staff during its regular meeting August 14.

While Bridgewater has legislation dealing with dogs, it does not have a cat bylaw. Felines are covered in the Halifax Regional Municipality via its animal bylaw, for example.

McInnis sympathized with the Martel's, saying six cats that he doesn't own tend to his own backyard garden.

The Martel's - residents of Eisenhauer Place, are calling for a legislated set of rules.

"I can't keep gardens in my yard, because the cats poop and dig up our beautiful flowers," the Martel's wrote to council. "It is very expensive and not to mention the hard work to maintain a beautiful property, and have to clean out the poop everyday ..."

Betty Martel suggested in an email to LighthouseNOW cat owners keep their pets inside with litter boxes.

"One neighbour was telling me that last year she tried to do a small vegetable garden in her back yard. When she went out to pick her vegetables her garden was full of cat messes."

No timeline was attached to council's report and recommendation request.

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