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The Orchard Board has directed Brenda Harrison, village clerk, to contact McNally’s Law Office to request a potential ordinance that will be presented at the meeting in September.
The Village of Orchard has been struggling with stray cat problems for a few years now, and the issue has increasingly worsened. Due to the problem of strays, a viral infection called distemper is taking over. Distemper can be seen in cats that have a fever and continuous coughing, which can lead to death. Not only is this disease an issue, but because the cats do not receive their regular shots, the concern of rabies and other diseases arise.
They proposed to have an ordinance limiting the number of cats to a household. The ordinance would limit that there only be three cats per household, and must be licensed in the Orchard Village limits. The board would also encourage that the cats be spayed or neutered.
“I have seen issues throughout the village with people feeling bad for these stray cats. And the big issues is that even if a person feeds them once, it causes problems in the bigger picture. If someone feeds the cats once, they will eventually reproduce. And when they don’t give them shots, the diseases continue to spread throughout the cats. We are having issues with the stray population gradually rising, and we are hoping this will somehow help solve the problem,” Brenden Harrison explained.
The board believes that enforcing this ordinance will help take care of the majority of these problems; however, they know there are still issues they will have to face when it comes to getting rid of these stray animals. To help the problem, the village is looking into options to relocate the strays.
A request was also made that a provision be included in the ordinance that it would be a criminal violation to feed or harbor any stray cats. The ordinance is currently pending and the board is waiting for approval from the attorney.