The FNA Environment Committee is currently working on two key campaigns
Including Cats in Minneapolis Ordinance 64.80 – Advocating for Sound Animal Policy. (No free roaming cats). This Ordinance must be amended to apply to cats and cat owners as it now applies to dogs and dog owners. As in other cities, cat owners must be prohibited from allowing their cats at large in Minneapolis. Including cats in Ordinance 64.80 would prohibit cat owners from letting their cats at large just like dog owners are prohibited from allowing their dogs at large. The current policy of Minneapolis Animal Care and Control, (MACC) permitting owners to let their cats roam at large is unsafe: unsafe for the public, unsafe for birds and wildlife, and unsafe for cats. MACC should be held accountable for their lack of regulation of cat owners. Public policy must reflect the facts/science regarding free roaming cat predation. Permitting owners of cats to allow them at large is bad policy and gives rise to several areas of concern:
- Puts the public’s health at risk. It is well established that cats allowed to roam are more prone to being exposed to rabies. However, the risk of rabies from unvaccinated cats at large is a public health issue. The risk of canine rabies to the public was the impetus to require no dogs at large. Cats harbor an under-diagnosed parasitic disease called Toxoplasmosis which is transmissible via cat feces to humans, children and the immuno-compromised. The infective parasitic eggs in cats’ feces contaminate garden soil, playgrounds and sand boxes. Recent studies have shown it to be more prevalent in the human population than previously recognized, causing neurological, behavioral problems, congenital birth defects and blindness.
- Unsafe to birds and small wildlife. Cat predation is the number one threat to our birds. This fact is backed up with independent scientific studies worldwide. Birds and wild animals suffer when captured by a cat. Cat saliva is bacteria laden, so even if a bird or small animal escapes, they die a slow, painful death from infection or injuries. Two thirds of the bird species found in the U.S. have declined in the last 50 years. Domestic cats retain their hunting instinct- even well fed cats kill birds and small wildlife. A policy of no free roaming cats in Minneapolis is the only significant measure to mitigate this.
- Unsafe for the cats: the average life expectancy of a free roaming cat is 2-5 years. Many are run over by cars, or attacked by coyotes; some are captured and used for bait in dog fighting.
Sources. 1: Dr Michael Fox, Honor Roll member of the American Veterinary Medical Association with doctoral degrees in medicine and ethology/animal behavior. 2 and 3: American Bird Conservancy
- Amend Minnepolis Ordinance 64.80 by adding the word ‘cats’ which would prohibit cat owners from allowing their cats at large, just as dog owners are prohibited from allowing their dogs at large.
- Property owners who discover a neighbor’s cat on their property would call animal control with a ‘nuisance complaint’ meaning that the property owner would pick up a trap for the cat from MACC. Once the cat is trapped it is brought back to animal control. The cat’s owner would be then required to pay a fine in order to get their cat back.
Minnehaha Creek is Damaged by Runoff Pollution via Spillways and Culverts. Spillways leading into Minnehaha Creek at Washburn and York Av S are a significant source of polluting street runoff containing salt, animal waste, herbicides and fertilizer which destroy water quality. Animals living in and around the creek depend on clean, pure water.
- The spillways at Washburn and York Av S should be removed and replaced with terraced rain gardens containing native plants. This would act as a filter to prevent most runoff from reaching the creek.
- Redundant polluting culverts can be replaced with small, natural wetlands such as swales along the creek. These would also filter most pollutants out of creek.
- Learn how to direct your gutters away from hard surfaces and retain rainwater on your property
- Creating a Rain Garden
- Other resources: This list was compiled by Fulton’s volunteers. The companies listed are in no way endorsed or specifically recommended by the Fulton Neighborhood Association (FNA).
Maintaining Our Urban Forest
- Tree care tips from the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB)
- How to make a slow drain bucket to water your tree.
Join the Fulton Environment Committee. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 612-922-3106.
Want more information?
Contact the FNA Coordinator to find out how you can get involved.