For the first time she can remember in her 18 years in office, city Collector Lynne Huff said some owners within the city limits have registered their cats as required by ordinance.
But the number of licensed felines remains a scant few at five.
The city of St. Clair has an ordinance in the books saying it is illegal to have unregistered or unlicensed dogs and cats in the city limits. However, according to statistics from city hall, hardly anyone follows that law.
In 2011, Huff said only 19 individuals in the city acquired licenses for their dogs during the course of the year. The number for cats was zero.
“Some people have come in and said they didn’t know cats had to have licenses,” Huff recently told The Missourian. “Some also didn’t even know dogs had to have a license.”
Halfway through this calendar year, however, pet licenses are up as 37 dogs have been registered as well as the five cats. Four of the cats were registered in February with the fifth coming in May. The dog registrations have been trickling in throughout the year.
“I just don’t think people want to pay or take the time to come down to city hall,” Huff told The Missourian in an earlier story that was published regarding the licenses. “They don’t want to spend the money and don’t want to do the things necessary to register them.”
In January, only one dog was registered. February’s canine registration numbers were eight, followed by three in March, 13 in April, eight in May and four in June.
According to Chapter 5, animals and fowl, in St. Clair’s code of ordinances, “It shall be unlawful for any person in the city to own, keep or harbor any cat or dog on or about his or her premises unless the dog or cat is registered as provided in this division.”
And, the ordinance goes on to state that before the pet can be registered, a valid receipt must be presented showing the animal has been vaccinated for hydrophobia.
Fees to obtain a city pet license are $20 for the initial registration for a dog or cat that is not spayed or neutered and $5 for one that is. After that, the annual cost is $5 for unspayed or unneutered animals and $1 for those spayed or neutered.
The ordinance goes on to say that it also is illegal to have a dog or cat in the city that has not been inoculated for rabies, and that any such pet found in the city without a proper registration tag will be declared “a nuisance” and will be impounded. If an impounded dog or cat is not claimed within three days by its owner or others having an interest in the animal, it can be destroyed.
The regulations also state that every dog or cat impounded under the provisions of the ordinance can be picked up by the owner by paying a $10 fee for each day the animal is impounded. The pet then will be released upon proper registration with the city. At-large animals picked up are taken to the Franklin County Humane Society in Union.
The city’s code of ordinances also states that it is unlawful for any individual in the city to allow a dog or cat “to run through or across the yards, gardens or private property of another, and all persons in the city shall confine his dog or cat by leash, chain or proper fencing.”
Punishment calls for a $15 fine for a first-time offender plus any court costs, $30 plus court costs for a second offense and $60 for a third or any additional offense plus court costs. In addition, the same impoundment rules apply.
For more information, contact Huff at city hall at 636-629-0333.