The Odessa Record -

Town Council

Cat ordinance in brief


April 13, 2017

Recap of cat ordinance

In the interest of promoting better understanding of Ordinance 682 passed by the Odessa Town Council at its most recent meeting on March 27, an abbreviated version of the ordinance is supplied below.

It is unlawful for any person or persons to own or harbor any cat within the corporate limits of the Town of Odessa, unless they have procured an ID tag. Licenses issued by the Town are valid for one year, January 1 to December 31. Any cat reaching six months of age must be licensed.

Nonresidents staying temporarily within the town for not more than seven days do not require a license. Licenses must be obtained within seven days of the owner’s establishing residence within the city.

A late application penalty of $10 per cat will be charged if application for such licenses is made after 90 days from the date of renewal and either:

1. More than 30 days from the date of acquisition of the cat over seven months of age.

2. More than 30 days after the cat has attained the age of seven months.

3. More than 30 days after the applicant has established residence in the city.

Before a license is issued, the owner must prove via a certificate of vaccination signed by a licensed veterinarian that the cat has been vaccinated against rabies at the time of licensing. A certificate by a licensed veterinarian is also required to prove that a cat has been spayed/neutered.

The fee for an unaltered cat is $30, for an altered cat is $5 and for replacement tags is $2 (owners who license their animals for the remainder of 2017 will pay a reduced fee of $2 per animal).

Upon the payment of the license fee and fulfillment of the licensing requirements, a license tag will be delivered to the applicant. The name, address and phone number of the owner; type, name and sex of the cat; whether it is spayed or neutered; status of rabies vaccination and the expiration year of the rabies vaccine will be retained by the town clerk’s office.

Tags must be permanently affixed to the collar of the cat so that it may be easily seen by the animal control officer, and the tag must be worn by the animal at all times.

License tags are not transferable. No refunds of a cat license fee will be made for any reason.

No person(s) or household shall keep more than four cats over six months of age on any premises in the town.

Live traps may be used to catch cats that are creating a nuisance upon private or public property inside the town limits. Upon catching a cat with a valid town ID tag, the cat is to be immediately set free. Cats not wearing a valid ID tag are deemed to be wild cats or wild domestic cats and are to be disposed of as set forth below.

Upon catching a wild, wild domestic or feral cat that appears to be in good health and not a health hazard, the person may remove the cat to a suitable area outside of town, where the wild, wild domestic or feral cat may be released. If the person is unable to remove the wild or wild domestic cat to a suitable location, the animal control authority or their designee is to be notified to remove the cat to a suitable location at their earliest opportunity.

Upon catching a wild or wild domestic cat that has, or appears to have, health problems, the animal control authority or their designee shall be notified immediately for removal of the cat and its humane destruction, so as not to infect any domestic cat.

Concealing the identity of a domestic cat or disposing of a valid ID tagged domestic cat are both illegal. It is also illegal for any person(s) to harbor, conceal, feed or care for any wild cat or wild domestic cats inside the town limits.

Violation of any of these provisions is a civil infraction subject to a fine as defined in the Odessa Municipal Code.

Police chief Tom Clark said that anyone with questions or concerns is invited to visit his office on First Avenue to discuss the issues, make suggestions or volunteer to help with trapping, finding homes, raising money for neutering and so forth.


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