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Fine proposed for feeding stray, feral pets

Associated Press

GREENWOOD, Ind. – A southern suburb of Indianapolis is considering a ban on feeding stray cats and dogs to discourage coyotes from roaming its neighborhoods.

 The Greenwood City Council gave preliminary approval this week to an ordinance that would set fines of $50 to $250 for people caught feeding most wild animals, with the exception of ducks, geese, other birds, squirrels and chipmunks, the Daily Journal reported (http://bit.ly/UX7iE ).

 Greenwood police issued a warning in October about coyote attacks on family pets after numerous residents reported dogs vanishing from fenced yards and others being mauled by coyotes.

 Councilman David Hopper said people should take feral cats into their homes and become responsible for them if they want to feed them. He questioned what other reason there would be for giving them food.

 “We don’t want feral cats and dogs running around willy-nilly,” Hopper said. “We’ve got to do something to stop that.”

 The council, which advanced the proposed ban on a 7-2 vote, is to consider final approval of the ordinance in December.

 Councilman Thom Hord voted against the feeding ban, saying he didn’t believe it could be enforced and that residents should have the common sense to not leave food outside for animals.

 Hopper encouraged residents to stop feeding squirrels if their neighborhood has had coyote attacks. He said squirrels make easy meals for coyotes, and a resident told him coyotes moved on after he stopped leaving food out for the squirrels.

 “It’s just fattening them up,” Hopper said.

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