HomeAnimal lawskeeping wild cat speciesCat Confinement in Marion County, FL, USA

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Cat Confinement in Marion County, FL, USA — 39 Comments

  1. They hunt the raccoons for “sport”,not food. I live in the Ocala National Forest,so yes,I’m out there.And there is a lot of poaching all year.

    • Sad, Geri.
      I remember the time when living in the forest was wonderful. It still is in some parts. But, I think the hardcore hunters have ruined a lot.

  2. Speaking of your beloved, rare, and endangered Florida Panther:

    remainder deleted…..


    You can’t be polite Woody so you’re banned again.

  3. These dogs are used to hunt deer and raccoons.The panther is protected and cannot be hunted.I once had a 12×12 mini house built to keep the feral/strays in,shingled roof and all.I’m on an acre and they came out and told me I could not do that unless I had a farm or atleast 17 acres. They want them contained,but then give abunch of BS when you do.The AC changes the rules to suit themselves.

    • Thanks Geri. The Florida panther is protected because it is highly endangered and inbred but in other states it is hunted with dogs. Looks like AC are not very good at customer relations and unpopular in FL.

      Do people hunt raccoons with dogs for fun and food?

      • Not Geri, but I have never known anyone to hunt raccoons for food, only for fur. That may not hold true for Geri’s area of the county though.
        She must live in or very near our national forest, so know more firsthand than me.

        I know that, long ago, native Americans (Indians) consumed raccoons. But, today, they are near the top of the list for being rabid, so that may be a deterrent to people who are hunting for meat.

        But, I would have to say that there really isn’t a lot of hunting for sport/fun here. It’s most about eats although some “eats” I’ve never experience in my life when I ate meat like opossum, squirrel, rabbit, rattlesnake, etc.

  4. Yes,dogs do no wrong, even when they attack a human.It is appalling and just boils my blood. When I see an AC truck I get sick to my stomach.22 hunting dogs got away from their pens and attacked the cats and me. They got a free pass.4 Great Danes that broke out a window to escape after being left alone for 5 days,tried to rip my infant son from my arms upon returning from grocery shopping.I made it to the house and came back out and shot one dog,they ran back to their house.I called AC,they wanted to know if anyone was bleeding.They would not come out. I called sheriff,he was attacked,they refused to come out for him.The next day a mentally impaired young woman was walking to church on corner,the dogs attacked her,I tried to get them to attack me,but they wouldn’t,I called for ambulance and sheriff.Girl had minor damage,and AC would not come out. Finally a County Commishioner was called,he,the sheriffs,and Fish and Game hunted down the dogs and killed them. Owners were never fined or anything,two weeks later they had more dogs.I will not continue,I think you get the point.

        • Perhaps I can clarify, Jim, because I hate hunters also.
          When I say “hunter”, I am referring to an entity that requires some cowardly equipment in conjunction with their own strength, agility, and ingenuity to capture prey, such as guns, bows and arrows, and knives.
          Only human animals have to equip themselves to hunt.

      • And don’t try to clarify by saying “human hunters”, or are you guilty of “speciesism and animal racism” too? Humans were designed (through evolution) by their very DNA to be a hunter/gatherer omnivore species.

        I guess what you are trying to tell the world is that you hate all humans, including yourself. That would explain everything about you and what you do — 100%.

      • No, in Florida, the dogs are mostly used to facilitate hunters in capturing edible game such as deer, turkey, quail, squirrel, hog, gator (though mostly illegal), rabbit, oppossum.

        If it walks, crawls, or slithers they want to eat it.

        Dogs and guns are a hunters “crutches” because they aren’t able and are too cowardly to go “toe-to-toe” with an animal in the wild.

          • If bushmeat means to capture, kill, gut, and dismantle wild game to take home to consume, then that’s what it is.
            All very barbaric to me; but, a common practice all over.
            The argument against would be something like, “Well, how do you think that turkey got to the grocery store or how do you think you were able to buy that chicken for Charlie?”

  5. The problem is they do not enforce the law for dogs. Of course I am way out in the woods,22 miles east of Ocala. The times the ferals were attacked,even with eyewitnesses,nothing was done.And we knew who the owner was and where the dogs lived w/him.

    I was told they did not see the attack therefore there was nothing they could do. Yet the law states dogs are to be leashed/confined.Confined can mean as long as they are not off the property.

    My grievance is the dog owners are never held responsible. But,if someone complains about a cat,they come out like Nazi Storm Troopers.And the people have no special training for animals,an 8 hour course at the college,valid driver’s license and the job is yours.

    They have little to no knowledge about animals,handle the animals in a very rough manner,and will bait traps a foot off your property to trap the ferals or strays.I met one good worker many years ago,she knew about animals,was fair,and helpful,but I do not believe she is there anymore.

