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City Council to vote on new cat licensing ordinance

Is your cat microchipped? If not, now may be the time to do so.

Cats in Idaho Falls may soon need to be licensed. The Idaho Falls Police Department, which runs the Idaho Falls Animal Shelter, is presenting a new ordinance that would require all cats that are pets to be licensed.

“I relate it a lot to licensing a car,” said Laramie Pancheri, an animal control officer with IFPD. “You have to register your car, you have to register your pet. That way, we can know what belongs where, who the owners are, vaccination records.”

Cats that are microchipped and spayed or neutered would not have to be licensed. The licensing rules for cats would be pretty much the same as for dogs, which are already in place. The new rules will help with the overpopulation of cats in the area.

“With knowing which cats are owned, which ones aren’t, we can focus our attention and resources to the areas where there’s a lot of cats that are not owned,” Pancheri said. “And without having microchips or licensing on those cats, it’s hard to know if they belong to somebody and where they belong.”

Animal control officers say the licensing would help them find homes for the more than 2,000 cats that get brought to the shelter each year.

“With the overpopulation in the area, it’s just breaking our hearts as officers and shelter employees and volunteers to have to go through so many animals, cats specifically, coming in with no place to go,” Pancheri said. “It breaks our hearts.”

The Idaho Falls City Council will be voting on this ordinance Thursday night. The animal shelter says you can bring your cat to them to get it microchipped.

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