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 and the art of negotiation

February 24, 2017 at 10:50 am | Bonner County Daily Bee The 7B Women, a committee of the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce, invite you to attend their March luncheon on Tuesday, March 7 at Tango Café in the Columbia Bank Center. The luncheon will begi...

Read More

Ponderay rejects property swap

February 24, 2017 at 10:49 am | Bonner County Daily Bee PONDERAY — City Council members rejected a proposed land swap Tuesday between a piece of city-owned property and a neighboring privately-owned parcel along Triangle Drive. City planning director Eri...

Read More

SMS students dig in to capture the clues

February 24, 2017 at 10:49 am | Bonner County Daily Bee Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of articles focused on some of the new electives at Sandpoint Middle School that give seventh- and eighth-grade students a jump-start in learning hands-o...

Read More

Council opposes wilderness plan

February 24, 2017 at 10:49 am | Bonner County Daily Bee CLARK FORK — The city council is unanimously objecting to a federal wilderness designation for Scotchman Peaks. The council is notifying U.S. Sen. Jim Risch that it is coming out against a wildern...

Read More