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Council backtracks after cat owners pounce on licensing law

Original post made on Jun 12, 2013

After public outcry, on Tuesday City Council members were persuaded to scratch new regulations for pet owners in Mountain View, including a controversial licensing and rabies shot requirements for cats.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 1:59 PM

Comments (29)

Posted by DontLicenseDogsEither, a resident of Jackson Park
on Jun 12, 2013 at 2:18 pm

In that case, they should remove dog licensing fees. It is not fair that dog owners have to shoulder the licensing fees to support SVACA while most of the residents of SVACA are cats!


Posted by Steve, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 12, 2013 at 2:40 pm

The angry response generated was not because cat owners "hadn't know about it", it was because it served no purpose other than as a tax. And if you think about it, a dog 'license' is a rather odd concept too.


Posted by A Cat, a resident of Castro City
on Jun 12, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Maybe the City Council should wear collars with registration tags, see how they like it.


Posted by vfree, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 12, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Electronically (GPS) tag the cats? Just a thought. My dogs love free roaming cats.


Posted by Max Hauser, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 12, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Max Hauser is a registered user.

Almost the only person quoted here with real understanding of the background facts was chief Bosel, who was evidently ignored. The same parade of anecdotal, anxiety-driven rhetoric, usually with no sources for facts unless very selectively picked to support existing anxieties, made the rounds of neighborhood e-media and Voice comments already.

' "Two of my cats have had breast cancer, probably because of the rabies shots they had when they were little," said Alison Stern. "Making all of us put our cats at risk is not OK," she said in tears.'

I feel for her as a pet owner, but the leap of assumption is WAY out of line, and she'd know it if she did her homework. References below.

It would be easy enough to fix objections to the ordinance, allowing alternatives to collar tags (which many cats tolerate without trouble), and veterinary exceptions to vaccination if owners insist. Cat licensing and vaccination policies have been adopted by many Bay Area cities with measurable results chief Bosel cited.

The ASPCA supports both cat licensing and rabies vaccination, especially for cats spending any time outdoors (1st 2 links below). So do the veterinarians' organizations cited in the recent Davis report (3rd link) on current status of Vaccination-Assisted Sarcoma, a RARE side effect of various antiviral vaccinations, whose incidence is falling as it becomes understood. The Centers for Disease Control support cat rabies vaccination on advice of state public-health veterinarians (4th link).

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link


Posted by Observer, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 12, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Wow. So now the cops (Cpt Max Bosel) are experts on cats? How many publications does he have on his research to date? Can he fix my air conditioner as well? How about aligning the wheels on my car or filling one of my cavities?


Posted by Reader disappointed in Sloppy Editing, a resident of another community
on Jun 12, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Dear Daniel and Editors:

Your writing remains sloppy.

Perhaps given stereotypes about Palo Alto, there could in fact be a "Palo Alto Human Society" but I suspect you meant "Palo Alto Humane Society"...


Posted by IndoorCatOwner, a resident of another community
on Jun 12, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Resident of another communtiy in Mt. View:
One of the reasons dogs are licensed, tagged and leashed outside of their homes is that they can hurt people. Ok, yes, cats can also hurt people, but only if you are crazy enough to hunt them down and corner them. Cats will run from humans. Dogs will chase down and attack humans. It's happened to me a few times. It happened to that poor boy in Oklaholma, and that dog wasn't a stranger.
Thus, the owners of dogs are liable for the damage done by their dogs. So, there has to be some way of tracing a dog back to their owners.


Posted by Ermm..., a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 12, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Free-roaming cats are also leaving their mess behind in my yard, exposing my child to potential diseases (case in point: Web Link).

So rabies aside, there are other consequences...

In absence of licensing and hopes of encouraging spaying \ neutering to control the population, I guess next course of action is to simply start trapping the cats coming to my yard and dropping them off at the local shelter. Unfortunately, in absence of licensing, the reclaim rate won't be stellar.


