Cat Foster Parents Fight Animal Limit Bylaw

Steckleys

How many pets is too many? Or should there not even be a limit on the number of pets allowed?

Gerri and Kevin Steckley foster 30 cats in their Winkler, Canada home. But the city recently notified the Steckleys that they were in violation of Winkler’s animal control bylaw that has a two-cat limit for homes fostering animals.

“They weren’t being picked on or anything of that nature, it’s just that 30 cats is a long way from two…I was made aware they have more cats than the bylaw allows. If people want to keep more animals than that they have to do it outside city limits,” said Winkler’s chief administrative officer Vince Anderson.

Pet owners who do not abide by the bylaw can be fined and may even be given a 30 day jail sentence for a second offense.

The Steckleys are challenging the animal control bylaw and said, “We put a lot of effort into getting these cats the way they are and to see it go down the tubes like that…it shows a lack of responsibility.”

They added that they would move outside the city before they gave up any of the cats that they are caring for.

The couple fosters cats from animal shelters including seven that came from a local humane society that developed lung infections when they lived at a farm. They hope the seven cats will be ready for a new home after a six month stay with them. Gerri Steckley said the cats are doing better with the couple and are adapting more to people in a home setting versus at an animal shelter.

All of the cats live inside the house and can get fresh air and playtime by going through a tunnel in their backyard that leads to an enclosed treehouse.

The Steckleys said the cats are like their children. And they simply want to take nurse them back to health, so the cats can find new loving homes.

Source: The Winnipeg Free Press

31 Responses to “Cat Foster Parents Fight Animal Limit Bylaw”

  1. catmom5 says:

    I’m delighted that these folks are in a position to move to where they can continue their good work. Thirty is a lot, but they seem to have found a way for it to make it work. I was just impressed with the ones in the picture ~ they all seem so comfortable and healthy. Can’t remember all five of mine being in such close proximity at the same time without a few swats or hisses! And they have an outdoor treehouse, too . . . (shh, mine will want the same thing if they find out!)

  2. 2CatMom says:

    YOu’d think the government would have better things to spend their time on. Is their house dirty - doesn’t look that way to me? Are they bothering the neighbors - not with an enclosed tunnel on their own property?

    So just what is the problem?

    Unless you have 0% crime, full employment, and streets so clean you could eat off them, I think the Winkler officials can find something better to do with their time.

  3. Trudy Jackson says:

    Soon, no one will want animals anywhere. They look great. So, what’s the big deal?

  4. cats sigh.... says:

    I have a lot of cats. It’s all about management. some people can do it and some can’t. All of us, who have more than 2 cats are not bad “evil hoarders”
    If the government has nothing else to do, I have a list of where I’d like my tax dollars to be spend. and it’s not on this crap.

    I am afraid that the shows on animal planet give multi animal households a bad view sometimes. And I wish those shows would tell the truth. That over 85% of animals that go to the shelters are killed after they are “saved”
    I love to watch that fake blonde chick go on about how the pets will get a good home. I personally rescued from her shelter this summer because of what they were going to kill…all babies no less.

    I have been in rescue for 25 years. Most of us have many cats. they even have carpet in that picture, and that’s what is really impressive….

    and my cats would want that treehouse too, they have to settle for window sills and one catio.

  5. Judy says:

    I guess these neighbors have nothing else to do but complain about well taken care of cats. Why is the animal control always so ready to jump on people that are propery caring for animals and yet unable to do anything about abusive situations?

  6. l.g. says:

    I think the laws should stay in place for people who will not do as good as a job as these people may be. Ditching the law would also make it more difficult to rescue abused animals. Since these people are a foster family and work with the adoption agencies, then they should be able to apply for a license that allows them to have the animals and be regulated. If it were me, i’d consider moving.

  7. straybaby says:

    cats sigh…. says:
    October 26th, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    the ASPCA was going to put down kittens?! are you sure?! CACC maybe, but unless ASPCA has drastically changed, that doesn’t sound right. i also really doubt they put down 85% of their Humane cases. The ASPCA is a no-kill shelter and part of the no-kill program here. Humane cases that need it are taken through rehab in the Behavior dept and/or Medical. some may go to rescues or sanctuaries. euthing is a last resort done for dangerous behavior or humane quality of life reasons.

  8. highnote says:

    As long as people care for their pets properly by spading or neutering them and they are healthy and do not bother any neighbor then I think they should be able to keep as many as they please. There are too many unwanted pets in this world that are distroyed every day. Thank goodness for people that love them!

