SEA BRIGHT CAT LAW NEARLY READY, AGAIN
Sea Bright is expected to formally adopt its trap-neuter-release ordinance in two weeks. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Sea Bright’s cat control ordinance is quickly approaching its ninth life.
But before it gets thrown in the bureaucratic litter box, local officials say they have ironed out every last kink possible in a proposed ordinance that would implement a partnership program to trap, fix and release the borough’s feral cats. Really.
“We’re done,” Councilwoman Dina Long said. “We’re finally done.”
It’s taken more than half a year and a series of revisions to satisfy the borough’s partners in the program, the Monmouth County SPCA and the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service.
The latest changes include adding another year to the program, bringing it to 2015, creating a new section in the ordinance saying all parties involved are responsible for the protection of endangered species in town (piping plovers, not cats), and most importantly, Long said, added in a hold-harmless agreement for all involved parties the last major stumbling block to getting the ordinance passed, she said.
“Everybody is satisfied now,” Long said.
Once implemented, the feral cat population will be rounded up by assigned volunteers, or “caretakers,” who will take the cats to the SPCA to be spayed or neutered, given shots and microchipped. The cats will be given back to the caretakers, who will return them to the same locations at which they were found.
If the council votes to pass the ordinance at its next meeting on December 21 which Long anticipates then she will set up a date for a free microchipping clinic in town. Then the caretakers can be assigned and the real work can start, she says.