Wellington city adopts new animal ordinance including no more than 4 cats per owner

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — One kitty, two kitty, three kitty, four. Five kitty, six …. um not so fast there partner.

The Wellington City Council has passed an ordinance that an owner can no longer have more than four cats per household older than six months of age. Also, there can’t be more than one litter of kittens per household.

The stipulation was part of an amended comprehensive city animal ordinance which was adopted on Dec. 18 and is now in effect.

The ordinance also requires: 

•a “Bad apple” rule that any person found guilty of multiple violations of vicious dogs, dog fighting and tethering will no longer be allowed to own a dog or cat for a year;

•new stipulations for dog shelters including dog pens, cleanliness, removal of excrement, drainage, maintenance, and inspections;

•a separate section for wild or exotic animals;

•an establishment of an animal control officer;

•a new set of rules when adopting a cat within the city limits, including a spay and neuter requirement except for people outside the city limits.

The new animal ordinance comes after a committee was formed upon the recommendation of Wellington Police Chief Tracy Heath, that included council members Chase Weber and John Brand, former council member Paula Mortimer, City manager Gus Collins and city prosecutor Kerwin Spencer.

Heath reported that through November 2012, the city has picked up 231 cats and has euthanized 201 of those cats.

The ordinance originally stated that no cat adoption would take place unless all cats were spayed and neutered. However, council member Jan Korte said several farmers outside the city limits want cats to populate at their farm, according to unofficial city council minutes. The new rule was amended to allow people outside the city limits to adopt cats not neutered.

Mortimer said the one-year prohibition of abusive dog/cat owners is not long enough. However, Brand said it is a start and the ordinance can always be changed for a longer prohibition period at a later date.

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