  9. momkat says:

    Perhaps instead of the government having the cats taken away or fining or arresting the wonderful people who are doing this…they should come up with a foster program guideline and a permit program.
    If they have the manpower to spare to police these people, then they should be able to assign those extra officers to check on conditions and renew ‘fostering permits’ for people who are willing to do such a public service in their own homes, where it doesn’t bother anyone.
    Sometimes old laws are taken to the extreme…and they need to be revised.

  10. The Lioness says:

    Man, I hope they win! I was harrassed by my association for having more than two, and by Goddess, I bought another house and moved so I could keep them!

    I’m sorry, but these ordinances are SUCH CRAP!

    (I read the paperwork for my new home carefully before I moved there.)

    ~The Lioness

  11. The Lioness says:

    Whoever mentioned nuisance neighbors was right. I got into trouble with my ex-complex, ONLY because of a bitchy neighbor, who would walk her dog for the sole purpose of looking in people’s windows and tattling to the Association! The property manager knew about our cats–had for 2 years–yet said NOTHING until this busybody spoke up!

    My current neighbors? Great! They don’t care, as long as we don’t bother them, and we don’t. Our cats are all indoor cats.

    People are such losers sometimes.
    ~The Lioness

  12. Claudia says:

    Well that’s interesting. I was in the process of looking for land in Winkler or Morden (to move from Winnipeg) and I had no idea that the city took this stance. I have 5 cats. All of you have to realize that Winkler is a small city of around 10,000 people, predominantly good, God-fearing Mennonites. For the city to take such a pious position with good citizens who want to help rehabilitate animals is appalling. Here in Winnipeg, the bylaw is three cats, but no one is counting. I would hope that the city officials realize that fostering is not a permanent situation and if a family’s priority is to spend money on caring for animals instead of gambling, it is a bonus for the entire community — not a detriment. Thirty well cared-for cats does not equal the Hiebert puppy mill in Steinbach (is that what they’re afraid of?).

    So, good on you folks for sticking to your guns. Perhaps Morden may be another option, or have they become high and mighty as well?

    I will definitely NOT be moving my family to this town and WILL be looking for land outside of it’s city limits — and if the city swallows up the land between it and Morden, it better not think it can apply its laws after the fact because it will have a helluva fight on its hands with me!

  13. Chris Abrams says:

    In all fairness, it was not their neighbors. its most likely from their presentation to the city about raising funds for the local human society a year ago. it is sad that the city counsel has done this and i am happy to say that morden is not the same. i know these people and helped to bring this problem public to help them in their battle. i am sure that they would appreciate anyone who would be willing to email the city about their feelings about this injustice. I live in morden with 3 cats, 2 of them from the steckleys

  14. Chris Abrams says:

    If you would like to email the city of winkler about this, please copy me abramsmc @ mts dot net and i will make sure they get a copy to bring with them to the town meeting

  15. furmom says:

    What about using common sense? Which would dictate that it’s not the number of cats but how well they are cared for. As long as they are neutered, the place is clean and everyone is well fed, not roaming,what’s the problem? some people could do a good job with one cat, some with more. Some people can’t look after themselves and shouldn’t have any pets.

  16. Sindy says:

    Maybe Winkler should look into the abuse that goes on in a rural area with puppy mills etc. There is one in the area who will only deliver a pet to an owner and will not allow anyone to pick one up or come and see them first.

    Just by looking at the picture above, you can see the house is clean and the cats look fantastic. Better than some people who only have one cat.
    Winkler is a Mennonite community and severely religious. Maybe they can find some charity at home instead of being hypocrites and penalizing something that works. Move into the modern age already.
    And yes, Morden is a much better, tolerant, and free thinking place.

  17. Don Earl says:

    RE: “Just by looking at the picture above, you can see the house is clean and the cats look fantastic.”

    Actually, the cats look like they were PhotoShopped into the picture. Cats generally don’t reach a third the size of a large person, or become half again the size of a pet bed.

    Personally, I don’t think it’s possible to do justice to 30 cats. You can only pet one at a time, and a day isn’t long enough to split 30 ways and still give each one quality time.

    We’re basically talking about a collector here. 30 turns to 60 and 60 turns to 200. The collectors eventually get old and senile and the cats get neglected. It’s all well and good that they want to take care of the cats, but if they’re going to do it at that level, they should be licensed as a shelter.

