• December 27, 2014

Feral cat petition nears goal for ballot item

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Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 2:09 pm, Mon Nov 25, 2013.

COPPERAS COVE — Residents in favor of repealing the city’s feral cat ordinance are close to reaching their goal to get the item on the May ballot if necessary.

At Wednesday night’s Animal Shelter Advisory Committee meeting, member Robyn Bandinel commended audience members for their efforts.

“We are within a couple of hundred signatures from where we need to be to get it back on the ballot,” Bandinel said. “Great job to everyone that has worked on this.”

In September, a separate five-member committee was formed to begin the referendum petition process to repeal the city’s feral cat ordinance, which fines anyone who cares for the animals, which some groups do as a way to spay and neuter the cats. It defines feral cats as wild, untamed or unsocialized felines. A domestic cat, according to the city, is defined as one that does not show long-term fear and resistance to contact with humans.

Petition committee members will be at Beall’s Department Store in Cove Terrace Shopping Center off of U.S. Highway 190 on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and starting at noon on Sunday, hoping to get the last signatures needed.

“We are close to 400 signatures and our aim is 500,” Kathy Kwieran said. Kweiran operates Kathy’s Kitties, which offers low-cost spay and neuter services for cats.

Supporters have held signature drives nearly every weekend since mid-October and the deadline is Nov. 25. The petition must get 2.5 percent of the number of local voters who participated in the last presidential election, which was 19,000. If the group gets 486 signatures, it will force the City Council to reconsider the ordinance. If the governing body doesn’t repeal the ordinance, the item will appear for public election on the May 2014 ballot.

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