(Metro Creative Graphics Photo)

Okanagan mayor would support licensing cats

Penticton Mayor Vassilaki said he would also support a bylaw to have local cats licensed

Penticton cat owners are being warned to think twice about letting their furry friends roam outside.

As residents concentrated in the Wiltse area continue to raise alarm that loose cats have been suffering acts of animal cruelty, City of Penticton poundkeeper Elizabeth Bigg has offered some advice.

“In the area we’re in, you have land and air predators, which play a huge role in cats going missing,” said Bigg, who operates the dog control department. “Licensing helps in terms of returning animals, but so does microchipping and tattooing.”

Unlike dogs, cats do not need to be leashed or licensed in Penticton. Bigg does not take calls for stray or roaming cats since the bylaw is only concerned with stray or roaming dogs.

However, Bigg does pick up deceased animals, including cats, to help find the owner and give them some closure.

She said she can understand why cat owners allow their pets to roam freely, but also sees it from the perspective of people who don’t want stray cats on their property.

Related: Cat hoarder surrenders 30 more cats to BC SPCA

“As far as keeping them in, some cats are just not that easy. I mean, they’re natural wanderers,” said Bigg. “I know it’s conflicting, because people don’t want them in their yards or gardens.”

Bigg also said she tries to encourage cat owners to install catios – covered enclosures that allow cats to go outside without allowing them to leave the property.

“I know there’s an expense (to catios), but at least the cat get’s a bit of both worlds, which is what they need,” she said. “They still have to do things that are natural to them, and you want to promote that for their well-being.”


Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki said he would support a bylaw to have local cats licensed the same way as dogs.

Vassilaki said such a bylaw would help return lost pets to their owners and allow the city to track the welfare of cats that frequently roam free.

“I don’t really mind whether folks in the community keep their cats indoors or outdoors, as long as they look after them to make sure that they’re well fed and kept healthy,” Vassilaki said.

“We don’t make much of a revenue with licensing. The book work and the staff time is nowhere near covered by the licensing fee,” he added. “So people can’t say it’s just another tax grab. That’s not the case.”

Related: BC SPCA has new plan to decrease the number of animals in its care

Bigg said that if the city were to implement a bylaw adding cats under her pound operation, a new facility would need to be constructed to properly care for impounded cats.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Festival goers at the 27th annual Roots and Blues Festival

The Observer asked: Where are you from and what brought you to the festival?

Okanagan dancing to the beat of many drums at the Pow Wow Between the Lakes

Day two of the Pow Wow Between the Lakes featured a vast array of dancers of all ages

Summerland cannabis shop receives approval in principle

Inspection now required before Green Gaia may sell cannabis

Kelm wins Okanagan Ogopogo tubbing championship

Robbie Kelm edged out Dr. Lloyd Westby to take the Great Ogopogo Bathtub race title

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Okanagan climate advocacy group protests against Tolko

Group to demonstrate outside Vernon head office Monday over plan to log close to water supply

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Okanagan Cultural Connections live venue tour kicks off in Vernon

Two dozen promoters, national booking agents, and music reps to visit venues from Vernon to Oliver

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Mistake-riddled offence leads to first loss for Okanagan Sun

The Sun lost to the Westshore Rebels 16-13

Most Read