By AMBER HUNTER
The cat’s out of the bag — Lindon City officials are working on a proposed animal ordinance that has created what some call an “unnecessary” stir among residents and journalists.
For the past two weeks, Lindon City has received excessive media coverage concerning a supposed leash law for cats, said Councilmember Lindsey Bayless.
“There is a lot of information being sent out about us and our animal ordinance concerning cats,” said Councilmember Toby Bath during the City Council meeting Tuesday. “This Council has in no way said anything about cats.”
“We are working on a total animal ordinance concerning large animals with some details on cats and dogs,” Bayless said. “We never considered licensing cats. I feel this is an example of inaccurate, misleading and wasted journalism.”
According to Bayless, a proposed animal ordinance concerning large animals was presented to the City Council on Tuesday, July 20.
Since that time, the supposed leash law for cats has been featured in several local and national newspapers, radio talk shows and local newscasts, Bayless said.
“This issue has taken our staff’s time and our elected officials’ time, and it’s not even an issue,” Bayless said. “We are getting publicity on something that is a non-issue.”
Cat owner Arloween Barney was concerned when she heard about the leash law through a reporter.
She did not know about the leash law before she was contacted, Barney said.
“I have talked with some councilmembers, and they are just trying to decide what the law should be,” Barney said. “It’s not their intent to create a leash law.”
“I think Lindon is doing a good job of trying to work with people who have animals,” Barney said. “Things have just been blown out of proportion.”
The purpose of the animal ordinance is to create responsibility among pet owners, Bayless said.
“If an animal destroys someone’s property, whether it is a horse, dog, cat, or whatever, the owner should be held responsible,” Bayless said.
The animal ordinance will also try to prevent animals from being mistreated, Bayless said.
“Personally, I think all people should be responsible pet owners,” Lindon resident and cat owner Karena Jackson said.
The proposed animal ordinance is currently under revision and will not be reviewed by the council until late August, Bayless said.
“The whole issue is a non-issue,” Bayless said. “It is actually quite laughable.”
“We love animals in Lindon,” said Mayor Pro Tem James Dain.