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Yukon ordinance restricts feral cat feeding

by Matt Patterson Modified: April 13, 2013 at 8:13 pm •  Published: April 14, 2013

— A new ordinance approved by the Yukon city council will restrict the feeding of feral cats in the city and include fines for those who violate the ordinance.

But those who have fed the cats said the ordinance provides no provision for controlling the population humanely through spaying or neutering and it will instead starve the cats.

Council members passed the ordinance unanimously on April 9. The law prohibits people from feeding feral cats without approval from the owner of property inhabited by the cats.

Feral cats are descendants of domesticated cats that are born in the wild. They are found in colonies, including at Lake Hefner and Lake Overholser.

Grayson Bottom, Yukon city manager, said the ordinance was passed because several property owners were unhappy with a group of cat enthusiasts who had been feeding the cats without the permission of property owners.

“We have had numerous examples of people driving to certain parts of town and throwing feed on property that isn't theirs and without consent,” Bottom said. “That is no longer allowed.”

Bottom said the fine structure is progressive, with $50 for the first offense. The fifth offense would incur a $500 fine and a court appearance.

Group wants to help

Yukon resident Judy Landsberger said she has worked with about 15 people in recent years to spay and neuter the cats and return them to the wild.

“This work had been done at our expense and at no cost whatsoever to the city,” Landsberger said. “I asked the council point-blank if they planned to go out and euthanize them and they said no. In other words, they're going to starve them or hope they will just move on.”

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by Matt Patterson
Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun....
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