Posted by Old Coot, a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 12, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Donno about these city cats, but back at the old ranch we had a mean passel of "barn cats".
One dark and stormy night I was awoken by what sounded like the Gates of Hell bustin' open. Screamin' and screechin' to wake the dead! A quick survey with a MagLight and a 45 Colt turned up nothing. But in the morning, I found the remains of a monumental Barn Owl - Barn Cat fight. One dead cat and one dead owl, all tangled up and lookin' like they'd been through a hay mower. Terrible. I buried them together, out behind the mule barn.


Posted by Dog Lover, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 12, 2013 at 3:21 pm

@Ermm... Get a dog, you won't have cat problems anymore. ;-)


Posted by BayAreaBill, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 12, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Does this mean that they are going to cancel the silly controls on bee keeping too? We keep bees, and they create absolutely zero problems for us and our neighbors --- and they help pollinate the fruit trees in the neighborhood.


Posted by Dog Lover, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 12, 2013 at 3:26 pm

@Old Coot

You've been reading (or writing) too many of those Zane Grey novels. I love it, don't stop there it was just getting good.


Posted by toomanycats, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 12, 2013 at 3:47 pm

IndoorCatOwner,

Many cats that are taken home as "indoor cats", end up on the street. Just because you claim that your cat is indoor, doesn't mean that is true for all.

That is why licensing cats make sense. 90% of cats that go into SVACA are never returned to their owners. Wake up!

The fact is that the dog licensing fees are paying for the cat nuts in the community. Since you want to be able to track down the owner of a biting dog (when has this last happened in Mtn View?????), let's license but not charge fees. There. Problem solved!


Posted by Mountain View since1980, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 12, 2013 at 4:37 pm

I would never, never vaccinate my indoor only cats for rabies. My vet opposes giving other vaccination once they reach 10+ years. This is a standard practice amongst most vets when cats are indoor only cats.

If this law went through then I would simply be a lawbreaker and I've been living here since 1980 - probably much longer than city council members. It will force us to move because I am not going to live in such a city. This totally makes me mad!


Posted by Mountain View 1980, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 12, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Can somebody tell me which city council member voted for this? I want to vote this member out.


Posted by Babs, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 12, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Power to the people!!


Posted by Saffship, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 12, 2013 at 7:08 pm

REASON PREVAILS!!!!!!!!!! Thank you MV city council

My vet advised AGAINST rabies shots for my indoor cats.
Chips & spay/neuter yes -collars (ha! I had a cat who chewed them off every few days) & licenses no way!

CATS ARE NOT DOGS -are there any cat owners on the city council? They would know this.

My biggest problem when a cat of mine went missing on Cuesta drive was that the PA animal shelter was closed on Fridays and even though my poor little guy was in their cat morgue, there was no one answering the phones, no recorded messages with descriptions of animals that arrived and nothing posted on a web page. It took canvassing door to door to find out that a neighbor called it in.


Posted by reason, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 12, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Cats are not dogs? Uh...no kidding....

The shelter is full of cats and more keep getting picked up everyday. 90 percent of the cats that go to svaca are never picked up by their owners. Over 50 percent of dogs are! Why the heck should dog owners pay for cat owners disgraceful sense of community?

dog license fees should vanish or cat license fees should happen!


Posted by Ronnie - Vincent Drive, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 12, 2013 at 9:12 pm

How many of the cats that come into the shelter are feral cats? I'm guessing that most of the cats that don't get adopted are from the large feral cat population. I know we have feral cats in our downtown neighborhood, because a litter was born in my yard. (I trapped them all and had them spayed/neutered, raised the kittens and released the spayed feral mom.) I know there are large feral cat populations out on the Baylands. When I was working out there, some of the businesses had groups that fed the feral cat population and maybe tried to spay/neuter them. Maybe the city should be supporting feral cat trap and release programs instead of harassing the neutered indoor cats.


