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Legal Questions on Ferals

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I live in Arizona. If I allow these ferals to come and eat and whatever, is there a law somewhere that I have to have some kind of a license, or something? I don't want some idiot taking me to court for having too many cats on the loose and/or not having a cattery license if there is such a thing. Who would I get in touch with to finid out this kind of stuff? Any ideas, comments, anything?
post #2 of 4
I just conducted a google search and came up with http://livepublish.municode.com/Live...nfobase=11294, which has the Tucson Code of Ordinances in a searchable database. But I'm obviously not searching correctly, because I'm not finding useful codes. I've PMd our resident "expert" on this - don't know what suggestions she may have. But in the meantime, you can try calling a local shelter. You can also PM Mark Kumpf, who is an animal control officer in Virginia Beach. He's been kind enough to register with TCS to help us understand some of the issues with local animal control activity there (the discussions are over in the SOS forum). If you ask him very nicely, he may have suggestions as to how to find out what your local codes and laws are, either how to find them on the web or who to call in your municipality that would have that information.

The info we have up on Stray Pet Advocacy is related to animal cruelty laws, current legislative issues at the state & federal level and Model shelter laws.
post #3 of 4
I looked at the Tucson City Code. Honestly, you're lucky that your city has their code online. Most don't yet.

Anyway, if you go here, http://livepublish.municode.com/2/lp....htm&vid=11294 and choose Chapter 4, Animals and Fowl, then Article 1, In General, that is the code that pertains to cats. One part, Sec. 4-6 states:

It shall be unlawful for any person to harbor or keep within the city any lost or strayed animal. Whenever any animal shall be found which appears to be lost or strayed, it shall be the duty of the finder to notify the animal shelter or pound at once.
But, ferals aren't strayed or lost animals. They aren't "owned" in a traditional sense.

However, for one of your questions, under Sec. 4-9:

(c)Owner means any person owning, keeping, possessing, harboring, maintaining or having custody or otherwise having control of an animal.
So, maintaining the animals legally makes you their owner.

In reading all of this, one thing I do not see is any kind of pre-ordained "limit" to the number of animals you may keep. There are clear cut guidelines to neglect and cruelty, but not a limit.

And really, all of it leaves your entire question open to interpretation. As Mark has said numerous times in the SOS threads, Animal Control doesn't usually go looking for animals to impound. But if there is a valid complaint, then they respond.

My suggestion is to call (anonymously!) the Animal Control and find out if they have any policies toward feral cat colonies and their caretakers. And of course, if you are outside of the true city limits of Tucson, none of this applies. If that's the case, call your City's Clerk and ask if you can get a copy of the Code pertaining to domestic animals.
post #4 of 4
Thanks Heidi! I KNEW I wasn't searching correctly!
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