    I find the majority very vile people.They have a seek and destroy agenda concerning cats. They spread the lies about cats being an invasive species destroying birds,spreading disease,etc.They create the hostility towards cats.I cannot condone their actions or respect them.AC in Marion County needs an overhaul and the war on cats must end.

    • Geri, you are saying there is what is called “speciesism” within the authorities. Speciesism is animal racism. And the authorities favour dogs. I agree that. It follows logically because leaders of the community and the police etc. tend to be alpha types and these types prefer dogs.

    • Everything you’re saying is absolutely correct, Geri.
      Animal Control was my worse nightmare until TNR came to be. They harrassed me almost daily and, like you, they would set traps around the perimeter of my property, just waiting for a cat to step off.
      They did nothing about a dog running loose and killing cats here either.

      They are still my arch enemy, but the harrassment and fining has ceased. But, I still see them cruising by my house a couple times per month.

      • The harrassment Dee and Geri have experienced at the hands of AC and the authorities is disgusting. Shame these organisations not so proactive when it comes to protecting animals from abuse and neglect.

        If my local council were to introduce and enforce confinement laws with the same vigour as those in the US, I would definitely invest in cat-proof fencing for my garden.

        For some reason cats are often considered second class animals compared to dogs. Maybe that’s due to the old adage about them being man’s best friend, whereas cats are often still considered to be aloof.

  6. I don’t see any other way for a cat and caretaker to comply except to have the cat restrained in some manner when outside.

    Most dogs can be trained to obey voice commands; but, it’s pretty impossible to train a cat to “come” when they see a squirrel to chase. That is not irresponsible caretaking. That is cat nature that no one can control without force.

    The ordinances and “implied” rules are enacted by humans who are uneducated about the differences between dogs and cats.

    • This Control of Animals document is rather ambiguous in it’s wording. Rabbits, horses, cattle, chickens are all “domestic animals”, so in theory the rules would affect them too. The only specific reference to cats, is to say that they should be confined indoors when in heat.

      I’m sure these controls refer predominatly to dogs. When did you last see a cat “chasing/molesting vehicles & bicycles” 😉

      Perhaps it was deliberately drafted using the term “domestic animals” so as to encompass a wider range of pet as and when they want to?

      • Before TNR was made law here (when I incurred huge fines), the ordinances were more specific for cats.

        But, they had to rewrite them to exclude feeding bans for outside cats and made the free-roaming law more “implied” for domesticated, so colony caretakers could freely caretake. But, it’s still enforced for domesticated, which makes me mad too.

        I have a real problem with “implied” laws. Give me a law or no law… but don’t drag me into court over an “implied” one.

        • Dee, if I understand you correctly, pet cats must be confined, but feral and strays have the feedom to roam?

          Wow that is so confusing. How do they tell pets from homeless cats? Do they look for a neutered ear notch or something to identify those allowed to roam freely?

          • Yes, good point. The law relates to domestic cats but as you say what about feral cats and how do you tell the difference between a friendly feral and a wandering domestic cat? It is not always clear. Sometimes there are notched ears on ferals but not always. Microchipping too is a way of IDing domestics but not everyone microchips.

          • The ferals from registered colonies (the key is “registered”) are allowed to free-roam. They are identified by the ear tip and are microchipped.
            There is rarely a complaint about a registered feral, because they are allowed to be well taken care of, ie. they’re not searching for food in peoples’ trash. They’re satisfied and stay away from humans for the most part.
            Unregistered ferals, strays, even someone’s lost cat are subject to being taken to the kill shelter.

  7. These rules apply to irresponsible cat owners. If we all trained our cats properly these rules would not be so strictly enforced because the cats would learn to stay within their own boundaries. Stray dogs and cats-unsupervised and untrained cause many problems affecting all pets and their owners.
    But-this is not the responsible world we live in is it. And there are a multitude of reasons why an animal runs away.Abuse is at the top of the list___And there are different forms of abuse; both physical and verbal. Then there is a total lack of love and compassion for the pet.You get the picture?

    • If we all trained our cats properly these rules would not be so strictly enforced

      Absolutely, if all cat and dog owners where responsible and considerate of others this ordinance wouldn’t be required. It is the irresponsible minority who spoil it for the responsible majority.

    • Curious…
      Do your cats come to you when you say “Come”, like a dog does? Most of mine will unless something like a bird, butterfly, lizard, etc. draws their attention. Then, they become what they are, a cat.

      • My cats come to me by name, However there are exceptions-like if they are being chased by a neighbors unleashed dog* I would prefer to have a fence but can’t afford one, so when I started taking them outside as kittens we would walk the boundary [ invisible ] border of our yard. They do not go past the line-ever. But this took a lot of work and patience. My maine coons are great cats, but will not take to a leash. Good luck.

      • I think the authorities have a problem interpreting the word “control”. How does one define this in the ordinance? I suppose it means tight control to the point where the cat comes on command. I sense that the authorities want cats on leashes and as that is rare they are demanding cats stay inside.

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