NEW BETHLEHEM, PA – A recent Leader-Vindicator article reported New Bethlehem Council’s brief discussion during a Council meeting regarding complaints received about loose cats damaging residents’ property. As some of the comments, some said in jest, have been misconstrued, Council wishes to clarify its position.
The brief discussion, among the many issues discussed that evening, arose because complaints have been received and council’s assistance had been requested to address damage caused by cats running loose, the proliferation of feral or uncared for kittens and cats, cats defecating in and tearing up gardens, spraying outdoor furniture and other destructive and damaging behavior on property of Borough residents.
No action was taken at the meeting. Council is looking into what can be done legally to address the concerns of residents about the damages they are incurring.
Council supports the humane treatment of animals, does not advocate harming any animals and encourages pet owners to be responsible for their pets, including not feeding feral cats, having outside cats spayed and neutered, keeping dogs on leash or under control, and guarding against damage to neighbors’ property. Pet waste must be removed from public or private property not their own without trespassing. Waste must be properly disposed of and may not be allowed to accumulate or create an odor so as to become a nuisance.
As stated in the Leader-Vindicator article, under the current 2006 animal control ordinance, the Borough provides humane traps that residents can borrow with a security deposit for removal to an animal control or humane society facility. It provides for fines for damage caused by pets and for recovery of damages through court proceedings.
Constructive feedback with solutions that will not increase costs to taxpayers are welcomed.