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WHEREAS​, stray and feral cats have been an issue of concern for residents due to
damage to personal property, killing of songbirds, and other undesirable behaviors; and

WHEREAS​, stray and feral cats are such due to the negligence of individuals who
abandon, dump, or otherwise discard domesticated animals that are allowed to reproduce
uncontrolled; and

WHEREAS​, compassionate residents feed, harbor or otherwise sustain the feral and
stray cat population; and

WHEREAS​, this Council believes it is important to manage the stray and feral cat
population through humane means; and

WHEREAS​, the Ordinance Committee of this Council has sought out and received the
advice and counsel of animal rescue groups, the Lake County Health District, and members of
the community; and

WHEREAS​, this Council believes the most humane method of managing the Feral and
Stray Cat population in the City is by working with Animal Welfare Organizations.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Council of the City of
MentorontheLake, County of Lake and State of Ohio, as follows:

Section 1​. That the following ordinances ae adopted and as adopted reads as follows:

618.19 ​Feeding or Harboring of Nuisance Health Risk Animals Prohibited; Establishing
the Requirement for Registration of Feral Cat Colonies

(a) Prohibition​. No person within the limits of the City shall knowingly feed and/or
harbor nuisance health risk animals

(b) Exceptions​. The provisions of Section (a) above shall not apply to the following

(1) Any Qualified Caregiver sponsored by and under the supervision of an
Animal Welfare Organization registered with the City to promote a
Trap-Neuter-Return (“TNR”) Program in which Feral or Stray Cats are trapped,
sterilized, vaccinated against rabies, ear tipped and returned to the Qualified

(2) This section shall not apply to licensed trappers or permitted hunters actively
baiting nuisance health risk animals in order to lawfully trap or harvest such

(c) ​Affirmative Defense.​ It shall be an affirmative defense to the feeding of a Feral Cat
or a Stray Cat that the cat previously was spayed or neutered. Evidence that the cat was
ear-tipped shall constitute proof of this affirmative defense.

(d) ​Definitions​. The following words and phrases, when used in Ordinances 618.19
and 618.19.1, shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this Ordinance:

(1) "Abandoned Animal's means a domesticated cat that an owner has
forsaken entirely or neglected or refused to provide care and support.

(2) "Animal Welfare Organization" means any charitable corporation whose
purpose includes promotion of animal welfare and that has been granted 501(c)(3)
nonprofit status by the Internal Revenue Service and which has registered with the
City to operate within its boundaries.

(3) "Ear-tipping" means straight-line cutting of the tip of the left ear of a cat
while the cat is anesthetized when done to evidence that the cat has been sterilized
and vaccinated.

( 4) "Feral cat" shall mean a member of the felis catus genus species that does
not reside in a human occupied dwelling and that has never been tamed and
socialized to humans.

(5) "Feral Cat Colony" means a group of cats that congregates, more or less,
together as a unit. Although not every cat in a Colony may be feral, any non-feral
cats that congregate with a colony shall be deemed to be a part of it.

(6) “Nuisance Health Risk Animals” shall mean rats, raccoons, skunks, deer,
coyotes and feral cats

(7) "Qualified Caregiver” or “Feral Cat Colony Caregiver” means any person
who takes responsibility for the care and management of a City registered stray
feral cat colony.

(8) "Registration" means annual completion of a form by an Animal Welfare
Organization that contains the information set forth in Ordinance 618.19.1.

(9) "Stray Cat" means a cat that is regularly off the property of the owner, is
not under the physical control and restraint of the owner, and is not regularly
provided with food by its owner.

(10) "TNR" means Trap, Neuter and Return.

(11) "TNR Program" means a program pursuant to which feral and stray cats
are trapped, neutered or spayed, vaccinated against rabies, and returned to the
location where they congregate, in accordance with this chapter.

(f) ​Penalty​. Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor for a first
offense, a fourth degree misdemeanor for the second offense, and a third degree misdemeanor for
a third or subsequent offense. The penalty shall be as provided in Section 698.02 and in Chapter
698. A separate offense shall be deemed committed each day during or on which a violation
occurs or continues.

