New cat laws cause a stir

A cat that was handed in to the City of Wanneroo when the Cat Act came into effect this month.
A cat that was handed in to the City of Wanneroo when the Cat Act came into effect this month.

At last week’s council briefing session, acting city businesses director Ian Hamilton said the City estimated it would get $50,000 from cat fees, but it had $75,000.

In a report to the council, Mr Hamilton said the animal care centre was not designed to house impounded cats, so they had contracted the RSPCA to use pens at its Malaga facility.

He said the City had reserved three pens, at $500 a month each, and could increase the number of reserved pens at short notice if more were available.

‘Cats where the owner has not been identified must be kept in the cat management facility for three working days, and where the cat’s owner has been identified for seven working days,’ Mr Hamilton said.

After the specified time, or if the cat has been surrendered, the operator of the facility may re-home the cat or have the cat put down.

The report said the RSPCA had received State funding to build the facility at Malaga, which would be completed in March 2014 and hold up to 66 impounded cats.

Councillor Dot Newton said there were already three cats listed on the City’s website and Mr Hamilton said they had already filled their quota of cat pens.

‘People handed their cats in,’ he said.

Councillors will consider approving impound and sustenance fees at $100 for the first week, and $25 for each day thereafter, which is the current fee for dogs.

The recommendation to the council also said the City would monitor the impacts of the Cat Act 2011 over the next year, and advertise the additional fees in a public notice.