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Cat-Catcher Told That's No-No

Ferry Lane woman catches a lost cat that was terrorizing birds in her garden.

You can’t catch a cat in a trap in Barrington -- even if it’s attacking birds in your garden.

Your cat also needs to have a collar with a license in Barrington.

Barrington’s animal control officer, Patricia Clancy Watson, delivered those messages to a Ferry Lane cat-catcher and the cat’s owner last week.

The Ferry Lane woman caught a cat without a collar in a carrier on Thursday evening, Sept. 6. She told police that the cat had been tearing up her garden for the past three days while attacking birds.

The woman attempted to deliver the cat to the police station, said Police Chief John LaCross, but the department does not accept strays. A dispatcher went through a list of reported lost animals, however, and found a cat that matched the description.

The owner of the cat was contacted and did respond to the police station to identify it and take it home. The owner said that the cat won’t wear a collar; it keeps pulling it off.

Try again, the owner was told. And don’t catch cats, the ACO told the cat-catcher.

TryingForGreen September 11, 2012 at 11:44 AM
I don't blame that woman for catching the cat. I love cats, but they get free range, which, when you think about dogs having to be leashed/contained, doesn't seem quite fair. When a new cat moved to our neighborhood, it immediately began coming into our yard, where we have bird feeders & were enjoying observing a family of chipmunks. It didn't take long for the chipmunks to disappear. It was very disappointing & frustrating, because there wasn't a darn thing we could do to keep that cat out of our yard.
joe sturm September 11, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Cats are predators by nature and there is nothing that will change that. It is helpful if bells are put on their collars which will forewarn thir prey. However, as stated by the cat owner, cats shed their collars regularly. They also can be seriously harmed by their collars hanging up on fences, branches, etc. I suggest that a new method be adopted by the town which wll register cats possibly via an electronic chip. It is a frustrating problem which I am well aware of.
Amy O'Donnell September 11, 2012 at 10:55 PM
If you are going to write a story get the facts staight... the cat was in pursuit of the baby bunnies my daughter marvels to watch as they grow up in our yard, the cat stalked and killed migratory birds all season, I called the animal control person after trying to find the owner myself by knocking on doors, she wasn't on duty and the officer said bring it in because it matched the description of a missing cat, I called for guidance when upset- received none and now a public condemnation! Shame on you! We are new to Barrington and pretty disheartened!
Joel Hellmann September 12, 2012 at 12:49 AM
IF my dog, which has a license, runs in my yard chasing a ball, without a lease, and never leaves my yard, I am subject to a large fine. I remember when that foolish ordinance was passed and I remember fighting against it. But cats, killing animals and destroying gardens on other people's property the owner is not fined, then something is wrong. Laws need to be fair. Somewhere we have lost this concept
Manifold Witness September 12, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Amy: Sorry for the problems you’ve had related to that cat. Thanks for posting. The comments to the articles are sometimes more illuminating than the articles themselves & folks who post sometimes tell each other “go read the comments” on an article, rather than the article itself. Mr. Rupp is usually very willing to post clarifications. It seems that there are times when it is difficult to get assistance from the “Animal Control Officer”. Sometimes folks who call for assistance are told that the officer is not on duty. Sometimes folks are told to call DEM & that the Barrington officer is really just “domestic” animal control. Then DEM says: DEM doesn’t have enough staff in the area, call Barrington back, & Barrington is the only RI municipality that doesn’t handle their own animal control issues. Then, if you tell Barrington Police what DEM says, the two agencies seem to work something out. It’s time consuming for the caller who needs assistance. Take names. There've been rabid animals in Barrington. A cat without tags is a potential risk. You can’t tell if the cat’s owner has complied with the health/safety reasons behind the licensing requirements. When “the officer said bring it in”, the officer probably didn’t realize that you may have been put at risk. Instead of telling you to bring the cat in, maybe the officer should have contacted the ACO to get the cat. We’re glad you’re safe! Best wishes.
Manifold Witness September 12, 2012 at 01:08 AM
Uh...Joel...to recap....your dog HAS a license, AND a ball, but his "lease" expired? That darn spell-check. :-)
