Bristol Passes Ordinance Addressing Feral Cat Problem

For the last several years Bristol leaders say feral cats have been a thorn in their side. Over time, the city has seen a feral cat community grow and run wild.

"They're getting hit in the roads. They're going into the sewers for food. It's a horrible situation," said Stacy Gagnier of Bristol.

Back in January, the situation became enough of a nuisance volunteers and city officials came together to find a solution.

"Right now we have several uncontrolled cat colonies which was affecting quality of life in many of our neighborhoods," said Bristol City Councilwoman Ellen Zoppo-Sassu.

In response, the city council recently passed an ordinance aimed at controlling the population. Now "No person shall own, harbor or keep a cat over the age of six-months which has not been spayed, neutered or other method of sterilization."

"Sometimes we have property owners not willing to allow us onto their property. This will now compel animal control officers to say to them, 'Please cooperate. Otherwise, you may receive a citation,'" said Zoppo-Sassu.

The ordinance has no bite without help from the public because it's complaint driven, which means those who do not irresponsibly breed and do not let their cats run wild won't be affected. Those who do could face a $90 fine that will increase if the issue is not fixed.

"The important thing is no tax dollars are being spent. It's all volunteer-driven," said Zoppo-Sassu.

If you would like to help out the volunteer effort, you can donate to Kitty Quarters, c/o Ellen Zoppo-Sassu, 58 Merriman St, Bristol, CT 06010.

To check out the Kitty Quarters Facebook page, click here. 

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