City looks into cat bylaw – correction

Photo: Councilor Lori Ackerman debates the proposed cat bylaw at Monday afternoon’s City Council meeting – Christine Rumleskie/

**Correction – We previously reported the letter was anonymous.  It has been brought to our attention that Councilors have spoken with the person who wrote the letter.


By Christine Rumleskie

A frustrated Fort St. John resident has persuaded the City to look into a cat bylaw.

A letter was submitted to City Council on Monday afternoon.

The author expressed his anger towards tame and feral cats urinating and defecating all over his newly-renovated property.

This prompted discussion from City Council on establishing a cat bylaw. But Councilor Bruce Christensen says enforcing the bylaw would be very difficult.

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While the City has a dog bylaw, there’s no law in place that governs cats.

City Manager Dianne Hunter explained that most cities don’t have a cat bylaw due to an archaic position in the British North American Act. In the past, cats were considered favored species; so many cities have yet to enforce any bylaw.

Council decided to get staff to investigate options, and come back with a recommendation.

Mayor Bruce Lantz thought the one letter didn’t warrant the use of staff time, but Councilor Lori Ackerman disagreed.

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Meanwhile, Councilors are reminding residents to clean-up after their dogs.

There have been numerous complaints of dog feces on community trails. Dog owners face hefty fines if they don’t clean up after their pet.

Residents are being asked to police each other, and encourage fellow dog owners keep the city clean. To register a complaint, you can contact City Hall by dialing 311.

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