What a police department does
It is a public expectation that the police will help citizens resolve the issues concerning them.
The Ontario Police Department, when receiving a call for service, a concern, or information, must objectively consider factors such as whether the issue fits within the scope of law enforcement duties, whether a concern is legitimate, and if there is any appropriate action that can be taken (to name a few).
The department also tries to take into account various circumstances bearing on any particular situation that might make it unique or that might justifiably change how it should be handled, all while striving to maintain fairness and objectivity.
In light of this, the Ontario Police Department, on behalf of the governing body and the citizens, is making the following public announcement.
Over the course of the last several months, multiple residents of the village have brought to the attention of the police department various concerns about cats throughout the village. It has become evident over time that there is a legitimate public interest regarding a substantial feral cat population within the village.
There are (conservatively estimated) 30-plus cats not appropriately cared for as pets within the village limits, as directly observed by police, and maybe many more,according to other estimates. The problems have included sick cats, including one that had diarrhea for months; cats leaving scat on private property/decks; cats digging in garbage; feral cats harassing pet cats (taking food, attacking and injuring the pet, etc.); and a cat severely biting a human; not to mention the various other annoyances any animal at large might pose, as you can well imagine.
Not least to mention is the warning given by veterinarians that an unmanaged feral cat population can become inbred, causing a low quality of life for the cats themselves. Of particular concern is the fact that a local veterinarian has documented two chronic, contagious, fatal diseases in cats from Ontario: feline leukemia and feline AIDS.
Why the police department is involved
This type of situation is not unique to Ontario, and various jurisdictions have unique ways of dealing with it. There is no animal control officer for cats in the village, many of the situations fall under village ordinances, the legitimacy of public concern has become obvious, and there is action that can be taken.
The Ontario Police Department is therefore acting in conjunction with other public officials and on behalf of the welfare of the public as it tries to address the situation comprehensively and efficiently.
How you can be a part
You can help! The most efficient way for the village to control the issue is with citizen cooperation, and we are asking for it now.
1) If you have a pet cat(s), please keep its location controlled (the same as you would a dog) and get it spayed or neutered. Unwanted kittens could potentially become part of a feral cat population.
2) If you don’t have a pet cat, please do not feed cats. Feeding stray cats contributes to,rather than alleviates, the problems. Consider the following clarification: Anyone feeding a cat regularly is claiming ownership under the village ordinances.
3) Take advantage of a low-cost cat clinic when it is offered in the village (watch the County Line for information on a clinic that will be offered later this spring). The clinic offers spay or neuter services at greatly reduced prices as well as vaccines.
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