Council Votes 9-0 To Direct City Staff To Return With Recommendations On Animal Control Measures Including Cat Licensing; O'Donnell (Item Co-Agendizer) Voices Concern That It May In Effect Be A "Cat Tax"

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  • (Oct. 21, 2009) -- At its Oct. 20 meeting, the City Council voted 9-0 to direct city staff to return with recommendations on a package of proposed animal control measures that include cat licensing (items detailed in a story first reported by on Oct. 14).

    Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal took the lead on the item (co-agendized by Councilmembers O'Donnell and DeLong on her office's letterhead). "I understand the concern expressed by some community members about cat licensing but I firmly believe that this issue deserves a closer look by city staff and the community. Personally, I think that cat owners should be held to the same expectations as dog owners in licensing their animals, many of which are allowed to wander in the community," Councilwoman Lowenthal said.

    (To hear her full comments, click here).

    However, one of the item's co-authors, Councilman Patrick O'Donnell, raised a cautionary issue: "I know there's some discussion about, and I too have some concerns as one who's adopted a number of cats as they come over from Long Beach State and take up residence in my backyard etcetera, is the cat registration component. I have some concerns that that may in effect be a cat tax. So I want to look at that closely and make sure...that that's the right thing to do. I don't want to discourage people from taking care of cats but I do want to encourage people to get their cats fixed. So somewhere in there, there is a solution."

    The Council directed city staff to return with its recommendations within 60 days; the package of proposals is consistent with policies previously articulated by Animal Care Services Bureau Manager, John Keisler.

    Related: Pets & Their People / Perspective: Cat Licensing in Long Beach -- And About Time! by C. Miriam Yarden, B.Sc., MS, APDT, Contributing Editor

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