Cormier, a city native who no longer lives in the province, said the recent incident on McWhirters Lane where 200 cats were removed from a home that prompted much public and media attention, makes his home town look bad.
Cormier initiated a meeting with the mayor and top city administrators last week questioning aspects of the city’s animal regulations bylaw.
One specific question Cormier had, surrounds a clause in the city’s animal control regulations bylaw. The clause reads: “No Owner shall keep or allow any animal, with the exception of a cat, on any property within the city without the written approval of Council.”
Cormier’s understand of the phrase is, if owners were to have more than one cat, that person would need written permission from council.
Based on this understanding, Cormier is wondering how 200 cats could have been retrieved from a single dwelling on McWhirters Lane in May.
But Mayor Neville Greeley said council does not plan on changing the rules.
Greeley said the intention of the legislation is that council’s approval is needed for pets other than cats.
“It’s referring to the species,” Greeley said. “Not the number.”
Greeley said any changes to animal control regulations would have had little impact on preventing the McWhirters Lane situation. He added that the current legislation gives the city’s authority to deal with roaming animals, and meets the needs of the community.
“From the city’s perspective, we don’t have an issue with the legislation,” he said. “The legislation seems to be working quite well.”
Cormier feels the city needs to get input from residents to make appropriate new animal regulations.
The number of cats is not the only clarification needed in the regulations, said Cormier.
“The City of Corner Brook “Animal Regulations” 2008 are poorly drafted and do not adequately address the challenges of animal control,” stated a letter to the mayor, from, dated June 6.
Under the city bylaws, in general terms, people wanting to have a pet that is not dog or cat, must get written permission from council.
Dogs are addressed under their own bylaw, which does not place a maximum number of dogs someone can have as pets, as long at they are licensed.
As the legislation states, pets such as budgie bird or hamster, must get written permission.
Greeley said, the intention of the legislation is not directly what it states.
“Common sense has got to come into play here,” he said. “We don’t want council inundated with requests from individuals who are going to get a gold fish.”