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Cats owners may be required to register their pets

By: Megan Wood The Press Tribune
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You need a license to drive a car, and after tonight, you may need a license to own a cat.
Roseville City Council at its meeting today will consider an ordinance that would require cats to meet the same licensing requirements that the city currently requires of dogs.
“Our shelter is exploding with cats and the taxpayers pay to support the shelter,” said Police Spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther.
Currently, cats occupy more than half of the shelter and that number increases during the warmer months when cats reproduce and kitten season begins.
According to Roseville Police, which serves the city for animal control, city taxpayers paid $447,120 for shelter care for cats alone.
If cat owners were required to license their pets, the revenue from those licenses would net about $14,000 per year in licensing fees.
“It’s really about responsible pet ownership,” said Placer SPCA CEO Leilani Vierra. “Requiring cat licenses would encourage spaying and neutering, current vaccinations and we’d be able to reconnect lost cats with their owners.”
If the ordinance is passed, cat owners would pay $15 to license altered cats and $30 for unaltered cats.
“I’d like to see a bigger differentiation between licensing altered and unaltered cats,” Vierra said. “I think that’s the most important reason to this.”
Vierra said last year, the Placer SPCA received 1,792 stray cats from Roseville. Of those, only 62 were redeemed by their owners.
“There’s the problem,” Vierra said.
In addition to encouraging spaying and neutering pets, Vierra said the licensing ordinance would also require owners to keep up to date on their animals’ vaccinations.
Licensed cats delivered to the SPCA would be able to be returned to their owner thanks to identification tags or micro chipping which the SPCA offers at a reduced cost.
“We’d love to be able to reunite more cats with their owners and help reduce the number of unwanted cats in the shelter,” Vierra said. “The licensing ordinance would make it easier and affordable for owners to be responsible for their pets.”