    No matter how well intentioned the start, these stories always seem to have sad endings. Just about anything could turn this kind of situation into a disaster. A car accident, health problems, financial problems, old age…. whatever.

    One of the hardest questions I’ve had to ask myself as a pet owner is, “What would happen to my cats if something happened to me?”.

  18. AffenGal says:

    I beg to disagree with you, Don Earl. Speak for yourself. Maybe you couldn’t do justice to 30 cats, but thankfully everyone is different. I am personally owned by six cats and five dogs. All my animals are kept inside and not allowed to roam. The cats have a lattice enclosed catio with access to it any time they choose and, the dogs have a doggie door opening into a 50′ X 10′ doggie run.

    In addition to my own animals, I foster dogs for a national dog rescue and presently have 4 foster dogs. I’ve had as many as 10 foster dogs at one time. I also foster cats for a local cat rescue and currently have 8 foster cats. All the animals, including mine are spay/neutered, current on their vacs and regularly see the vet for health checkups. They are all happy and healthy animals and, in 20 years of fostering homeless animals, not once has a cat or dog failed to be adoptable.

    I live alone and have no help to care for these homeless animals. I enjoy every minute of the time I get to spend with each one. You see, Don Earl, each animal is an individual and each has different needs. Some cats are always wanting attention and to be in my lap or on my desk while others want to sit out on the catio and be left alone except at feeding time. Dogs are the same way. I work in my home office which makes my efforts to care for the animals easier than if I worked away from home. However, I personally groom each cat and dog, including clipping their nails, on a monthly basis.

    While my floors don’t always sparkle with fresh wax and, mud does track in after a rain, my house must be maintained in presentable condition at all times. My tax clients come to the home office constantly and at times unannounced. The only comments I’ve had from any client or friend is how do I manage to keep the place so clean with all these animals. My clients don’t mind the animals and some even enjoy their company when they stop in, stopping to pet a dog or stroke a cat.

    Your statement that cats don’t get as large as a pet bed lets me know that you have the same idea a lot of people do, that cats are these little furry creatures without a lot of substance to them. Not so. Asleep on my desk as I type are a 20 lb Maine Coon cat, a 14 lb Exotic Shorthair, a 13 lb British Shorthair and a 12 lb Siamese cat. On a pillow beside my desk are an 11 lb Affenpinscher, a 14 lb Brussels Griffon and a 28 lb Brussels Griffon.

    In addition, I keep a file on each animal, fosters and my own. In each file is a complete medical history, the pet’s name and physical description, the vet’s address and phone, the pets likes and dislikes and favorite foods and complete instructions for their welfare should any unexpected event prevent me from caring for them. My adult children are well aware of these files and have agreed to carry out my instructions if and when I become incapcitated.

    My life is very much enriched by the time I spend with these wonderful creatures! Yes, I still have time to spend with my adult children, grandchildren, and selected friends. I even find time to read nonfiction books, do all my own yard work and ride my bicycle in local charity events.

    Telling you all the foregoing is only to impress upon you that not everyone who keeps 20 or 30 animals around is a hoarder. If you ever met a real life hoarder and saw how they live, you would have no question that the couple with 30 foster cats are not hoarders. Some of us genuinely enjoy having these furry bundles around and get a lot of personal satisfaction, not only from helping them find a loving home, but also helping to rehabilitate the ones who have been abused or neglected by uncaring owners.

    The next time you think about judging someone while having very little knowledge of the actual circumstances, try to remember that everyone is not like you. Some people not only can care for 20 or 30 animals at a time but, they can do a very good job of and throughly enjoy it. That may make them different from you but, it definitely does not make them “hoarders”.

  19. Don Earl says:

    AffenGal

    First, for the photo not to have been edited, the cats would have to weigh 60 pounds, not 20, or the more average 10-12. Take a closer look at it. It has quite obviously been edited.

    You mention that you have managed to adopt all the pets you’ve taken in to foster. That’s great. I don’t, however, get that impression from the above article. 30 cats is quite an accumulation for anyone actively looking to adopt the cats to permanent homes.

    As for your theory that the pets not getting attention, don’t want attention. You’re wrong. In multiple pet situations, the pets maneuver for the “favorite” position in the group. Once that position is filled, the rest wander off like lost children.

    And, once again, I’ll ask the question, “What happens to the pets if something happens to you?”. Do you know someone who will take in 30 cats? Or will they be hauled off to the nearest kill shelter to be euthanized?

