Providing Care for Community Cats
The City of Pompano beach Ordinance Section 90.22 provides guidelines for care of Community Cats. The ordinance provides a pathway for private practice of TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) activities. TNR remains a controversial practice and the City’s role is manager of these activities, not participant.
The ordinance is a balanced framework providing for adequate care of community cats and response to complaints. Too often TNR and RTF (Return to Field) programs do not adequately provide care of the cats that are relegated to a life outdoors nor are they responsive to the complaints that arise due to their continued presence.
The ordinance promotes community-wide participation in reducing the overpopulation of outdoor cats and providing better care, resulting in reduced need for permanent removal. The community is encouraged to play a small role at home as “backyard sanctuary caregivers”. If many assume a small responsibility for providing sterilization and care for just one, two or three cats around their own home, according to these guidelines, then both our animal and human residents will experience a much better quality of life and the population should decrease.
Leaving cats in place and allowing registered caregivers the opportunity to resolve complaints and conflicts before any city provided removal response is initiated is the City’s first preference. The Animal Control Division will inform registered caregivers who desire to be notified of community cat hot spots and complaints and allow at least 21 days for the caregiver community to provide response and resolution of the complaint.
If resolution of complaints is not accomplished, the City may order to cease feeding and/or initiate permanent removal but still gives registered caregivers the opportunity to take possession of permanently removed cats to provide a disposition that does not include return to the streets of Pompano Beach.
Individuals who provide care on the property of others and/or for more than three cats must register as a Community Cat Caregiver by submitting the one page registration form. The registration must be supplemented with a Care Location Permission form for each location where care is provided.
Residents who provide care on their private property at their permanent residence (not including communal areas) to three or less cats do not need to register.
These forms are available here and should be filled out completely and emailed to email@example.com
Community Cat Caregiver
Registration Form Care Location
Care is not permitted on public property including roads, swales, parks and beaches.
Outdoor Community Cats deserve at least the care recommended for indoor/owned cats.
- Evaluation to determine if the cat is adoptable as an alternative to return to the outdoors
- Evaluation by a veterinarian as to the health of the cat including feline aids and leukemia testing. Studies show these diseases are prevalent in approx. 4%-5% of outdoor cat populations and the American Association of Feline Practitioners recommends “Cats should be tested as soon as possible after they are acquired”. Testing will ensure that infected cats are not returned to continue the spread of these diseases to others and the infected cats do not end up suffering.
- Sick or injured cats should not be returned to field.
- Vaccinations recommended by veterinarians including FVRCP, rabies, leukemia
- Ongoing care, parasite prevention and vaccination re-treatment, which is afforded by desensitizing the cat to eating from within a non-operable trap so that it can be recaptured, when necessary.
Open, excessive, and uncontrolled feeding is a major contributor to uncontrolled and excessive cat populations. Any feeding of unowned, free-roaming cats is not permitted unless the caregiver is acting in compliance with 90.22 Community Cat Management.
What does a Community Cat need for vaccinations?
Most sterilization centers provide the FVRCP and rabies vaccine for cats that are sterilized with the intent of being Returned To the Field (RTF). If these are not included in the sterilization, the caregiver must ensure the cat receives them. FVRCP is a vaccination that protects the cats from 3 common viruses among cats: Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicvirus, and Panleukopenia.
The City of Pompano also requires any cats captured in the City that are intended to be returned to field be tested for FeLV/FIV (feline leukemia and aids). If positive, the cat may not be returned to field. If free of these diseases, the cat must be vaccinated against FeLV while under evaluation / sterilization. It must also be microchipped.
Since some sterilization providers, including Broward County Animal Care’s RTF program, do not include or offer these, the caregiver should select a provider that does offer the Aids and Leukemia test and vaccine.
Microchips can be obtained from the Animal Control Division prior to capture and treatment of cats and should be implanted by the treating veterinarian, then registered by the community cat caregiver.
Microchips can be registered for free at www.Found.org
The following sterilization providers have been identified as partners providing sterilization services for community cats. There are fees charged for these services, check each organization’s website to determine current fees.
|Animal Aid||571 NE 44th St. Oakland Park, FL 33334||754-223-5378||animal-aid.com|
|Cats Exclusive||6350 W. Atlantic Blvd Margate, FL 33063||954-975-8349||catsexclusive.org|
|Emerald Hills Animal Hospital||3399 Sheridan St Hollywood, FL 33021||954-983-2300|
|Humane Society of Broward County||Portable Spay / Neuter Unit||954-463-SPAY||broward.org|
|Pet Doctor of Davie||5183 S. University Drive Davie, FL 33328||954-900-2100||petdoctorofdavie.com|
|Premium Vet Care-Mobile Veterinary Hospital||7401 NW 4th Street (at the Greater Plantation Chamber of Commerce) Plantation, FL 33317||754-900-2030||premiumvetcare.com|
|Pet Population Control, Inc. (Mobile Unit)||3870 Powerline Road (at the Florida Humane Society) Pompano Beach, FL 33073||305-902-8556||petpopulationcontrol.com|
Providing a Safe Environment
Although not mandated, containment is encouraged. It is the means by which cats can be safely cared for. Without containment, a cat has the ability to get into trouble. It could walk in front of traffic, end up mauled by a dog when it enters that yard, become injured in territorial fights, be exposed to other unhealthy animals with communicable disease, or simply be exposed to human aggression. After expending the effort to sterilize and vaccinate the cat, it only makes sense to also provide for its safety too.
Containment also protects birds and other wildlife. It prevents spread of zoonotic disease and soundly eliminates nuisance problems.
Some complain that containment is too difficult or expensive but that is not the case. Electric fence kits can be purchased for under $100 and are a safe and effective means of containment when installed properly. In addition, there are several cat fence manufacturers that can easily be found on the internet. The Animal Control Division can be contacted for guidance if desired.
Please take a moment to download the following brochures to become familiar with how best to provide care for community cats. Lets’ raise the standard of care to demonstrate the true value of these animals that depend of humans for good quality of life.
Caring For Cats BrochureDownload the Caring
for Community Cats Brochure