Jefferson outlaws feeding animals outside, even pets

2013-03-16T07:30:00Z Jefferson outlaws feeding animals outside, even petsCathy Ingalls, Albany Democrat-Herald Albany Democrat Herald

JEFFERSON — It’s now against the law in Jefferson to feed on purpose or incidentally deer, raccoons, feral cats, wild rabbits, wild turkeys or any other wildlife.

The ruling is part of an ordinance adopted by the city council in late February that went into effect immediately, said City Recorder Sarah Cook.

The ordinance was developed to regulate the keeping of domestic animals and to prevent wildlife from living inside the city limits and possibly becoming a public nuisance, she said.

Investigations into people feeding or harboring wildlife will be complaint-driven.

“We’ll look into noise, odors and property damage, and people will be warned first before being cited,” Cook said.

Violators could be fined between $100 and $500.

The ordinance states that “no person shall scatter or deposit any food or other attractants on public or private property with or without the intent of attracting and/or feeding wild animals.”

The ordinance also says “leaving food outside for any purpose, including for the purpose of feeding domestic animals and pets in a place where wild animals can access it, shall be a violation.”

Food, however, can be placed in live traps during the daytime to help capture feral cats for spaying or neutering.

And bird seed may be put in receptacles that are “reasonably designed to prevent, and do prevent” access to food by wild animals.

The ordinance also says “no person shall keep or maintain any livestock within a distance of 100 feet of any residence or dwelling occupied by one or more persons.”

The ordinance also addresses how many animals 4-H and FFA members can have at their homes.

An ordinance already allows up to two rabbits, fox or mink or up to 12 chickens but no roosters. An exemption allows for an additional 12 “small animals” of any combination per household, not per child.

So a family could have a total of 24 chickens with a permit or 14 rabbits, and so forth.

Cook said the ordinance is the city’s first attempt to restrict wild animals within the city limits. The council agreed to revisit the ordinance after a year to see how it’s working.

To help deal with a flock of about 50 wild turkeys that has taken up residence in Jefferson, the city will contact the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to arrange for permits to shoot the birds. Ten permits can be issued at a time.

A Marion County deputy will shoot the birds. The meat must be donated to an organization such as a food bank.

Cathy Ingalls is the city government reporter. She can be reached at or at 541-812-6094.

Copyright 2015 Albany Democrat Herald. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(16) Comments

