Rural Rimbey overrun with abandoned cats

Who captures stray cats in Ponoka County?

Rural Rimbey-area residents are fed up with unwanted cats and kittens being dumped near their properties.

“I’m a lady so I will just say I don’t like it,” said Gail Stewart, a resident of Hoadley for 11 years.

“It is getting worse every year.”

Although she’s lost count over the years of just how many abandoned felines she’s found on her ‘front doorstep,’ she says she has gotten 52 cats neutered or spayed, either paying for it out of pocket, or sending some to rescues.

Of that number, all are in new homes except four.

She has some fixed cats that live in her barn and keeps three in her house.

Others she was never able to catch because they’d become so feral.

“What scares me is that we are selling (our house). I’m not sure what will happen (after we’re gone).”

Stewart isn’t alone in her frustrations, either.

A recent post on a Rimbey community Facebook page had comments from several others with similar experiences.

One user suggested Rimbey residents often trap cats within town and drop them off in the country.

Currently, the Town of Rimbey has no bylaw for cats, which means there is no bylaw enforcement for dealing with cats running at large, or animal control services for cats.

“There are no provisions in our current animal control bylaw for the control of cats in the Town of Rimbey,” said Rimbey Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Lori Hillis via email.

“The surrounding area would be under the jurisdiction of Ponoka County.”

Klassic Kennels provides animal control services for the Town of Rimbey, but only for dogs, not cats. Old MacDonald Kennels (OMK), located 17 km east of Ponoka, is the animal control provider for Ponoka County, but when contacted they said they don’t deal with cats in the rural-Rimbey area.

Ponoka County renewed its contract with OMK on Feb. 2, 2020.

The agreement states that the contractor “shall use his best endeavors to apprehend animals running at large within the municipality.”

The term “animal” is defined in the agreement as any domesticated animal that the municipality agrees to have the contractor impound or deal with under their current municipal bylaws.

However, the County’s animal control bylaw, which dates back to 1998, defines “animal” as a dog.

The agreement with OMK includes a specific remuneration fee for boarded dogs of $25 per night, but doesn’t define other animals the kennel will be remunerated for, only saying:

“Any animals that the municipality agrees the contractor may impound” will be paid $25 per night.

The Town was working on revising its animal control bylaw to include cats, but the process was halted with the onset of COVID-19.

A first reading of the new proposed bylaw was held in February, 2020, and a public meeting was to be held in March, but it was cancelled.

The proposed responsible pet ownership bylaw, which includes both cats and dogs, would have implemented a license fee structure of $30 for an altered animal and $60 for an unaltered animal, and a $100 deposit for a cat trap.

READ MORE: Rimbey town council has given first reading to a responsible pet ownership bylaw

If or when the bylaw passes, the fees would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

According to Hillis, to-date, the Town has not scheduled another date for the public meeting, and there have been no further readings of the bylaw since February.

For those dealing with dumped cats, Hillis says the Town recommends contacting the Red Deer SPCA.

READ MORE: Sylvan Lake woman distressed after cat shot at with pellet gun, loses its eye

Cats

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed more than 1,000 cases over the weekend Monday afternoon. File photo
COVID-19: Central zone active cases up Monday

‘We’ve now crossed the tipping point,’ says Hinshaw

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr speaks. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
Wreath laying ceremony held in Manfred

Ceremony marks 64th anniversary of Hungarian revolution, honours settlers

2020 Ponoka business awards
Ponoka chamber 2020 Business Award winners

The Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce 2020 Business Awards were held… Continue reading

Ryen Williams, 11, with a lost miniature horse at JJ Collett Oct. 23. Photo by Don Williams
UPDATE: Owner found

Father and son found miniature horse while out for a walk at JJ Collett

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

The death of 19-year-old Jacob Michael Chitze of Edmonton has now been ruled a homicide following an ongoing RCMP investigation.
UPDATE: RCMP arrest youth for second degree murder of 19-year-old Jacob Chitze

Arrest made for the murder of Jacob Michael Chitze, 19.

(Black Press file photo)
Maskwacis RCMP welcomes new detachment commander

The Maskwacis RCMP detachment has a new detachment commander, Inspector Leanne MacMillan.… Continue reading

Pumpkins for the 46th Annual WDACS Pumpkin Ball on display at Vision Credit Union Wetaskiwin. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
46th Annual Pumpkin Ball held virtually this year

This year the pumpkins were sold over a six-day online auction.

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Leader of the Opposition Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons Thursday October 22, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
O’Toole tells Alberta UCP AGM Liberals were ‘late and confused’ on COVID response

He says Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has taken charge and not waited to make things happen

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Inquiry into oil and gas foes to deliver report next year: Kenney

A lawsuit filed by environmental law firm Ecojustice argues the inquiry is politically motivated

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

This photo provided by Air Force Reserve shows a sky view of Hurricane Epsilon taken by Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter team over the Atlantic Ocean taken Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.   Epsilon’s maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly as it prepares to sideswipe Bermuda on a path over the Atlantic Ocean.  The National Hurricane Center says it should come close enough Thursday, Oct. 22, evening to merit a tropical storm warning for the island.  (Air Force Reserve via AP)
Hurricane Epsilon expected to remain offshore but will push waves at Atlantic Canada

Epsilon is not expected to have any real impact on land

Most Read