    I have yet to see one of these articles where the situation did not result from complaints. I have NEVER seen one where someone with 4 well cared for indoor only pets was hassled because the limit was two. It’s fairly obvious those areas with low limits use it as a tool to deal with complaints in situations that are out of control.

    If everyone in the world acted responsibly and used good judgment, there would be no need for laws. It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that is NOT human nature. If as you claim, you’re actively involved in rescue work, no one should have to point out to you how many pet owners are less than responsible.

    These rules don’t come about because responsible pet owners are taking good care of their pets and aren’t bothering anyone. They come about because the exact opposite is true. As much as I’ve seen these kind of rules debated, I don’t think many people have stopped to consider what the situation would be without those rules.

    Would you really want the situation to change to the point where irresponsible pet owners are suddenly without limits or restrictions? If you do, I disagree.

  20. Sindy says:

    AffenGal, way to go. Keep doing what you do and I can only wish more people were as caring and responsible as you. Your fur children do thank you every day.

    Don Earl, I’m sorry but I must disagree with you this time. 30 is a large number for most people but sometimes there are exceptions.

  21. Kevin & Gerri Steckley says:

    Thank you to those who have responded.
    Please e-mail admin@cityofwinkler.ca and copy us at ksteckley@steckley.ca.
    The photo was taken by myself and not edited.
    Our cats are spayed or neutered and we have home visits by the vet.
    Our neighbours did not complain - the City Council initiated this action.
    We are commited to changing this bylaw to allow cats to be taken care of in a responsible manner. Your support is requested and we urge you to make your views known to the City of Winkler.

    Kevin & Gerri Steckley

  22. Don Earl says:

    RE: “Don Earl, I’m sorry but I must disagree with you this time. 30 is a large number for most people but sometimes there are exceptions”

    Exceptions are handled by licensing the exceptions. If you’re driving an 18 wheeler down the road, and you don’t have a license for the extra wheels, you get a ticket. It doesn’t matter how well you’re driving the thing. You demonstrate your qualifications through the licensing process, not by arguing with cops.

  23. Claudia says:

    Well said AffenGal. I’m glad to hear that you are so involved in the welfare of animals.

    Don,

    I, and many other folks, have supported your mission at a time where people were essentially calling you a liar (re: acetaminophen in pet food) even when you had proof to the contrary. I find it unusual that you condemn these people for their work in assisting the local humane society.

    I do not know the Steckly’s, but I do know a woman who lives in a town west of Winnipeg who has upwards of 25 cats, several dogs and a few ferrets. Her entire family cares for these animals which are all spayed, neutered and indoor cats. They have beautiful, glossy coats and are seen by the local vet on a regular basis. They even raised funds for orthopaedic surgery on one of the rescued cats. The house didn’t smell and everyone had their favorite spot to hang out. They all got attention when they wanted it and seemed very content.

    I also have to disagree about the level of attention any given cat wants. Of my five, one wants attention on her own terms (just in the morning on the bed or bathroom sink), my eldest (18 years) wants to sleep most of the day, the other three come and go throughout the day and mostly entertain each-other. Not every cat is a remora, and thankfully, there are humans who prefer very independent cats. I know you have more than one, but you just haven’t had one that isn’t completely sucky.

    There is no question about who is ultimately responsible for these cats — the Pembina Valley Humane Society (if I’m not mistaken) — and should anything happen to the Stecklys, they would find alternate arrangements. It’s not as if all 30 cats are “owned” by this family. It is a temporary situation. Should they not have been able to handle that many cats, they would have said stop, we can’t take any more. A family’s ability to care for a certain number of animals should be evaluated individually. Perhaps this family won the lottery and have money to burn (doubt it), or perhaps it’s their mission in life. So long as they are doing a good job of it, they are keeping these cats off the streets, keeping them from breeding, and providing temporary care until a permanent adoptive home is found. I applaud them.

    How much care do you think any of these cats would be receiving if they were housed at the shelter in a cage? Do you think they’d be happier? Having volunteered at a no-kill shelter for many years, I know first-hand how quickly an animal’s spirit is killed even though their body still lives and breathes. I’ve seen cats live in a box for two years, to the point where they become so attached to it, they are terrified when they are finally adopted. A home is a much better environment even if each cat only gets petted 15 times/day. They have the direct company of others in a free-roaming environment. That’s what counts to them.

    Don’t be so hard on well-meaning people. If they were hoarders, I’m sure they wouldn’t want to be in the limelight and here they are welcoming it and all the scrutiny that goes along with it.