Posted by Ermm..., a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 12, 2013 at 11:54 pm

@Dog Lover -- actually I do have dogs...but they're all pretty well trained and good temperament -- not to mention indoor dogs, so they really don't care for hunting cats.

At the end of the day folks, it's not about a divide between dogs and cats but more of simply plan being responsible pet owners. Period. And as people who have pets, I would like to think we are all compassionate and responsible enough to not subject unwanted animals to the cruelty of being put down due to over-population at shelters, as well as ensuring that our love of animals don't intrude on other people's lives.


That being said, my dogs are chipped, licensed, neutered\spayed, and never allowed off leash in public. When they have a accident on the street or a neighbors yard, I make sure I clean it properly -- even if it means going back with a bucket and brush. It's responsible thing to do. I do unto others as I wish done unto me and my property...unfortunately, I haven't enjoyed much reciprocity thanks to neighborhood cats, both feral and outdoor cats with a home.


Posted by ericka c, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm

' "Two of my cats have had breast cancer, probably because of the rabies shots they had when they were little," said Alison Stern. "Making all of us put our cats at risk is not OK," she said in tears.'

Scuse me, but ms. stern, you are not a veterinarian. So how can you make such a diagnosis or conclusion as you claim. It should make everyone wonder on the validity of your claims.


Posted by Patti 1950, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 13, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Dog Lover from Cuesta Park- We get it- You don't like cats! Your snide comments aren't half as amusing as YOU find them to be...


Posted by Hidden Tax, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 13, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Expect an increase in the amount Mountain View pays the
Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority at the next opportunity. My guess is that the increase will wipe out any savings made by switching away from Palo Alto.

Of course SVACA thought all along that they could simply pass the hidden costs on to the general public in the form of a cat tax...

The entire switch to SVACA has been about passing the city costs off too the public.


Posted by reason, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 13, 2013 at 3:57 pm

"The entire switch to SVACA has been about passing the city costs off too the public."

Oh, that's odd. Yes, why should cat owners contribute $10/year to help offset the costs that the cat owning community is creating, when the cost should be completely paid for by all of the taxpayers. Yes, that makes sense....

Why does owning a cat mean you can be irresponsible and greedy?


Posted by Cuesta Park, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 13, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Bay Area Bill - bees..."they cause absolutely zero problems with us and our neighbors" - are you sure? I hope you keep a fresh supply of water for them at all times. Our lovely new backyard fountain keeps attracting the bees in our neighborhood (at least 2 neighbors with 3+ beehives at any one time). They are becoming a major problem for us!

SVACA is overly authoritative and is only interested in as many license fees and penalties as they can rake in. John Inks sounds like he's the only original thinker on our council. Quote Jac Siegel "I question licensing of cats, I don't know why we are doing that" and "There hasn't been a rabies outbreak or situation in Santa Clara County caused by a dog or cat." And, yet, the article states he was one of the lemmings on the City Council to approve - 6-1, with only Mayor Inks voting "no." Licensing of dogs isn't any better - most folks I know don't license their dog. The law abiding citizens that do, including myself, pay through the nose $300 for vet check-up and vaccination + the dog fee of $42..and, woe to the citizen who is late - you'll get a personal visit from the not so friendly SVACA and minimum $50 fine (even after they come visit you and see that your 7 pound, senior dog is friendly, not rabid.


Posted by kathy, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 13, 2013 at 8:26 pm

This is a non-issue, let's move on to things that matter.


Posted by David, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 14, 2013 at 10:40 am

The issue is how we ended up with councilmembers who voted for more government regulation and fees without hesitation. Only one councilmember even questioned the proposed ordinance in the first meeting.


Posted by kman, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 14, 2013 at 2:41 pm

@David, The cities are all in hurt for money since they do not know how to manage money. And unless if there is uprising like this, nothing will get done about the spending and search for more and more money. The government is just way too big.

On my bonus check, the gov took out 46%. It almost makes it not worth working anymore.


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