§ 4-22-1. Findings and purpose.
The state finds that a cat identification program, which would require an owner of a cat to maintain an identification for the cat, would serve the following public purposes:
(1) Cat identification would provide cats protection under the law, equal to that afforded dogs, by establishing ownership which, in turn, would encourage cat owners to take full responsibility for their pets' welfare.
(2) Cat identification would protect cats, as dogs are now protected, by establishing minimum holding periods for cats released to and/or impounded by municipal animal control facilities and private animal shelters.
(3) A program to require cat identification should facilitate the return of lost, owned cats.
(4) Cat identification would provide a method to help distinguish between owned and unowned cat populations thus assisting animal control officers and animal shelters in carrying out their mission.
(5) Cat identification would advance the reduction of the untold suffering of cats at-large in our state by helping to insure the quick return of injured and sick animals to their owners.
(6) Passage of this bill would reduce the number of unowned cats and increase education to owners as to the need for sterilization of cats, thereby reducing unwanted litters, eliminating cat over-population problems, and reducing the costs to cities and towns for euthanizing at-large or unowned cats.
(7) Cat identification would help support public health and safety in the control of rabies.
The purpose of this chapter, therefore, is to establish a cat identification program, which would require that an owner of a cat maintain an identification for the cat. These measures will also reduce the spread of rabies.
(P.L. 1999, ch. 291, § 1.)