  24. Claudia says:

    I also wanted to add:

    As far as the photo goes, I’m a graphic designer who does photo editing as part of my living, and the “enlargement” that you are seeing is likely due to the type of camera used to take the shot (noticing some barreling), the focal point and vantage point from where it was taken. You’d have to be pretty darn good to “Photoshop” these cats from emaciation to the pictured status without disturbing the surrounding picture. In my opinion, it was not altered.

  25. straybaby says:

    Claudia says:
    October 28th, 2007 at 4:56 pm

    i have to agree about it not being altered. i was wondering it it was the lens plus vantage point. it seems to have a bit of a wide angle and the furniture also seems a bit off in scale as you get towards the outer edges.

  26. Don Earl says:

    Yes, photos are just ever so hard to edit:

    http://z.about.com/d/urbanlege.....antcat.jpg

    According to the Steckley’s own statements in the source article:

    “Kevin Steckley said the cats he and his wife care for are spayed and neutered shortly after birth, so the cat population they have doesn’t spiral out of control.”

    Cats are at their most adoptable as kittens. The Steckleys aren’t fostering these kittens, they’re collecting them.

    Also from the article, only 7 of the 30 were acquired from a shelter with the possible intent to find homes for them.

    RE: “I, and many other folks, have supported your mission at a time where people were essentially calling you a liar”

    I don’t recall anyone calling me a liar, even in essence. People can judge my honesty, or lack thereof, by the way my feet go, not the way my mouth goes. If I’ve gained a certain amount of respect as a result of my efforts, I have to assume it’s because folks have found that my feet and my mouth are going the same direction.

    And, while on the topic of the mouth and feet thing, there’s a big difference between supporting something and paying lip service to it. There ARE those who have helped by make samples available for testing, or who have had samples tested at their own expense, or have made contributions so that those who have samples available for testing, but can’t afford it, can have those samples tested, or have made media contacts, or written letters, or have gotten active in many other ways. That’s support! My kindest regards to those who have helped.

    In the mean time, I don’t believe in double standards. If a shelter with 30 animals is subject to regulations and oversight, a private party should be subject to the same standards if they want to maintain 30 animals. I am NOT in favor of changes that favor collectors and scoff laws. The articles about old people with 200 pets living in squalor are about people who started out just like the Steckleys.

    Good intentions aren’t a substitute for good sense.

  27. Sindy says:

    Given all the various view points shown here, it’s seems to be a case that the Steckley’s are doing a good job with good intentions. And many rural areas have farm cats that are never spayed or neutered because it’s a waste of money since they are viewed as animals, not pets by some farmers. Heck, they usually just drown the kittens because there will be more anyways. (Head exploding here but that’s another story)
    But I would not like to see just anyone able to do this. If Winkler could have some sort of home visit that would be able to see that the situation is under control and humane, then let it be. I think the monitoring would ensure that cruelty and inhumane or unsanitary conditions would not occur. The monitoring could even by done by the vet who makes the home visits. Not everyone could handle 30 animals but sometimes someone can. Unfortunately I don’t think Winkler will tolerate this situation but if the Steckley’s do have to move, don’t support the Winkler tax base and move to Morden instead.

  28. AffenGal says:

    You are absolutely right, Don Earl. There are far too many irresponsible pet owners in this world who make the rules necessary. As far as I am concerned, no irresponsible person should be allowed to have even one pet! If everyone was responsible, had their animals spay/neutered, got the animals appropriate vaccinations and medical care, and kept the animals in a clean, healthy environment there would be no need for rescue workers at all.

    Sadly, most people get a pet or two and never have them altered so they just produce more unwanted animals. A surprising number of people do not even vaccinate their cat or dog nor do they get them the appropriate medical care. After they tire of taking even minimal care of their pet, they either abandon them or take them to the local animal control. In rescue, I have seen the results of irresponsible pet owners many times and it angers and deeply saddens me.

