Winnebago County Animal Services Changes Services for Cats Caught in Live Traps
Starting Monday, April 30, 2018, Winnebago County Animal Services will no longer be providing the service of impounding cats caught in live traps from municipalities that do not have a leash law on cats. Many of these cats are feral and subsequently euthanized. This service has been provided outside of the written intergovernmental agreements for the following communities that in include Rockford, unincorporated Winnebago County, South Beloit, Durand, Pecatonica, Village of Winnebago, and New Milford.
The exception will be cats that have been involved in a bite to a human or sick and injured cats. Cats brought to WCAS in carriers will also be accepted (but not live traps).
Winnebago County Animal Services will continue to accept all cats from municipalities with leash laws on cats; which include Loves Park, Machesney Park, Rockton, and Roscoe*.
*In Roscoe, an ear-tipped cat is considered part of a feral cat program and exempt from the leash laws. Ear-tipped cats should be set free.
Although most communities in Winnebago County do not currently have a managed feral cat program, ear tipped cats are a sign that a cat has been spayed or neutered. Winnebago County Animal Services recommends that ear-tipped cats be left alone. Usually it’s the left ear that is tipped.
National animal welfare organizations such as the ASPCA, Best Friends Animal Society, and the Humane Society of the United States support Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) as a more humane, effective method to manage feral cats and recommend community leaders implement effective community cat management programs.