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C2005-51

Dear Christopher Cat

In a recent reply to a question about feral cats, you recommended spay/neuter and rabies vaccination.

While I agree that this is the humane and compassionate thing to do, people should be aware of the possible legal consequences.

A man in Florida took a feral cat to the vet for spay/neuter surgery and vaccinations. Later, the man was taken to court and fined for not having the cat licensed.

Because he paid for the surgery, the court deemed him to be the cat’s legal owner.

Please pass on this information so fellow pet lovers will check their local laws to avoid being punished for doing the right thing.

Christopher Responds

Thanks for reminding readers that regulations differ by location.

I live in rural Pennsylvania, where cats are not licensed.

However, some municipalities do require licensing of cats, so people wishing to help feral cats should check with their local humane societies about regulations that might impact them.

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