Borough of Ephrata, PA
Lancaster County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 10-14-2013 by Ord. No. 1497]

§ 123-19 Intent and purpose.

The Borough Council of the Borough of Ephrata finds and declares that the population of stray and feral cats within the Borough poses a danger to the health, safety, and welfare of the public and constitutes a public nuisance. Accordingly, it is the intent of this article to ensure the humane treatment of feral cats and reduce their population by providing standards to restrict the authority of persons to care for and maintain custody of feral cats and by providing for penalties as set forth herein.

§ 123-20 Definitions.

The following words and phrases, when used in this Article V, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context or language clearly indicates or requires a different meaning:
CAT
An animal that is a member of the species felis catus.
FERAL CAT
Any cat that is unsocialized to humans, whether the cat was born outside and never socialized with humans or a domesticated cat which has strayed and over time has become unsocialized to humans; any homeless, wild or untamed cat.
FERAL CAT CAREGIVER
Any person or organization that, in accordance with these regulations, has a permit issued by the Borough of Ephrata to trap, treat, and return feral cats.
OWNER
Every person having a right of property in any cat, every person who keeps or harbors such cat or has such cat in his or her care, and every person who permits such animal to remain on or about any premises occupied by him or her. "Owner" does not include a person keeping a feral cat as a feral cat caregiver.
STRAY CAT
Any cat whose owner or keeper from time to time allows the cat to run free off the property of the owner or keeper.
TREAT/TREATMENT
The provision of temporary food, shelter and medical care, including, but not limited to, sterilization, vaccination for rabies and distemper, testing for feline diseases, and ear tip or other humane marking of feral cats which have been treated.
UNSOCIALIZED
Exhibiting a temperament of extreme fear of and resistance to contact with humans.

§ 123-21 Prohibited acts.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any owner of any cat to permit such cat to run free outside the residence or real property of its owner or keeper unless said cat has been:
(1) 
Neutered or spayed to prevent it from procreating;
(2) 
Immunized against rabies in compliance with Pennsylvania law; and
(3) 
Appropriately "tipped" on the left ear to signify that it has been neutered/spayed and immunized.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for the owner of any cat to permit it to run at large, to cause annoyance to persons or damage to persons or property, to trespass upon, litter or deface any premises, pavement, public highway or park in the Borough. The failure of any such owner to properly curb and restrain his or her cat shall be a violation of the provisions of this article.
C. 
It shall be unlawful for any person other than a feral cat caregiver to feed a feral.
D. 
It shall be unlawful for a feral cat caregiver to feed a feral cat that has not been treated and tipped as provided for in this article except during the course of trapping and treating a feral cat in accordance with the provisions of this article.
E. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to release into the wild or otherwise abandon any cat upon that person's property or the property of another.

§ 123-22 Public nuisances.

No owner shall fail to exercise proper care and control of his or her cat to prevent it from becoming a public nuisance.

§ 123-23 Female cats in heat.

A person having ownership, possession, custody or control of a female cat in heat including a feral cat caregiver shall confine that cat in a building or secure enclosure in such a manner that such female cat cannot come into contact with another animal except for planned breeding.

§ 123-24 Identification tags.

The owner of any cat shall fit said cat with an identification tag or collar at all times when the cat is off the premises of its owner.

§ 123-25 Odors; defecation.

A. 
Every owner or possessor of real property in the Borough of Ephrata shall prevent or remove any and all accumulations of cat waste, feces or excretions on such property if such accumulations create obnoxious odors outside the real property of the owner or possessor or create unhealthy conditions.
B. 
No person having ownership, possession, custody or control of a cat including a feral cat caregiver shall allow such cat to defecate upon any gutter, street, driveway, alley, curb, sidewalk or other public property in the Borough or in or on any building or place frequented by the public or used in common by the tenants thereof or upon the grounds of a public park or public area or upon private property other than the property of the owner of the cat.
C. 
A person having possession, custody or control of a cat which defecates in any area other than the private property of the owner of such cat shall immediately remove the feces from such area and either:
(1) 
Carry the same away for deposit in an appropriate disposal facility; or
(2) 
Place the same in a nonleaking container for deposit in a trash or litter receptacle.

§ 123-26 Enforcement.

A. 
The Ephrata Borough codes enforcement officers, police officers, community service officers, animal control officer and any special officers appointed by the Borough Council of the Borough of Ephrata shall enforce and administer the provisions of this article.
B. 
Every codes enforcement officer, police officer, community service officer, animal control officer and any special officer or agent designated by the Borough shall have the authority to seize and detain any cat causing annoyance or damage by running at large and to transport such animal for impoundment in an animal shelter. Such codes enforcement officer, police officer, community service officer, special officer, animal control officer or agent is hereby authorized to go upon any premises to seize, detain or impound any cat that poses an imminent risk to the public health, safety or general welfare.

§ 123-27 Exemption.

Persons permitted as a feral cat caregiver by the Borough may possess and feed feral cats as part of a trapping, treatment and return program. Except for those acts prohibited by §§ 123-21D and 123-25B hereinabove, no feral cat caregiver shall be cited or fined under this article for possession or feeding of a feral cat in his or her discharge of any duty of such program as set forth in or established by the requirements of this article.

§ 123-28 Permit requirement.

A. 
Any person seeking to be a feral cat caregiver shall submit an application for a feral cat caregiver permit to the Ephrata Borough Manager on a form provided for that purpose, together with any other documents or certifications as may be required pursuant to such application form. Such application form shall require that the applicant certify that the applicant shall comply with the standards for the safe trapping, treatment and return of feral cats that the Borough may require by ordinance.
B. 
A permit issued under this article does not authorize a feral cat caregiver to enter upon private property without the permission of the landowner.

§ 123-29 Standards for permits; treatment.

A. 
Feral cats trapped as part of a permitted program must be sterilized and vaccinated for rabies and distemper prior to release.
B. 
All feral cats receiving treatment shall be ear-tipped for identification.
C. 
Treatment of feral cats shall only be performed by a veterinarian currently licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

§ 123-30 Violations and penalties.

Any person who shall violate any provision of this article shall, upon summary conviction before a District Justice, be subject to a fine for each offense of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000 and the costs of prosecution, and in default of payment of fine and costs of prosecution shall be sentenced to imprisonment of not more than 30 days. Each day a violation shall remain shall constitute a separate violation and a violation of each section of this article shall be considered a separate offense.