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Adopt a Cat of Concord 2012

Adopt a Cat of Concord (Massachusetts) is a 501(c)(3) organization (application in progress) seeks to help cats of all kinds in a no-kill setting regardless of age, feral status, and health condition; see  www.adoptacatofconcord.org

Below are Adopt a Cat's positions on Articles 44, 45 & 46, along with Ms. Lodynsky's response in BLUE

#46  Hiring of a Concord Animal Control Officer

We would embrace the help of a compassionate Animal Control Officer to work with cats, wildlife, as dogs.   We encourage the enforcement of the current rabies vaccination requirement  but want to emphasize the need to have a knowledgeable Officer who will be sensitive to existing  TNR (trap, neuter, release) cats that are being fed and cared for by caring residents around the community.  These cats are vaccinated, spayed/neutered, and examined by local veterinarians so are in compliance with the vaccination requirement.   

This Officer should also be sensitive to the large population of feral (community cats) in the Concord area that need to be protected from inhumane treatment and conditions.   The primary issue with working with community stray cats is that there is no physical shelter here in Concord which is a very important part of this type of work.

I agree – the ACO needs to be trained and educated on the handling of ALL animals AND wildlife in order to perform the necessary duties effectively and appropriately. The management of feral cats is not covered by any of these Articles, but I agree - the ACO should have a sensitivity to the feral situation in Concord.

Shelter question: see #46

#46  Licensing, vaccination, and regulation of cats

We encourage the requirement the existing state law for the rabies vaccination of cats.  However the actual licensing of cats for that purpose would be difficult to enforce.  Having cats wear license tags is not the same as with dogs.  Many cats do not tolerate collars or find ways to remove them.  Currently cat owners are give vaccination tags by their veterinarian and should be kept with the owner to show evidence of the cat being vaccinated.  Other methods such as tattoo or microchiping can be used to identify the cat, owner, and vaccination status.

Tattoo and/or microchipping are acceptable means of identification and should be incorporated…

The concept of impoundment of cat that are found either not wearing a tag or wandering at large in someone’s yard is not practical since there is no animal shelter in Concord.  Surrounding shelters are overloaded and would not be able to comply with a 6 day grace period to coordinate the cat as stated in the warrant. 

The issue of utilizing neighboring shelters or facilities is still under examination, and until all possibilities have been explored, this is still an area open to debate and resolution at the Town Meeting. Information from “Adopt A Cat of Concord” detailing their research and findings is appreciated.

Feral community cats of course would not fall into this category. These cats have a different  requirement in that a professional is needed to evaluate.  The cat would need to be evaluated to determine  if  it is lost, a stray, in need of TNR to be returned where it was found, or a homeless friendly cat in need of a new home which is another way shelters and groups like ours can help.

Rather than fines a better enforcement is needed to encourage the cat to be vaccinated or provide help if the owner cannot afford the cost of a veterinarian office visit.

#46  Responsible Pet Ownership

We do not see this warrant as well formulated in that the Town Manager and Selectman are not the ones who should formulate responsible pet ownership guidelines.  The requirement is really part of the Animal control officer’s responsibility and other experts in the field who can help the Officer along with cat owners in Concord to accomplish the goal of dialogue and cooperation between residents and town officials.  

Agreed; although basic guidelines from other successful programs have been drafted, input is desirable from local specialists, including the ACO (see section on Responsible Pet Ownership).

Other groups such as the Merrimack Feline Rescue Society (Catmobile) and Alley Cat Allies are experts in the field of stray feral cats, their care, and the required treatment.  Adopt a Cat of Concord always encourages thru our adoption policy that all owners should spay/neuter, vaccinate, and accept an indoor only policy for their cats.  However we do respect individual owners rights to allow their cats access to the outdoors.  We do offer alternatives to keep their cats safely indoors and safe outdoor enclosures, cat fencing or attached pen/home enclosure ideas.

I would be very interested in viewing what you have to offer for outdoor enclosures; these alternatives are effective solutions. I am assuming you encourage these when you state you "respect the owners rights to allow their cats access to the outdoors" after having them accept an "indoor policy" for their cats...


updated August 12, 2013     send email