In a significant development, the City Council has made changes to its municipal code pertaining to the registration, control, impoundment, and general care of animals and birds within city limits. This decision comes after approximately two years of collaboration with the Cheyenne Animal Shelter. The new measures were implemented on Monday, marking a milestone in the city’s efforts to ensure the well-being of its animal population.
Britney Tennant, CEO of the Cheyenne Animal Shelter, expressed her approval, stating, “I believe this is a significant stride in the right direction.” “These amendments and revisions were long overdue,” said the individual.
A 26-page document has been released outlining the changes to Title VI of Cheyenne’s municipal code. These changes primarily focus on clarifying language, but also include a few significant policy changes.
Tennant announced that the shelter is currently commemorating several noteworthy changes in connection with the community cat program. A program has been implemented that enables community members to capture free-roaming cats, ensuring they are neutered and vaccinated against rabies. Additionally, their ears are tipped before being released back to their original trapping location. This process is commonly referred to as trap-neuter-return. According to Tennant, this method is currently the sole solution implemented to manage populations of free-roaming cats.
Community cat caregivers are individuals who offer food, shelter, or medical assistance to community cats, without being their official owners. It’s worth noting that community cats can have multiple caregivers. “Providing clarity on the language and practices, and ensuring that individuals caring for community cats are not penalized as owners of free-roaming cats,” Tennant stated, “is a significant step forward in advancing our programming.”
The recent updates to the code highlight the importance of caregivers adhering to specific guidelines when it comes to feeding cats. These guidelines specify that feeding should only take place on the caregiver’s property or public property. This differentiation between community cats and strays aims to provide clarity and ensure that caregivers are not penalized for returning a community cat to its original location after trap-neuter-return procedures have been carried out. Tennant highlighted another important policy change, emphasizing adjustments made to language concerning stray hold times and owner identification.
In accordance with the shelter’s policy, any animal that is impounded and remains unclaimed by its owner for three calendar days will be considered property of the shelter. This policy remains unchanged from previous practices. In the custody of the animal shelter, kittens under eight weeks old will be considered abandoned and become the property of the shelter.
According to Tennant, the Cheyenne Animal Shelter receives an annual influx of 800 to 1,000 kittens in this age range. However, very few of these kittens are reclaimed by their owners. “The expedited process of not having to hold the kittens for extended periods when there are no potential adopters is greatly beneficial. It allows us to streamline our operations and place them in foster homes more efficiently,” she explained.
Emilee Intlekofer, executive director of Black Dog Animal Rescue, voiced her support for the code changes that were approved during Monday’s City Council meeting. “The city and the Cheyenne Animal Shelter have expressed their appreciation for the thoughtful collaboration and time invested in this ordinance,” a spokesperson stated. “We are pleased with the result.”
Officials from the Cheyenne Animal Shelter expressed their satisfaction with the recent changes following a series of language negotiations during council meetings.
“It is reassuring to see the strong concern from the community regarding their pets. Our efforts in policy-making are aimed at aligning our policies with the deep attachment people have towards their animals,” Tennant expressed. “Animals hold immense significance for the entire community, fueling our determination and commitment to undertake extensive, long-term endeavors such as this.”
Tennant stated that the animal shelter will persist in advocating for progressive policy changes that benefit animal owners in the community. However, she does not anticipate any imminent changes being required.
The Cheyenne Animal Shelter made an announcement on Wednesday regarding a $20,000 grant it received for the implementation of its Business Partnership Program. A new initiative has been launched in the community with the goal of increasing the number of businesses that are pet-friendly and promoting housing options that welcome pets. The initiative aims to create a more inclusive environment for pets and their owners in the region.