Stray cats increasing issue in Welsh

By By Doris Maricle / American Press

WELSH — The stray cat population is becoming such a nuisance that residents are complaining and the animal control officer

cannot keep up, a town official said.

“There is no sense in the number of cats we have running around town,” Alderman Allen Ardoin said. “There are so many loose

cats that people can’t plant a garden because the cats turn them into a litter box.”

Twenty-one cats were recently removed from the old Marcantel’s building.

“But the next day someone had thrown another one out,” he said. “They are really becoming a nuisance.”

Town officials always concentrate on dogs and dog owners with little attention given to cats, Ardoin said.

“Cats can be just as much of a problem, especially because they roam so much … they are everywhere,” he said. “Somebody needs

to accept responsibility for their own animals.”

The town has a leash law that requires dogs to be on a leash, and officials are considering a proposal to make it illegal

to ride or walk horses in certain areas of town. But few measures cover cats.

As part of Tuesday’s animal discussions, Alderman Charles Drake urged the council to include provisions in its new dog ordinance

to require pet owners to pay for housing and the euthanizing of animals.

Town Clerk Linda LeBlanc said

ordinances already require the owners to pay $5 per day to house the

animals and an initial

$50 impoundment fee after a dog attacks a person. There are no

provisions for owners to pay for the euthanizing of the animals.

Officials also discussed ways to make dog owners responsible for disposing of their pets’ droppings.

Alderwoman Becky Hudson said owners should be urged to use plastic bags to pick up the waste, especially on public property.

She said New Orleans has monetary penalties and community service for violators. Enforcement of a similar ordinance would

be “a nightmare” in Welsh, according to Ardoin.