618.19.1 Establishing the Requirements for Registered Feral Cat Colonies, Qualified
Caregivers and Animal Welfare Organizations as defined in this ordinance.

a. ​Requirement to register Cat Colony​ When a Feral Cat Colony is found to exist, a
person may via this ordinance, maintain and care for the feral cats by providing food, water,
shelter and other forms of sustenance, provided that the person registers the Feral Cat Colony
with an Animal Welfare Organization that has registered with the City to operate within the
boundaries of the City.

b. Requirements of Feral Cat Colony Caregiver​: Feral Cat Colony Caregivers shall
be responsible for the following:

i. Registering the colony with an Animal Welfare Organization that is
registered with the City.

ii. Obtaining written approval of the owner of any property, or any
authorized representative of the owner, to which the Feral Cat Colony Caregiver
requires access to provide colony care.
iii. Providing food and/or shelter only in the rear of the property, feeding on a
regular schedule, and limiting food availability to one hour up to twice daily.
iv. Obtaining proper medical attention for any colony that appears to require
v. Taking all appropriate and available steps to have the colony population
spayed or neutered by a licensed veterinarian.
vi. Taking all appropriate and available steps to vaccinate the colony
population for rabies, preferably with a three-year vaccine, and to make a
reasonable attempt to update the vaccinations as warranted and mandated by law.
vii. Ear-tipping the left ear of a colony cat that has been vaccinated and spayed
or neutered so that colony cats can be readily identified.
viii. Taking all reasonable steps to

(1) remove kittens from the colony after they have been weaned;
(2) place kittens in homes, foster homes, or reputable adoption
organizations for the purpose of subsequent permanent placement; and
(3) capture and spay the mother cat

ix. Taking all reasonable measures to resolve nuisance complaints resulting
from the Feral Cat Colony
x. Taking all reasonable measures to remove non-feral cats from the colony
to be placed in foster homes or otherwise adopted out.
xi. Reporting to the registered Animal Welfare Organization any new stray or
feral cats that have been added to the colony

c. Requirements of Animal Welfare Organizations​ Animal Welfare Organizations
that sponsor a Feral Cat Colony shall be responsible for the following:
i. Register with the City.

ii. Report quarterly on:
1. Location of Colony
2. The number and gender of all cats within the colony
3. A description of individual cats within the colony;
4. The reproductive status of all cats within the colony;
5. The number of cats that died or otherwise ceased being a part of
the colony;
6. The number of kittens born to the colony cats and their disposition;

7. The number of cats placed in animal shelters or in permanent
homes as companion cats
8. The number of cats vaccinated; and,
9. The number of cats spayed or neutered under a TNR program.

d. Withdrawal of Feral Cat Colony Caregiver​. In the event that a Feral Cat Colony
Caregiver is unable or unwilling to continue in that role, the Caregiver shall notify the Animal
Welfare Organization immediately, which shall in turn immediately notify the City. If no other
Feral Cat Caregiver is providing for the colony and if no new Feral Cat Caregiver assumes
responsibility for the colony within thirty (30) days, feeding of the colony shall cease by the

e. Failure to Adhere to Responsibilities and Revocation of Registration

i. If a Feral Cat Colony Caregiver fails to meet all the requirements of this
Ordinance or has failed to resolve a nuisance complaint related to the Feral Cat
Colony, he or she shall be notified of all deficiencies in writing and shall have
thirty (30) days to become compliant or resolve the nuisance. If not so resolved
within the thirty (30) day period, the Feral Cat Colony registration may be
ii. No person who has had their registration as a Feral Cat Colony Caregiver
revoked shall act in a manner contrary to Section 618.19.

f. Penalty​. Whoever violates this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the
fourth degree.

Section 3​. That all formal actions of this Council concerning the passage of this
Ordinance were adopted in an open meeting, and that all deliberations of this Council, or any of
its Committees, which resulted in such formal action, were in meetings open to the public, in
compliance with all legal requirements, including Section 121.22 of the Ohio Revised Code.

WHEREFORE, this Ordinance shall be in full force and effect as provided by law after
its passage by Council and approval by the Mayor.



ADOPTED: ____________________
ATTEST: ___________________
Clerk of Council


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