Barrington Partnership for Animal Welfare September 12, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Amy - can you e-mail me at info@barringtonpaw.org? I would like to connect with you about this - thank you! I am sorry you had this experience.
Barrington Partnership for Animal Welfare September 12, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Since 2007 the volunteers at Barrington Partnership for Animal Welfare (Barrington PAW) have been TRYING to advocate for improvements to our animal control system. No one who has been around long enough will question that there have been improvements (prior to 2007 it was not just difficult be virtually impossible to get a response!!) - and...little known fact...also prior to 2007 90% or more of animals picked up by the ACO were euthanized - the worst rate in the state! All of that has changed - the ACO will usually respond now IF working and stray animals are all given medical care and adopted out now (thanks to the efforts of volunteers!) - but - there is absolutely no question that trying to make some real improvements that result in responsiveness for residents all the time has been like banging our heads against a concrete wall! Anyone with thoughts, suggestions, etc. we'd love to have you get involved please e-mail us at info@barringtonpaw.org... And - as for the cats - whether you love cats or hate cats you should be helping us advocate that people keep them indoors!!! There have been as many as 2-3 cats going missing each week - it is not safe for the cats or for the wildlife to have them roaming outside. We do promote the trap-neuter-return method of control for feral cats which does result in those cats being outside but those numbers are very, very few in our town and we are always happy to work with residents if any are a nuisance.
Cindy September 12, 2012 at 04:31 PM
I had the great pleasure of spending the better part of a Christmas Day catching a rabid skunk and then waiting for 4 hours for DEM to arrive to pick it up. I guess I could have just let it wander off but that seemed irresponsible - unfortunately Barrington PD and DEM didn't share that concern! But yes, unfortunately the public safety issues associated with the town lack of response or interest in this topic is very much over-looked!
Joel Hellmann September 12, 2012 at 04:37 PM
the spell check on my computer won't work on patch and I am a lousy typist sorry!
Manifold Witness September 12, 2012 at 05:10 PM
No problem, Joel... it's just difficult to shake the image of your pup maybe wearing horn-rimmed eyeglasses & toting a briefcase with his lease renewal proposal! ;-) Notwithstanding the image, the good points in your comment were not lost. Thanks.
Jack N. Hoff September 13, 2012 at 03:42 PM
This is terrible you really shouldn't be capturing cats this is the real world cats have rights like everyone else
Local Bargain Jerk September 21, 2012 at 05:48 PM
>> cats have rights like everyone else If an unlicensed cat with no name tag or other means of identifying/returing it visits my property repeatedly even after I have chased it away, I will assume (rightly or wrongly) that it's a feral cat. If the feral cat tears up my garden, and kills the animals on my property, the cat has the "right" to be sprayed with my garden hose. If, after being doused, the cat returns and continues to destroy my property, he has earned the "right" to be shot in the meat of his hindquarters with a BB gun. So we agree, cats do have rights.
Barrington Partnership for Animal Welfare September 21, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Recognizing that Local Bargain Jerk may simply be attempting to insight folks for fun (or I should clarify their disturbed view of fun) with the comments I'd like to clarify that anyone taking those actions (shooting an animal in our state) is in violation of the law and will be prosecuted.
Local Bargain Jerk September 21, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Thanks for the clarification, your earnestness. You're right: Because of laws against shooting a gun in confined spaces here in RI (even a BB gun and even when the shooter owns the property on which the teeny-tiny BBs are fired), people would be advised not to do so regardless of how much the cat's behavior demanded it. So, yes, BPAW, we agree. In the event a neighbor is irresponsible and inconsiderate enough to allow his or her cat(s) to roam all over others' property, destroying the property and killing other animals, it would be better to stick to soaking the cat with the garden hose until it left the property, and perhaps hiding behind a tree and dousing it again if it dared come back. BPAW and I are in total agreement on this. While I have been known to incite "folks for fun", doing so in this case helped me gain the insight that I'm not as tone deaf as others seem to be. Rock on, BPAW.

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