COUNCIL AGENDA REPORT

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COUNCIL AGENDA REPORT Meeting Date: 5 October 2015 Subject: Boards Routed Through: Date: Proposed Animal Control Bylaw Feasibility of Including Cats Issue: Council is being provided with information on
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COUNCIL AGENDA REPORT Meeting Date: 5 October 2015 Subject: Boards Routed Through: Date: Proposed Animal Control Bylaw Feasibility of Including Cats Issue: Council is being provided with information on the feasibility of including cats in the proposed Animal Control Bylaw. Background: At their May 25, 2015 regular Council meeting, Council directed Staff to return with options to include cats within the proposed Animal Control Bylaw, and amend the Animal Control Bylaw with regards to: Two meter leash length no further action required; Dogs in motor vehicles remove the section regarding dogs, but maintain provisions for dogs traveling in the back of a truck; Cycling with a dog no further action required; Bees and Chickens- section to be reworded; and Number of Dogs and Foster Dogs: direct staff to allow for residents fostering dogs to register with the city and pay a flat rate or annual fee per household. As part of Staff s initial research in the development of the Animal Control Bylaw, the following information was gathered and or used for evaluation. The following graph indicates some history relative to cat inquiries These inquiries include the following requests: request to remove a deceased cat from road resident trying to find a lost cat Complaint related to a cat at large, etc. City staff initiated a cat education campaign commenced in April Although this education was initially targeted at cat owners, it evolved into a dog and cat education campaign on responsible pet ownership in Airdrie. The following educational information targeted at pet owners included: Importance of spaying and neutering your animal Vaccination Keeping pets indoors In researching best practices of other municipalities who regulate /control cats, the following information was gathered: City/Town Cat Bylaw License Trapping Housing/Kennel Yes No City of Calgary Y Y Rent traps out for citizens to trap In house City of Edmonton Y Y Rent traps out for citizens to trap In house City of Grand Prairie Y Y Rent traps out for citizens to trap SPCA City of St. Albert N n/a n/a Contracted/humane City of Lethbridge N Y n/a Town of Cochrane Y Y Rent traps out for citizens to trap Humane Society City of Leduc Y Y Rent traps out for citizens to trap Humane Society City of Medicine Hat Y Y Rent traps out for citizens to trap Humane Society City of Red Deer Y N Rent traps out for citizens to trap Humane Society Research Findings Regarding the Cat Bylaw Include: 1. It will bring awareness to residents of the importance of having a licensed cat and not allowing cats to run at large. 2. It will provide officers with a viable tool when a resident calls expressing a concern with regards to a nuisance cat. 3. Program must be clear that Officers will not trap cats and that the onus would be on the resident to rent the trap and trap the cats humanely and according to the guidelines outlined in the rental agreement. Trapping of cats will only be permitted from May until October each calendar year, for the animal s welfare as winter temperatures are too cold and you can t humanely trap in cold weather. 4. Licensing cats is an essential form of traceable identification. Tattoos and microchips fade and become illegible over time and more importantly many pet owners do not update their tattoo and microchip information. An annual license renewal gives owners an opportunity to update contact information, making sure their cats can be returned safely should they become lost. 5. When an animal is found and an owner can t be located the animal would be adopted out or if this is not successful it would euthanized. 6. Including cats into the proposed animal control bylaw will not completely solve the issue of nuisance cats; it will be a tool for officers to deal with cats in a similar fashion to dogs. 7. Other municipalities indicate that including provisions for cats within an animal control bylaw increases the volumes of inquiries/complaints which may in turn require an increase in resources to manage (potentially offset with license revenue). To include provisions in the proposed Bylaw for licensing and impounding cats, the City would need to manage the licensing of cats in a similar manner to how it deals with dogs, including a holding location (kennel) and the purchase of traps. The most complicated and costly part of setting up a program for cat control is the impounding of cats and dealing and managing when they are not claimed. Staff has had discussions with our current kennel provider and they would able to kennel cats. This cost would be approximately $28.00 per day. The City contractor is also able to adopt any unclaimed cats. This adoption fee would be returned to the City. As with dogs there can be veterinary expenses that occur when animals are in the contracted kennels care. Every effort is made to find the owner of the cat to ensure that these costs are paid by the owner. Staff has also contacted the Calgary Humane Society in regards to accepting cats if the City implements a cat control program. The Society has indicated that they would consider the request and has provided staff with an example of a contract that could be