UPDATE 9/23/13 @ 11:20 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Ongoing concerns about the cat overpopulation problem has prompted Charleston City Council to come up with some possible solutions.
They have come up with a proposal that would prohibit anyone from owning more than three cats unless given a special permit.
It also would require every cat to be on a leash while away from its owner's property. If not, the owner could be fined.
The ordinance is still being debated by council members.
The big issue was the newly proposed cat ordinance. The city says it has been overwhelmed with complaints. Community members say cats are taking over their properties, ruining their lawns, tearing up their gardens and killing wildlife.
If passed, the ordinance will prohibit anyone from owning more than three cats, and every cat must be on a leash while off of its owner's property. If not, the owner could be fined.
The ordinance was not approved or denied Monday night. It was tabled by the city's Rules and Ordinance Committee so that the city can get more public input.
A proposed city ordinance will be read for the Rules and Ordinance Council at Monday's City Council meeting.
People have told council members herds of cats are on their properties ruining their yards and gardens.
The proposed ordinance will force everyone to keep their cat on their own property. If it is found off of the owner's property and not on a leash, they could face a fine.
It will also keep people from owning more than three cats at one time.
"It's not about limiting cats for responsible homeowners. Those people that can keep their cats in their house or can keep them on their property, shouldn't be effected by this," said City Manager, David Molgaard.
Council members say they've even heard from workers at the Kanawha County Humane Society, saying they want to help solve the problem while keeping cats safe at the same time.
If the ordinance passes the ordinance committee, it will then go before the full committee for a vote.
Council members discussed the need for changes to be made to solve the overpopulation problem.
Some neighbors complained, saying the cats are on their properties, ruining their lawns and gardens, and killing wildlife.
Council members also heard from the Kanawha County Humane Society.
Workers from the shelter say they want to work with City Council to reduce the problem without hurting the cats.
The first reading of the cat ordinance is set to take place at the next council meeting.
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