Pompano Beach Cracks Down on Feeding Homeless Cats

The same day the Indian Harbour Beach (FL) City Council voted to ban the feeding of, and caring for, feral cats, the issue was making headline 150 miles to the south, in Pompano Beach.

According to Tuesday’s Sun Sentinel, “Gretchen Sheehan’s labor of love”—feeding homeless cats—”netted her a $50 fine,” thus creating a bit of an uproar in the community. Sheehan, it turns out, “had no clue she was breaking the law.” [1]

And a second offense could cost her $100, a third $250, and any subsequent violations $500 apiece.

“Issuing citations doesn’t solve anything,” explained Becky Robinson, president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies in a press release Wednesday. “The cats will still make their home there. Policies like the one in Pompano Beach only punish Good Samaritans and pit neighbors against each other, instead of working towards a lasting approach.”

David Aycock, one of Pompano Beach’s two animal control officers, told the Sun Sentinel, “We are not trying to punish people. We are trying to help the cats. If you want to feed them, go one step further: find a home for them.”

Or else.

Remember: this is the same David Aycock who is, as the paper reported in July, “at odds with Broward animal officials. While they try to achieve a no-kill shelter, he’s continuing his aggressive approach, sending scores of feral cats from Pompano Beach to their shelters.” [2]

The reason?

“David Aycock said he loves cats. And that’s why, as chief animal control officer for Pompano Beach, he sends so many to the county shelters to be euthanized. It’s more humane than the alternative, he said.” [2]

To recap, then: Gretchen Sheehan’s “labor of love” cost her $50—this time, with escalating fines for any future violations—while Aycock’s “labor of love” is paid for by taxpayers.

Pompano Beach: you’ve got it backwards.

Literature Cited

1. Bryan, S. (2013, January 10). Woman’s fine for feeding stray cats in Pompano Beach sparks furory. Sun Sentinel, from http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/pompano-beach/fl-cat-lady-pompano-20130108,0,4031037.story

2. Wallman, B. (2012, July 6). Cats face death sentence at county shelter. Sun Sentinel, from http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/fl-cats-overrun-broward-20120702,0,7715072,full.story