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Oklahoma City Council will consider community cats program

BY MICHAEL KIMBALL Published: May 1, 2012

Don't be alarmed if your friendly neighborhood stray cat has a shaved belly and a notch in his ear the next time he comes to your back door looking for a nap or a snack.

The Oklahoma City Council is set to consider an ordinance change Tuesday that would help the city animal shelter launch its community cats program, which would allow some stray and loosely owned cats to be immunized, sterilized and returned to their neighborhoods.

The change, set for a hearing next week and a potential vote May 29, would allow the shelter to reduce the required hold time for cats in the program. The shelter holds all incoming unclaimed cats for at least three days, but animals in the community cats program would be released more quickly.

“We can get them in and out and send them back home where they've been living and probably thriving,” said Catherine English, manager of the city's Animal Welfare Division.

Humane society partnership

The Central Oklahoma Humane Society has a similar program and will help with the shelter's program as part of its deep public-private partnership.

The program will only involve adult, healthy stray and loosely owned neighborhood cats brought by the public to the shelter, and whoever brings them to the shelter will decide whether they're put into the community cats program or treated as normal strays, which are evaluated, reclaimed, adopted or euthanized.

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