Starting next month, residents of Canandaigua, New York can be fined up to $50 if they let their cats roam outside and the cats damage someone else’s property. Even if you feed a stray, you’ll be fined if the stray causes any property damage.
The new law was recently passed by the City Council to control free-roaming cats.
Originally, the law only held cat owners responsible for damage their own cats might cause. But it was later modified to include all feral cats in the city, so that now anyone who “harbors, houses, keeps, maintains or cares for cats” is subject to a fine if the cat causes property damage.
In other words, if a feral cat is on a residents property and causing a nuisance, that resident can take action against the persons who help support the animal even if they doesn’t technically own the cat.
Mayor Ellen Polimeni said the city would need “a reliable account, photos or collaborating testimony to prove a resident is caring for a troublesome feral cat.” Residents can report destructive cats to the police, and a warning will be issued before the fines are imposed.
The new law will go into effect next month.