Pennsylvania: Don't Endorse or Enforce Cruelty against Feral Cats

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There is much controversy to the actual definitive definition of a “feral, free-roaming, stray or community cat” and regardless of differing categories of socialization and ownership status, all cats are defined in the Code of Federal Regulations as domestic cats of the species Felisdomesticus.(ASPCA,Pet Statistics,http://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics (last visited Feb. 19, 2017) This domesticated status provides certain legal protection to cats through many state and local animal cruelty provisions. (Thurston v. Carter, 92 A. 295, 295-96 (Me. 1914).Domestic cats co-exist on a wide spectrum of socialization to humans from feral cats, those cats born outdoors with no socialization to humans to stray cats who once lived in a home but find themselves lost or abandoned by their owner and who are well-socialized, friendly cats and to try and determine if a free-roaming cat is “feral” or a lost or abandoned pet, however, is full of uncertainty. There are also those “feral cats & kittens that have been rehabilitated and have been removed from outdoors and are now living in a family dwelling. With that said, currently there is no universal method available to accurately categorize any cat as feral or tame. (Alley Cat Allies) We believe that feeding bans STATEWIDE in Pennsylvania would not only conflict with the current newly adopted “ACT 10- Libre’s Law” but also we feel that those local governing bodies would be in violation either directly or indirectly by forcing residents,(who would also be in potential violation of the following offenses) to stop feeding and abandon these cats within any location forcing them through the feeding ban, especially at the worst vulnerable time of winter months where they must maintain their body weight and metabolism in order to survive this winter. Pa 18 pa.C.S.§5531-5561 of the Pa Digest of Laws to Animals for Humane Society Police Officers, clearly states in their definitions:

1)    Domestic Animal” A dog, CAT, equine animal, bovine animal, sheep, goat or porcine animal. (A CAT is a CAT is a CAT, no different from inside or out) which would ultimately violate the following:

2)    §5532 Neglect of Animal

3)    §55633 Cruelty to Animal

4)    §5534 Aggravated Cruelty to Animal

In addition, we respectfully request our legislators to finally support and pass legislation for the protection of feral cats throughout the commonwealth for :Domestic Cats" which by Code of Federal Regulations,does not classify any cats into categories other than one category and should be protected. We also ask that our legislators support the following:

www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/directories/policy/2017_am_102B.docx

a resolution which was submitted by :

AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION

ADOPTED BY THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES

AUGUST 14-15, 2017

We respectfully request that the previous information would be referenced to this potential life-threatening starvation of those cats that have become dependent on their “caretakers” that which is NOT addressed in any current legislation but is clearly a potential of "intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly"  a conflict with the current State Laws of Cruelty to Animals.

 

 


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