    However, I do know that city rules can be bent for the right circumstances. My city has a 4 cat and 4 dog limit. In July of 2006, a neighbor who had decided I kidnapped her toy poodle, decided to get even and called animal control to turn in a complaint that I was neglecting my animals. Animal control came to my house unannounced and said they were sent to investigate a cruelty complaint. I invited them in and introduced them to my pack of dogs and cats. After I had offered them a chair, I excused myself to go get the files on all the animals so they could verify the necessary vaccinations. Those guys took one look around and told me not to bother with any records because it was obvious someone had a bone to pick with me and they were going to turn in a report to show that everything checked out fine. They were a bit surprised when my answer to the question about the animals being spay/neutered was “every single one”. Both of them ended up with a cat on his lap and petting a few of the dogs. I’ve heard nothing since from animal control or the neighbor :-)

    As far as what will happen to my animals should I be unable to care for them, I guess I didn’t mention that the dogs I foster are with a national breed rescue and are all pure bred dogs. In the event it becomes necessary, the rescue arranges for other foster homes, which are all over the U.S., to come to my house to pick up the dogs. I’ve seen that in action last year when one foster person was hospitalized for two weeks. At the time, she had 12 foster dogs. It took less than 12 hours for other foster homes to go to her house and get the dogs. As for the cats, I work with a pure breed rescue in my city. They take in all different kinds of pure breed cats. That is why I have Exotic Shorthairs, Maine Coons, Siamese, British Shorthairs and others. Should something happen to me, the same plan is put into place as with the dogs. The files contain instructions on who to contact and how to contact them to get the animals into their new foster home. My children, best friend, two sisters and three neighbors know the location of the files in my office. I spend a lot of time, energy and money caring for these homeless cats and dogs and, I would never leave their fate to chance should something happen that prevented me from caring for them.

    Incidently, I do have a limit on the number of cats and dogs I am willing to care for at one time. I do know my limits and, I will not take in more than I feel I can care for properly. I have turned down fosters when I know I am currently maxed out. Most of the animals find homes promptly after being properly socialized, returned to health, leash trained or housebroken and I get their picture and a small sketch about them posted on the internet (Petfinder). Both the cat and dog rescues screen potential owners extremely well! We even do home visits and speak with their vet. It is very rare for me to have the same foster animal over 6 months.

    I do hope that my situation has shown you that not all homes with multiple animals can be considered a hoarding situation. Yes, we must have rules due to the people who do collect animals and do not give them proper care. However, I hope that other cities will come to realize that the rules are for the irresponsible and overlook someone who is actually helping the animals the way my city did.

  29. Claudia says:

    Don,

    That image link you provided looks really obvious (cloning stamp ripples, cat out of focus/blurred edges while person is in focus in background). But even this poorly done example takes a bit of knowhow. Once again, though, most people doing wrong don’t invite scrutiny.

    From the article:

    “The gaggle of cats includes seven from a local humane society the couple said were traumatized after living at a local farm, where the animals developed lung infections.”

    –This doesn’t mean that all the others are theirs. It just says that seven of the cats they’re caring for were traumatized, and had lung infections.

    “Kevin Steckley said the cats he and his wife care for are spayed and neutered shortly after birth, so the cat population they have doesn’t spiral out of control.”

    –These would be feral or barn kittens they have taken in. So what? They’re trying to point out that there is no opportunity to breed. Still doesn’t mean that they are their own cats.

    How may cats would be reasonable in any given home? What if you are a millionaire, don’t have to go to work, have a staff of five and a 7,000 square foot home? Your entire inheritance is willed to your pets and those that will care for them. Would it be OK, then?

    I agree that 30 is a lot for some folks, but one is to many for someone who doesn’t care for it properly. Instead of a blanket policy, any jurisdiction needs to assess individual, unique situations.

    Of course, even though there are these laws, most people ignore them and hoarders will still hoard. It is a mental illness and be it newspapers, or pets, it needs to be addressed as a mental illness. Laws don’t help the very situations we all abhor. But those that do provide a service, or have proven that they are able to handle these circumstances, should be granted special license. If a vet is willing to vouch for the health of the animals and living conditions, then, what’s the problem? If these cats were in terrible shape, I would agree with you — take them away and give them proper care.

    Also, what’s the difference if the Stecklys decide to move to the outskirts of Winkler? Will their situation be any different? Maybe they’ll just be a little farther away from the vet and city council can say they won. So, is anyone any further ahead? Nope.

  30. Claudia says:

    The editing option just hasn’t been working for me lately:

    Look, city council, make sure there are alternate arrangements should anything happen to the Stecklys, have regular home visits by the vet and shelter, cap it at the current 30 and let it be.

  31. Joy says:

    I would like to see the ridiculous bylaw about cats who are fixed not being allowed to go out of doors. How do they think the rodent population is being kept down. I would love to see people start fighting this. Could we start a list to send in.


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