JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri - Officials in central Missouri want to limit how many dogs and
cats people can own and make it illegal to feed feral animals on
An ordinance proposed in Jefferson City would make it illegal
for people to dump animals or feed animals they don't own while on
Plus, residents would have to get a permit to keep more than six
cats or dogs, and pets could not be left in unattended vehicles
when it is hotter than 90 degrees unless the air conditioning is
running. Law officers, public safety employees and animal control
officials would be allowed to remove animals from unattended
The city council is expected to consider the measure at its
Rich Koon, the council member sponsoring the restrictions, told
the Jefferson City News Tribune the rules were designed to protect
animals. There's a greater risk of diseases such as rabies if large
numbers of animals gather in one place, he said. He predicted they
would disperse if no one fed them.
"You get rid of the food supply, and the colony will start
disappearing," Koon said. "Once they also eat the rabbits and
squirrels, whatever they can catch, you won't have a colony."
But critics said pushing feral animals out of parks could create
"The cats are not going to starve to death," said Joe Wilson,
who has urged city officials to reject Koon's measure. "They are
going to move to other areas."
The proposed caps on pet ownership come after nearly 20 cats
were removed from one house in April.
To get a license to keep more than six animals, residents would
have to prove their pets were healthy and that three-quarters of
the people living within 100 feet do not object. No one would be
allowed to have more than 20 pets.
Wilson said the proposed pet cap was arbitrary.
"It doesn't address the problem areas. It's unenforceable," he