Work toward ordinance to handle Wichita's feral cat population continues

WICHITA, Kan. People in Wichita Monday met to discuss proposed changes for a Trap, Neuter (or spay) and Release (TNR) program for feral cats in the city.

A proposed ordinance would allow people to register with the city and maintain cat colonies once feral cats are trapped and spayed or neutered. Under the proposed rules, caregivers would be allowed to maintain eight cats in one colony.

Wichita's Animal Control Advisory Board held the meeting Monday to discuss proposed changes with the public. The board says it wants to find a balance with people who are enthusiastic about the program and those who don't want feral cats in their neighborhoods.

"I think the ordinance that has been proposed has gotten better. I think the public, once they learned about it being formed, they were able to come in and oppose certain things and ask for certain things to be done," says Wichita resident Richard Ruth about TNR rules in the city. "There are some issues I'm concerned about, but I think we've made a good first step."

Advisory board member Stephanie McCurdy says input like Ruth's is helpful for the board as it works toward a final proposal to ultimately bring to the Wichita City Council for final consideration.

"This is an opportunity for the City of Wichita and for the citizens of Sedgwick County to get on board and share their opinion of how they feel about TNR and eventually come to a nice consensus of what this can actually do for our city," McCurdy says.