used. The possible costs for entering into this contract would include $40 per cat, and $50 for each euthanization and cremation. The City of Airdrie currently uses the Calgary Humane Society for unclaimed dogs if an animal remains unclaimed after a minimum of 5 days according to the Animal Protection Act this animal becomes the property of the City. The City then turns the dog over to the Humane Society. Since 2013 the City of Airdrie has brought 30 dogs to the humane society and they have successfully adopted out 23 of the 30 dogs brought to them. Requirements to temporarily hold cats prior to transporting to contracted kennel service provider would be as follows: purchase of individual kennels purchase of food and water, litter, Personal Protective Equipment to handle cats City would require liability insurance to handle cats. STAFFING COSTS Position Assumptions Cost Administrative/Licensing Support Chief Licensing Officer would need support to manage the increase in.25 FTE- $17, demand for licenses. As well as (includes administrative support for rental of traps, benefits) deposits, paperwork Community Peace Officer Level 2 Responsibility to trap a cat will fall on the complainant officers will need to take the cat to kennel, and issue any citations that are required..25fte- $ (includes benefits) TOTAL STAFFING $37, EQUIPMENT COST Type Assumptions Cost Cat Traps 10 to 15 at $75.00 per trap $ Licensing Per Year may increase depending on $ demand Personnel Protective Gloves and masks would need to be $ Equipment purchased as needed Temporary Holding Kennels 3 at $75.00 onetime cost replace as $ needed Licensing Software Upgrade current software and up to 2 to 3 month timeframe to make the adjustments to current software. $ per user TOTAL EQUIPMENT $3, PURCHASE SERVICES TYPE Assumptions Cost Kennel Cost On an as needed basis assuming 2 cats per week May 1 to Oct 31 (24 weeks x 5 days x 2 cats) $28.00 per day = $6,720) Veterinary Fees Every effort is made to bill the owner back $2, the cost. As needed basis Intake fees Would need to renegotiate with Calgary Humane Society to ensure that this $50.00 to $60.00 per animal ($ for dogs) TOTAL PURCHASE SERVICES $9, ADVERTISTING Type Assumptions Cost Education Campaign Brochures/News Paper articles $2, TOTAL EXPENSES (approximately): $53, REVENUE Type Assumptions Amount Licensing $30 (spayed/neutered) x 500 $30, $50 (not spayed/neutered) x 300 Enforcement (revenue from Communities contacted were not $5,000.00 citations written) able to give amount an estimated amount is 5% of the 800 licensed cats TOTAL REVENUE $35, Net Operating Income (loss).($18,853.00) Proposed Timeframe: If Council approves the licensing of cats in the proposed Animal Control Bylaw staff suggests the following timelines: a) If Council wishes to see cats included in the proposed Animal Control Bylaw, staff will work on brochures, and return for public input sessions. The proposed start date would be January 1, Staff would offer free licensing from January until April Beginning May officer would begin handing out citations/fines. b) Animal Control Bylaw would begin January All fees and costs associated with this program would be included in the 2017 operating budget. Legal Implications: New Cat Bylaw would need to be reviewed by City s solicitor. Alignment with AirdrieONE: Boards Routed Through: Alternatives/Implications: Alternative 1: Council can choose to incorporate cats into the proposed Animal Control bylaw and include the licensing of cats. The aim would be to return cats to their owners and to promote responsible pet ownership. It would provide Officers with a tool to assist citizens with nuisance cats. Implications: There would be a cost to the resident to license their cat annually. This license would be the same as the dog license. It would be up to the resident to humanely trap a cat not an AME Officer. Alternative 2: Council could choose to incorporate cats into the proposed Animal Control Bylaw and not include the mandatory licensing of cats but provide the option to license cats. Implications: There would not be a cost to the resident and less of an impact on the licensing support staff. Not licensing cats would mean the Animal Control Bylaw would not align with the City s expectation of dogs. It would also be difficult to return cats to owners if there is no way to identify the owner. Alternative 3: Council could choose to not include cats in the proposed Animal Control Bylaw, rename this Bylaw a Dog Control Bylaw and direct staff to continue with the cat education campaign. Implications: There would not be any tools for the City to use to deal with nuisance cats. There would not be any additional costs, and Staff would continue to educate with regards to responsible pet ownership. Historical information indicates that there are less than 80 inquiries per year. Communications Plan: If Council chooses to require cats to be licensed, staff would work with the Corporate Communications Department to develop a plan to inform and educate cat owners on the new cat owner requirements in Airdrie. Recommendation: That Council incorporates cats into the proposed Animal Control Bylaw and includes the licensing of cats. The proposed start date would be January 1, Lynn Mackenzie Municipal Enforcement Team Leader Presenter: Department: Reviewed by: Attachments: Appointment: Lynn Mackenzie Municipal Enforcement Lorri Laface and Mark Locking
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