Cat owners in a North Saanich, B.C., neighbourhood were disturbed recently to find a warning note about their pets posted on their mailbox.
Residents on Ardmore Drive were shocked to find a note that said there are a number of cats in the area, including a black and tan Siamese, a black cat and a marmalade-coloured cat that have been roaming a nearby property.
“If you are the owner of these beasts, please be warned that we do not want them pooping in our yard or stalking birds,” the note continues.
“We have set ‘Have a Heart’ traps throughout our property and if we catch any of these cats, we will not be taking them to the SPCA to be returned to you.”
“So be a responsible pet owner, keep your cats at home.”
It is not clear who put up the note or what they intend to do with the cats but officials were concerned to hear about it.
“It’s pretty scary, we don’t want people taking vigilante actions,” Don Brown, the Capital Regional District chief bylaw officer told Global News. ‘People’s pets are part of the family.”
He said they can fine people for letting their pets roam but the best course of action is to talk to those in the neighbourhood first.
“We always tell people, first and foremost, do you know where the cat comes from? If you do, talk to your neighbour, most people are quite reasonable,” Brown added.
A picture of the note was first posted on the ROAM – Cats Facebook page where it received hundreds of comments and shares.
“It’s such a polarizing subject,” Leslie Steeves from ROAM said. “There’s people on the side of all cats should be indoor cats and then there’s the other people that (say) all cats should be roaming free.
“I understand everybody’s frustration but the fact of the matter is, you can’t go around trapping people’s cats, you can’t take them somewhere else and dump them. The proper procedure is to go through the North Saanich bylaw, through the CRD, try to mitigate things with your neighbours, try to put things in your yard that try to discourage the cats from pooping on your flowerbed.”
Brown said the district recommends that all pet owners make sure their animals have tags or a microchip.
“We do sometime assign humane traps to people but they have to sign an agreement saying they are going to check it because we don’t want cats sitting in a trap for days on end without food and water,” he said.
Since being posted on social media, the note has now been taken down and Steeves said she hopes the person who put it up also took it down and realized there might be other ways to deal with the issue.
She said residents should call animal control if there is any issue with pets and not take matters into their own hands.