Originally Posted by Sweets
Since they're feral (they all started as kittens so I know they're not drop-offs or strays), I call myself a custodian, not an owner.
Hi Sandy, and All,
I'm not a lawyer, and I'm (obviously) not Mark either. But here's one take on it. If you take animals to a veterinarian, and if you are known to provide food for them, and sometimes shelter, you COULD be considered, under the law, to be an owner of them. Yes, that's really unfair, in my personal opinion, but that's how it's often seen. If you can convince a local rescue organization to consider unowned cats as "theirs" you probably would be in a better position. Also, if you can consistently work on teaching your neighbors WHY the cats need help and why YOU happen to be helping them (and, um, incidentally, how THEY could help), you will be less likely to need to worry about any definition. (It's like the old "good fences make good neighbors" argument: Let people see that you're willing to listen and to work with them to resolve problems, and that way the law doesn't have to come into play at all.
The trouble is that most law that I have ever seen doesn't "see" feral animals at all; it's owned, or wild, nothing in between. (So, you could, maybe, say, well, the law doesn't APPLY to feral cats . . . . Hmmmmm.)