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City of Olean Reminds Residents of New Cat Policy

April 17, 2019—Olean— In December 2018 the Olean Common Council amended the City’s Code of Ordinances to designate a procedure for felines running at large. The new ordinance states that any feline running at large will be treated as a stray cat and will be subject the Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate and Return (TNVR) policy.

An “at large cat” is defined as a cat that is not confined, outside an area of escape such as a pen, corral, yard, cage, house, vehicle, or other secure enclosure, unless otherwise under appropriate human control.

TNVR is defined as a program in which community cats are humanely trapped, evaluated, vaccinated, sterilized and ear tipped by a veterinarian and returned to the trap location with the intent of controlling or reducing feline population and reproduction.

The City of Olean TNVR policy states that

  1. A. TNRV of community cats shall be legal in the City of Olean, and interested citizens are encouraged to participate in and support TNVR activities on a voluntary basis.
  2. B. All persons who attempt to trap community cats for TNVR in the City of Olean should be familiar with the guidelines, supported by regional and national feral and community cat organizations, regarding appropriate methods of TNVR.
  3. C. Socialized cats and all kittens subject to TNVR shall be eligible to be, but not mandated to be re-socialized and put up for adoption.
  4. D. An ear-tipped cat received by local shelters shall be returned to the location where trapped unless veterinary care is required. A trapped ear-tipped cat shall be released on site unless veterinary care is required.
  5. E. It shall not be a violation of this section to determine that the best course of action for a particular cat, or cat colony, is to be left alone.

A “community cat” is defined as any cat that is:

  1. A. Homeless, stray, or at large, where the cat:
    1. 1) Has been socialized to people, or is less than five weeks old;
    2. 2) Could become feral as connection with humans is farther removed; and
    3. 3) In the case of cats older than five weeks, has a good potential to quickly become domesticated once again; or
  2. B. Feral, where the cat:
    1. 1) Is not social towards humans,
    2. 2) Is born in the wild or is the offspring of an owned cat; or
    3. 3) Is a formerly owned cat that has been abandoned; or
  3. C. A cat that lives in a community but is not owned by a human, sometimes referred to as a “free-roaming” or “street” cat.

Residents interested in participating in the Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate and Release program should read the entire policy in the City’s Code of Ordinances, Chapter 5, Section 5-3 or call the Codes Office at 376-5683 to request a copy of the policy.

Please note that the TNVR is a volunteer program and the City of Olean is not responsible for veterinarian expenses.

Olean Municipal Building • 101 East State Street • Olean, NY 14760 • www.cityofolean.org