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What can I do to feral cats that come into MY yard?

Southport, NC |

I attract many, many birds to my yard, and now I have feral cats that constantly stay in my yard, under my house, on my front porch and in my backyard where they tear up my vegtable garden and spray all over the yard which drives my LEGALLY owned dogs crazy. I do not naturally dislike animals; however, this has gone on long enough. Animal control brings out a trap then they release it, Iam fed up and want them gone. Legally what are my option? I legally have the right to protect my home from any intruders, animal or otherwise. If this were an alligator, or a wild bear no one would care if I shot it, please let me know what I can do.
Thanks

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

They most certainly would care if you shot an alligator, bear, or feral cat.

If you want the cats out of your yard stop feeding the birds, put up a fence, and allow your dogs to roam the yard.

If we do not have a signed fee agreement I am not your attorney and this is not legal advice.

Laura Mcfarland-Taylor

Laura Mcfarland-Taylor

Posted

Citations to those laws, please. And please cite your authority for this statement: "Since cats are listed in the TOP 40 WORST invasive-species of the world in the "Global Invasive Species Database", this means they have no protection whatsoever from being shot on sight, they are not on any protected-species list anywhere in the world. And in fact, if your area enforces and obeys invasive-species laws -- as they should -- then it is against the law to NOT destroy any cat on sight, someone's pet or not. It is your civic and moral responsibility to destroy any invasive-species that is found away from supervised confinement and roaming freely in a non-native habitat." The study by the University of Nebraska has no legal authority and merely proposes solutions to the feral cat problem.

Posted

You might also inquire why AC is releasing wild animals elsewhere, as that is the biological equivalent of dumping your trash on someone else's lawn. It is, in fact, illegal in a number of states for that reason, and that it spreads disease.

An SNR program - Spay, Neuter, Release - is also a good way to reduce the numbers of feral cats in a given area.

The foregoing is for general information purposes and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

Posted

Feral cats are not owned by anyone per se in that they do not have a specific person or house that they "belong" to, but they are everyone's problem because the human race has allows cat populations to breed out of control by not being responsible and spaying and neutering consistently. You can't just go and kill them or otherwise harm them just because they bother you. There are many humane remedies if you want to control their intrusions onto your private property. Go online or to your local pet store for a myriad of inexpensive, effective suggestions. Another idea: Get involved in your community's management of feral cat populations with TNR (trap-neuter-return) by getting your own humane trap(s) and taking the cats to a vet or low-cost spay-neuter clinic to get fixed and then releasing them into a safe area where you and others provide food and water and periodically monitor them. Groups like Alley Cat Allies can provide you with information, support and perhaps even leads on funding sources. Going this route might change your entire outlook on things. Best of luck!

This post should not be construed as formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.<br /> <a href="http://www.joanbundylaw.com" target="_blank">Joan M. Bundy, Attorney at Law, Chandler, Arizona</a>&nbsp;|&nbsp;

Posted

I agree with many of the comments/answers already posted. But, I want to add another wrinkle: NC has some of the most progressive animal cruelty statutes in the country. While there's not a financial incentive to do so, the NC statutes allow for private attorneys-general to criminal charges against someone suspected of animal cruelty.

As another attorney indicated, there are humane alternatives. Not the least of which is working through Animal Control to have the problem assessed and dealt with. Feral cats (in particular) are becoming an issue throughout the country and pose a special problem as many rescue organizations are not equipped to handle un-domesticated cats.

But, you're much better off contacting Animal Control for your county or a rescue organization than taking the chance of being brought up on charge of animal cruelty while "protect[ing] your home from any intruders, animal or otherwise.]"

Joan M Bundy

Joan M Bundy

Posted

I would also add that companion animal rescue organizations particularly animal control are not well equipped to handle feral cats. Because they are so hard to place as "pets" because of their wild nature (unless they are very young kittens who are more likely to be able to be "socialized" into tolerable tameness), the likelihood of such felines being euthanized for lack of a home are about 99%.

Howard M Lewis

Howard M Lewis

Posted

great counsel