Dangerous ordinances for cats in Cedarville, Ohio, were tabled indefinitely on April 10 thanks to pressure from Alley Cat Allies and the compassionate voices of our supporters, advocates and local residents. If the ordinance had passed, cats would have been subjected to cruel, ineffective feeding bans—among other absurd measures.
Alley Cat Allies rallied advocates to demonstrate on behalf of cats at the Cedarville Village Council meeting yesterday. With their concerned constituents in the room, Cedarville Mayor John Cody Jr. and the Cedarville Village Council agreed to table the proposal and committed to a town hall in the coming weeks to further discuss the topic.
This is a significant win, but only a first step toward a better future for cats in the village. Alley Cat Allies has been working with leadership and advocates in Cedarville since the beginning of the year with a goal to steer the community to proven, humane programs for cats including Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). While a large number of local residents care greatly for their cats, further education is greatly needed in the community.
These proposed ordinances demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of community cats, TNR, and the factors that make for a successful, humane approach to managing populations of cats or other animals. The proposed ordinances, 2023-06, 2023-07 and 2023-08, would have not only outlawed the feeding of community cats and instituted new regulations that would effectively end the practice of TNR, but also would have banned barking dogs and even squirrel feeders. None of these measures could reasonably be enforced, and they would destroy the village administration’s relationship with its community.
We are relieved at the council’s decision and see an opportunity to make real, effective change for cats and community cat caregivers in the village. We continue to offer our guidance and expertise to help the village implement humane, evidence-based, and effective policies for cats and kittens. Good Samaritans are already carrying out TNR and caring for community cats in the village. Sound laws and public policy in Cedarville would support these good Samaritans and their TNR efforts, not restrict them.
Alley Cat Allies is asking Cedarville to work with us and the local experts who have extended their support in designing a model law for cats that follows nationally recognized best practices. We will keep you updated on our ongoing work in the community.