(Metro Creative Graphics Photo)

Okanagan mayor would support licensing cats

Penticton Mayor Vassilaki said he would also support a bylaw to have local cats licensed

Penticton cat owners are being warned to think twice about letting their furry friends roam outside.

As residents concentrated in the Wiltse area continue to raise alarm that loose cats have been suffering acts of animal cruelty, City of Penticton poundkeeper Elizabeth Bigg has offered some advice.

“In the area we’re in, you have land and air predators, which play a huge role in cats going missing,” said Bigg, who operates the dog control department. “Licensing helps in terms of returning animals, but so does microchipping and tattooing.”

Unlike dogs, cats do not need to be leashed or licensed in Penticton. Bigg does not take calls for stray or roaming cats since the bylaw is only concerned with stray or roaming dogs.

However, Bigg does pick up deceased animals, including cats, to help find the owner and give them some closure.

She said she can understand why cat owners allow their pets to roam freely, but also sees it from the perspective of people who don’t want stray cats on their property.

Related: Cat hoarder surrenders 30 more cats to BC SPCA

“As far as keeping them in, some cats are just not that easy. I mean, they’re natural wanderers,” said Bigg. “I know it’s conflicting, because people don’t want them in their yards or gardens.”

Bigg also said she tries to encourage cat owners to install catios – covered enclosures that allow cats to go outside without allowing them to leave the property.

“I know there’s an expense (to catios), but at least the cat get’s a bit of both worlds, which is what they need,” she said. “They still have to do things that are natural to them, and you want to promote that for their well-being.”


Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki said he would support a bylaw to have local cats licensed the same way as dogs.

Vassilaki said such a bylaw would help return lost pets to their owners and allow the city to track the welfare of cats that frequently roam free.

“I don’t really mind whether folks in the community keep their cats indoors or outdoors, as long as they look after them to make sure that they’re well fed and kept healthy,” Vassilaki said.

“We don’t make much of a revenue with licensing. The book work and the staff time is nowhere near covered by the licensing fee,” he added. “So people can’t say it’s just another tax grab. That’s not the case.”

Related: BC SPCA has new plan to decrease the number of animals in its care

Bigg said that if the city were to implement a bylaw adding cats under her pound operation, a new facility would need to be constructed to properly care for impounded cats.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Kelowna man in wheelchair following police-involved shooting

“Shots were fired by police and the male was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.”

Alberta’s oil-by-rail plan a worry for Shuswap mayor

High volume of train traffic already an environmental/public safety concern

Snowplow accident leads to power surge, small claims decision

Tribunal rules Salmon Arm resident not entitled to additional compensation

Intentionally-set fire damages Scotch Creek building

Men help extinguish blaze by kicking snow on it

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Concert intended to help audience let go of stress and be happy

Northern Lights Chamber Choir celebrates 10 years of singing together

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

Man wanted for sex trafficking, confinement may be heading to B.C.

Kevin Myrthil, 26, is also accused of assault on a 19-year-old woman at an Edmonton hotel

Bursaries available for trades students at Okanagan College

“With this bursary, we want women to know that there is a place for you in this industry and a place for you to excel.”

A mother’s warning: Man follows Peachland teen to her home from Kelowna

The teen’s mother is warning others about the incident

Kelowna RCMP urge hit and run driver to turn themselves in

An alleged hit and run occured late Feb. 18

B.C. Speaker Darryl Plecas resumes battle with suspended staff

Committee meets at B.C. legislature to consider new allegations

Northern B.C. train derailment due to broken axle could happen again: TSB

CN coal train derailment caused by broken axle can happen again without a different way to inspect

Most Read