Bainbridge council to vote on requiring licenses for cats

Have a cat? It will cost you.

The Bainbridge Island City Council will consider changes to the city’s animal control code at its meeting Tuesday.

One of the changes will require Bainbridge residents who have a cat to purchase a pet license.

Previously, only dogs needed pet licenses in the city.

Changes to the code were recommended by the Kitsap Humane Society, which enforces the city’s animal control code under a contract with Bainbridge Island. The current contract expires in December 2020.

Officials with the Kitsap Humane Society has been seeking changes to Bainbridge’s animal regulations since June 2018. The revisions were reviewed earlier by the city council in September and March but action on the amendments were put off until a new ordinance could be written.

Pet license fees for cats varies depending on the animal.

The Kitsap Human Society charges a $7 a year for licensing a spayed/neutered cat (with microchip); a three-year license is $14 and a lifetime license is $25.

For a cat that is not spayed or neutered (with microchip), the cost for a license is $20 a year; $80 for three years; or $160 for a lifetime license.

For a cat that is not spayed or neutered and does not have a microchip, the cost is $50 a year, and $100 for three years.

People who violate the new licensing requirement will face a Class 1 civil infraction fine of $250, as well as a misdemeanor fine of up to $500 and imprisonment up 90 days in jail.

During discussion of the proposed changes in March, council members were split on the idea of licensing cats.

Councilwoman Sarah Blossom said then that the proposal for cat licenses was “ridiculous,” and when she mentioned the idea to a few people, “They both just laughed in my face.”

Councilman Ron Peltier, however, supported the idea, and said cat owners should be required to get a license for their pets.

The council will discuss the changes to its animal control code at its business meeting on Tuesday, June 11.

The meeting will be held in council chambers and begins at 6 p.m.

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