Fri12192014

Mountain View on the Move

MV unleashes new ordinance requiring licensing for cats


Photo By: Courtesy of Miramonte Veterinary Hospital
Photo Courtesy Of Miramonte Veterinary Hospital

Kittens, like these from Miramonte Veterinary Hospital in Mountain View, will need licenses just like the dogs.

Licensing has been going to the dogs. But a new animal welfare and control ordinance passed by Mountain View extends to cats, too.

At the request of the city’s animal services agency, the Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority (SVACA), the Mountain View City Council June 4 approved a law that would “modernize” regulations “to include spay and neuter requirements for at-large animals, and the use of humane animal traps,” according to a city staff report.

Staff said adopting the ordinance would streamline services for Mountain View, with SVACA assuming responsibility for administrative tasks and enforcement previously provided by police officers and other city staff.

While tailored to specific Mountain View needs, such as prohibition of animals in food establishments, the law expands on requirements for appropriate food, shelter, immunizations and licensing. It requires licenses for cats and dogs four months and older. Rabies vaccinations are also mandated as part of the licensing process.

In particular, the law includes wording specific to beekeeping where none existed before. New rules allow for beekeeping as long as bees are housed at least 10 feet from a property line and 20 feet from a street.

“The setbacks are reasonable,” said Mountain View beekeeper Bruce Karney, who spoke at the council meeting.

“Up until this, bees were only allowed in (agricultural) zoning,” said Councilman Mike Kasperzak.

Some councilmembers objected to license requirements for cats.

“I don’t know what we’re trying to solve,” said Councilman Jac Siegel.

“If cats are in the system,” countered Dan Soszynski, executive director of SVACA, “there’s a chance of reuniting them with their owner.”

Kasperzak noted that licensing cats was a matter of consistency.

“If we’re going to license dogs, I don’t know why cats get a free ride,” he said.

Councilman John McAlister, however, countered that “this is not going to be an ordinance that is enforced or adhered to.”

Nonetheless, councilmembers, including McAlister, voted 6-1, to proceed with the ordinance as proposed. Mayor John Inks cast the lone dissenting vote, citingwhat he felt was unnecessary regulation.

A second reading of the law was scheduled at Tuesday’s council meeting, after the Town Crier’s press deadline.

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