City unleashes new pet ordinance

SANDPOINT — Residents who feed and shelter stray cats should be prepared to take full responsibilities, Sandpoint council members voted Wednesday.

Council members examined the ongoing issue of roaming cats at Wednesday’s council meeting, ultimately deciding those who care for cats also have to ensure they’re not a nuisance to their neighbors.

The issue initially came up last year when resident Terry Lavallee contacted Councilwoman Carrie Logan about the issue of more than a dozen cats that roamed the neighborhood, habitually using his garden as a bathroom. Despite the disruptive nature of their presence, however, he said he had no real legal recourse to address the problem.

According to City Code, the only laws addressing roaming animals concerned dogs. Residents are limited in how many dogs they can own without acquiring special status as a kennel, which are illegal in residential zones. Owners must also prevent their dogs from invading neighboring yards or making a mess. In the revised ordinance, terms for the roaming ordinance are broadened to include animals of all kinds.

While the new ordinance definitions give aggrieved parties more tools to resolve issues, animal control is still a problematic point for local law enforcement, said Sandpoint Police Chief Corey Coon. Since the disbanding of the municipal enforcement officers last year in the wake of budget cuts, animal control has become a lower priority for the police department, he added.  

In addition to defining responsibilities for animal sheltering, the ordinance also permits organizations to participate trap-neuter-release programs for feral cats — cats that are born in the wild to unneutered parents. Feral cats can cause problems in neighborhoods due to their hunting of small game, bathroom habits and proclivity for breeding. Trap-neuter-release programs help limit the problem by capturing the cats, sterilizing them to prevent any reproduction and allowing them to live out their natural lives in the wild.

Read More News

7B Women helps advocate for your health, wellness

July 28, 2016 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee The 7B Women, a committee of the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce, invite you to attend their August luncheon on Tuesday, Aug. 2 at Tango Café in the Columbia Bank Center. The luncheon...

Read More

Change of plea in attack case

July 28, 2016 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — An Oldtown man who pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and threatening to kill his girlfriend on Hoodoo Mountain last spring is changing his pleas, according to documents filed in...

Read More

10-year term imposed over motel attack

July 28, 2016 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — A California man was ordered Tuesday to serve up to 10 years in prison for an attack at a motel near Priest River earlier this year.Mokhtar Joseph Emilien will have to...

Read More

Local author takes futuristic view in novel

July 28, 2016 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — Author Nick Plastino may have grown up in Whidbey Island, Wash., but he spent much of his summer vacation time in a family cabin at Bottle Bay on property originally purchased...

Read More