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Idaho Falls to tackle stray cat problem with proposed licensing ordinance

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IDAHO FALLS — A proposed city ordinance may soon make cat licensing a requirement for owners if several other conditions are not met.

In the past, licensing a cat was optional for its owner. Under the proposed ordinance, every cat that isn’t vaccinated, chipped or altered would have to be licensed yearly.

“(The ordinance) will give us more cats that are accounted for,” Idaho Falls Animal Control Officer Laramie Pancheri told EastIdahoNews.com. “We’ll know where they belong, that they’re actual pets as opposed just the wild stray ones running around.”

Pancheri said by knowing which cats are owned, animal control can know where to direct their resources.

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“That will help us be able to determine where we need to focus our attention and funding to help get a better handle on the overpopulation of cats,” Pancheri said.

Dog owners may already be familiar with these licensing requirements. City code regarding dog ownership is essentially staying the same. The only change is instead of renewing licenses every three years, the cat ordinance would be done yearly.

“For altered animals, it’s $10, unaltered it’s $30 — and that’s per year,” Pancheri said.

Licenses expire on Dec. 31 of the year in which the animal was licensed.

Any unaltered cats impounded at the Animal Control Shelter twice in one year will need to be spayed or neutered before the owners can reclaim them.

“As always, spay and neuter,” Pancheri said.

The City Council will vote on the ordinance Thursday.

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