A Salmo resident may be facing charges after allegedly trapping and relocating a neighbourhood cat, according to an animal cruelty investigator with the SPCA.
Details are not being provided at this time while special provincial Const. Jeremy Irons, who looks after the East and West Kootenay, is looking into the matter.
Though trapping a cat is not considered illegal so long as the animal is cared for, relocating the animal is.
It can be difficult to prove that an individual removed an animal, but in this case, the pet owner found his cat miles away from his property.
“A cat was caught in a trap and relocated, but a neighbour found out what had happened and got the cat back,” explained Irons.
Trail’s SPCA manager Danielle Jackman receives the odd report of people trapping cats as a means of discouraging the pets from spraying on their properties.
As long as a cat is fed properly and trapped with the intention to be brought to an organization like the SPCA, no charges can be laid.
This becomes complicated though, as most Greater Trail communities have no cat bylaws – meaning it can be difficult to return them to their rightful owner.
“To dump it into a bush somewhere is illegal and you can be charged with animal cruelty and abandonment,” said Jackman.
She suggests that residents take the high road and make a complaint in person.
“Open up dialogue with your neighbour and make them aware of what is happening,” she said. “Ninety per cent of the time people are not aware of the problem.”