Cat Spay / Neuter Ordinance
Section 1. Title
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as “the Ordinance Regulating Cats” or “Cat Population Control Ordinance.”
Section 2. Legislative Authority
This chapter is enacted pursuant to the provisions of C.G.S. section 7-148, et seq, as amended.
Section 3. Findings and Purpose
The Town Council of the Town of Mansfield finds that there is an overpopulation of stray and unwanted cats in the Town, evidenced in part by the impoundment of an increasing number of cats every year during the past six years by the Animal Control Officer. It is the purpose of this chapter to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Town of Mansfield by reducing the number of stray/abandoned cats.
This chapter shall serve to reduce the excessive numbers of unwanted animals and thereby contribute to the welfare of cats and elimination of unnecessary euthanization of “surplus” cats by restricting the breeding practices of pet owners and breeders. It is also found that other communities with such ordinances have experienced significant decreases in the number of cat surrenders.
Section 4. Mandatory Spaying/Neutering
- No person shall own, harbor or keep a cat over the age of six months which has not been spayed or neutered, unless such person holds an unaltered animal permit for the animal (see Unaltered Animal Certification; Administration, below). Any such person who violates this provision may be cited and fined by the Animal Control Officer for such violation.
- Any person intentionally providing care or sustenance for a cat shall be deemed to be the owner and shall comply with this section.
- Any owner of an unaltered cat who has been cited or fined by the Animal Control Officer for failing to obtain a permit shall have his or her citation or fine dismissed if proof of altering in the form of an official neuter or spay certificate is presented within 30 days of the issuance of the citation or the owner obtains the necessary permit within 30 days of the issuance of the citation and the animal has not reproduced.
- Individuals who are aware of cat abandonment are encouraged to notify the Animal Control Officer of said event:
- To ensure that the animal is not simply lost
- To identify potential problem areas
- To receive assistance with spay/neuter and/or placement of the animal(s)
Those complying will not be subject to penalty for having an unaltered animal on the premises if they are willing to surrender it to the Animal Control Officer.
Section 5. Penalties
- The penalty for violation of this Ordinance shall be $90, payable to the municipal Neuter Assistance and Education Fund. If the violation is not corrected within 30 days and the fine is not paid, the continuing violation becomes a second offense, the fine for which shall be an additional $90. A fine of $90 will be assessed for each additional 30-day violation.
- The Animal Control Officer may, at his/her discretion, waive the citation and/or penalty if the animal(s) is surrendered to the Animal Control Department for placement, or for other good cause to be determined by the Animal Control Officer.
- The penalty shall not be waived by the Department upon the transfer or abandonment of the cat by the non compliant owner except as specified in subsection B, above.
Section 6. Unaltered Animal Certification; Administration
The Animal Control Department shall administer a permit program to allow for unaltered animals over the age of six months when the following conditions have been met:
- The annual permit fee of $75 is paid at the time of application and upon each annual renewal.
- The animal is examined annually by a licensed veterinarian and is following the preventative program recommended by the veterinarian.
- The animal is current on rabies vaccination.
- The owner otherwise complies with any applicable local/state law concerning the care and housing of animals and has not been in violation of animal related ordinance/laws in the past 24 months.
- The owner furnishes the Animal Control Officer with a signed statement agreeing to the following conditions:
- Offspring of the unaltered animal will not be sold or adopted until they are at least eight weeks of age.
- Records will be kept documenting how many offspring were produced and who adopted or purchased them (name, address, phone number).
- Offspring must be immunized against common diseases.
- The Seller/adopter must disclose the permit number in any advertisement.
Section 7. Sterilization of Impounded Animals
On a first or subsequent impoundment of a cat, the Animal Control Officer may require that, as a condition for return to its owner or keeper:
- The animal must be altered
- The cost incurred must be paid by the owner or keeper, or that the owner or keeper obtain Unaltered Animal Certification per this chapter
Section 8. Exemptions from this Ordinance
Persons owning animals in the care of the following organizations or meeting the following conditions are exempt from the provisions of this Ordinance:
- Animal shelters and rescue organizations that have implemented an ongoing spay/neuter program.
- Medical: A licensed veterinarian has determined that an animal is medically unsuited to undergo the surgical procedure and has signed a statement to that effect specifying the medical grounds for the exemption.
- Temporary medical: The veterinarian may specify a temporary medical condition including the prognosis of when the surgery may be performed, which shall become the expiration date of the temporary exemption.
- Transitory status: An animal that is temporarily in the Town to participate in a show or event sponsored by a nonprofit, sanctioned animal organization.
Section 9. Neuter Assistance and Education Fund
All fees and penalties collected under the provisions of this chapter shall be deposited into a special fund known as the Neuter Assistance and Education Fund (the Fund). The purpose of the Fund shall be to offer financial assistance to qualified residents for the spaying and neutering of their cats and to create public awareness regarding efforts to control pet overpopulation in the Town. Additionally, the Animal Control Department shall maintain a current list of resources for reduced-price spay/neuter services for distribution to residents of the Town.
Section 10. Sale in Public Places
A person shall not display any cat in a public place for the purpose of selling or giving the animal away. The term “public place” shall include but not be limited to streets, highways, areas exterior to shops or businesses, carnivals, sidewalks and flea markets. This section does not apply to a registered rescue group or animal welfare society.
Section 11. Cats Roaming at Large
No owner or keeper of any cat or kitten shall allow such cat or kitten to roam at large if the cat or kitten is not altered. Any such owner or keeper who violates this section will be subject to a citation and fine of $90 by the Animal Control Officer.
Section 12. Appeals Procedure
Any person fined pursuant to this Ordinance may appeal such fine pursuant to the provisions of the Town of Mansfield Hearing Procedure for Citations Ordinance.
Section 13. Construction
Whenever used, the singular number shall include the plural, the plural the singular, and the use of either gender shall include both genders.
Section 14. Savings Clause
Should any court of competent jurisdiction declare any section or clause or provision of this Ordinance to be unconstitutional or ultra vires, such decision shall affect only such section, clause or provision so declared unconstitutional and shall not affect any other section, clause or provision of this Ordinance.