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Friday, Mar 27, 2015

County may do away with cat traps


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Hernando County Animal Services staffers will ask county commissioners Tuesday to stop loaning out traps to residents trying to capture neighborhood cats.

The goal is to create a more humane and efficient operation at animal services, they believe.

The department loans out traps to citizens to capture stray and feral cats, which are then brought to HCAS for impoundment. Most are humanely euthanized at taxpayers' expense.

But the problem is that sometimes feral cats and citizens’ outdoor cats are caught in those traps.

Staffers said impounding the cats drains resources, time and money from the facility and the county.

The HCAS said it is also a cause of decreased morale and compassion fatigue for the staff tasked with euthanizing unadoptable feral cats every day.

In January 2013, the live outcome rate for cats at HCAS was 39 percent: 47 cats were euthanized, of which 43 were feral. If those 43 feral cats had not been impounded and euthanized, the department’s live release rate for cats would have been 71 percent.

The cat trap issue will be discussed during Tuesday’s meeting, which begins at 9 a.m. at the Hernando County Government Center, 20 North Main St. in downtown Brooksville.

Also on Tuesday’s agenda:

Commissioners will be asked to create seven separate taxing districts to meet a May 24 property appraiser deadline.

Assistant County Administrator for Budget and Business Development George Zoettlein said the idea is to create the districts and then, during budget talks this summer, commissioners will have the option to discuss whether they want the separate taxing units as a funding method.

Commissioners will be asked to consider ordinances to create Municipal Services Taxing Units (MSTUs) for library services, parks-recreation, law enforcement, economic development, mosquito control, fire rescue services and Hernando County unincorporated services.

“If you don’t create the dependent districts now, than you don’t have the ability later this summer, when we do talk about funding sources and those districts will not exist,” Zoettlein said.

Business Development Manager Mike McHugh will update the board on recent economic development and airport issues.

Commission Chairman Dave Russell told Hernando Today he wanted answers as to rumors of oil leaks in the ground located by a building on airport grounds.

That caused the county to spend money on an environmental report, which this week showed there was no soil contamination.

Assistant County Administrator for Planning & Development Ron Pianta will present an ordinance reinstating impact fees effective Aug. 14.

To view the agenda, visit and click on agendas on the right.

(352) 544-5290

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