Reports that pet cats are being relocated out of town or killed in their neighbourhoods by two-legged predators should disturb any decent, caring human being.
District of Lillooet Bylaw Enforcement Officer Jennifer Davidson has been investigating these cases of domestic cats vanishing without a trace and is warning the public to keep pets indoors.
While it can be challenging at times to keep cats indoors, it can be done, particularly if you start when they are kittens. Pet owners should also take advantage of the new spaying and neutering program for dogs AND cats that spays the animals at a very reasonable cost to their owners. Cats will have longer and healthier lives if they live indoors and are spayed or neutered.
But those precautions cannot address the human predators loose in Lillooet. After all, what cougar or coyote traps a cat, carries it out of town and dumps it on a road miles from home?
To whoever is doing this, your sick actions are despicable and cruel and you need help. While it’s nature’s way for a cat to attack a bird, what you are doing is unnatural and indefensible. Shame on you.
There have been several suggestions about what to do in these circumstances – everything from forming a volunteer neighbourhood watch group to publicly shaming the suspected perpetrators by word-of-mouth. Would an offer of a reward help to catch the perpetrators?
We are intrigued by Jennifer Davidson’s comments about becoming a peace officer under the Police Act. If she was appointed as a peace officer, as opposed to being sworn in by council, it’s our understanding that she would be responsible for upholding provincial standards and could enforce animal cruelty legislation.
In other communities, bylaw enforcement officers who are peace officers work hand-in-hand with the RCMP, Conservation Officer Service and Fire Departments. While there are limits to peace officers’ powers, we believe this would serve as a deterrent for those who think they can get away with transporting, injuring and killing pets and causing heartbreak for pet owners.