Cat Bounty in Randolph, Iowa
Randolph, Iowa (KPTM) - An Iowa mayor takes extreme measures to get wild cats off the streets.
It's a plan that's drawing a lot of criticism.
It's usually quiet on Main Street in Randolph, Iowa. But drive a few blocks north and west and it's not long before you see one stray cat after another. "There's been a cat problem in this town for 11 years," says Randolph resident Sam Lupo.
Lupo says he owns two cats, the rest of the two or three random cats running around in the yard are strays. "They're not wanted around here, they run around become a nuisance, get into trash and tear it up," Lupo says.
After several complaints Randolph city leaders are now asking for help. The mayor's plan is to put a bounty on all cats. If you can lure one to you and catch it, it will earn you five bucks.
Any stray cat or dog that doesn't have tags or a collar will be taken to a Sidney vet and put down.
"Either people keep their cats in or like dogs, if they keep 'em under control we shouldn't have a problem, it's just the stray ones and cats propagate quite frequently," says Randolph City Councilman Allen Wendland.
Chasidy Wederquist calls the plan ridiculous. "As a person who likes animals I don't think a bounty is the best thing for them to do," she says.
She agrees there's a cat problem, but says killing them is not the answer.
"I think the county here should get something here, get a (animal control) department like Omaha and Council Bluffs," says Wederquist.
Dozens more agree.
Outraged community members vented their disgust on the city's community web site, calling the bounty inhumane and a danger to family pets.
City leaders disagree. "There's not much of a bounty on 'em to where people are gonna make a lot of money on it," says Wendland.
If the city can identify the animal as a pet, it will be returned to the owner.
Some people say that their biggest concern is how to tell if it is someone's pet or not.
Some animal rescue groups are worried people will take pets, pull off their collars just so they can get the money.
The next city council meeting in Randolph is Thursday. You can vent your concerns there.Councilman Wendland says no one has called him to complain and says no cats have been turned in so far.