  1. Government Watcher
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    Government Watcher - March 31, 2013 2:57 pm
    Please write to your State Representative and Senator regarding this atrocity. Their e-mails are and The local government is not the know all end all. Also write to PETA and let them know what is going on. Let's try and stop this before these beautiful animals are murdered before our eyes. If they HAVE to go, trap them and relocate them - DON'T MURDER THEM!!!!
  2. xmarksthespot
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    xmarksthespot - March 26, 2013 1:58 am
    Yes the is a LARGE NUMBER of wildlife on 5th street.Cats ...a few.Turkey ...YES too many.One person said it would be wrong to shoot them.And yes it would.There is no shooting of firearms in the city.The Marion county sheriff , would shoot them.THAT'S CRAZY!! They can't even keep there cars on the road.They LACK in driving skills.And now you want them to shoot at a moving target.Not good idea.Trap the birds.and then take them out of town.Giving them to the local food bank is a joke.The local food bank in town has the same mental outlook as the city council..........NOT SO GOOD.One person wrote it was inhumane.OH you mean that guy who lives next to it all.Next to the birds and the cats on 5th street Steve inhumane.He works for the city as the city manager..Is that not odd or what? My bad he lives on the corner of 5th and the hub of it all.If it's good enough for Steve,it's good enough for Jefferson
  3. OSUbeav
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    OSUbeav - March 20, 2013 9:02 am
    What about kenneled dogs outside? This ordinance goes too far, I'm sure people in the city won't be happy with this nonsense.
  4. OSUbeav
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    OSUbeav - March 20, 2013 12:21 am
    This is one of the stupidest ordinances ever. Obviously no one on the council even understands wildlife. You leave food for wildlife out every day, it's called TRASH. Wow looks like Jefferson needs to raise some cash so desperately that they are willing to fine people who take care of abandoned spayed and neutered cats. Little government in Jefferson sounds out of hand!
  5. seascape3
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    seascape3 - March 19, 2013 7:53 pm
    Send the cats to Guantanamo? Maybe we ought to send all the people there that abandon their pets to starve and die horrible deaths. Most feral cats are not true ferals they are abandoned pets. A truly feral cat is born in the wild to an abandoned pet or feral mother. They have had no human contact and you rarely see these cats So maybe instead of fining owners who are caring for their pets maybe you ought to fine and jail people who abandon their pets. There should be no feral cats period. Feral colonies were started because of human abuse and neglect of domesticated companion animals.
    You should do some research on your statement that cats kill millions of wild birds - not true. I find it rather ironic that you call cats bird killers as you talk about stuffing the towns wild turkeys in to ovens. Turkey poo on 5th street - oh no! Do you know what you walk through every day on the ground outside! You council is crazy. Oregon fish and wildlife could get the turkeys out humanely or give the crazy council resource info on other wildlife rescues that could help. But if shooting guns in your city limits is legal it sounds like you have quite a few human turkeys that out to be hunted down ! LOL!
  6. Loriibird
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    Loriibird - March 19, 2013 5:29 pm
    It's illegal to discharge a firearm within the city limits.
  7. Loriibird
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    Loriibird - March 19, 2013 5:03 pm
    Which Turkeys are they going to shoot? The ones on the City Council or the ones in the trees ?
  8. Bob Burns
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    Bob Burns - March 19, 2013 9:22 am
    It's nice to see our crack city council doing the job. I got a kick out of all the legalize quoted in this article. I say, send those cats to Guantanamo! I see those wild(?) turkeys roaming the neighborhoods on my daily morning walk and I agree we Jeffersonians would be better off with them in an oven then dumping scat all over 5th St.

    The fact is that cats - feral or domestic - are singularly responsible for the death of millions of wild birds, even to the point of extinction in some areas. Owners of cats should be made to keep their cats inside, not outside. And there should be a fine for not doing so. That cute little tabby of yours a killer. That's what cats do. It's part of being a cat.

    Kudos to the ADH for the coverage, too. You're our eyes and ears since we lost our local blatt. Otherwise, the council operates in a total vacuum. Thanks...

  9. zoeybean
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    zoeybean - March 18, 2013 4:48 pm
    Where is the compassion? Jefferson has bigger problems then song birds, wild turkeys, feral csts and all other small animals. This is a town that needs a complete overhaul starting with the local government. Wake up and smell the coffee! I urge everyone who is upset by this towns decision to contact any and all compassionate animal groups as I am doing. Jefferson should then remove all their painted green frogs from the streets and sidewalks. After all is that not sending the wrong message to the residents of Jefferson!
  10. catzsnot
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    catzsnot - March 17, 2013 10:34 pm
    What in the sam hill is wrong with these people? Got a few turkeys in town - gotta shoot em! What a bunch of idiots. The way they are going about it with these nonsense laws is ridiculous and terribly cruel to the cats!
  11. seenoguy
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    seenoguy - March 17, 2013 6:45 pm
    Lets just find out what the council is smoking. This ordinance is doomed to failure before it ever gets off the ground. All anyone that is currently feeding feral cats has to do is wait until dark. I give it two weeks and few will even remember the council embarrassed themselves.
  12. DebilynMcPhate
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    DebilynMcPhate - March 16, 2013 10:46 pm
    The way this is written, the city is going to allow people to shoot turkeys IN TOWN? Why not make a feeding station, after the turkeys get used to eating there, close the end, catch and relocate? What makes people think killing something is the answer?
    Any animal person knows, to catch feral cats, or any other you call a nusance you must feed them to be able to catch them. If you are not wanting to encourage wild animals into town, are you going to cut down all the fruit trees too? Is it not going to be ok to have a garden, also so this must mean NO ONE can have a compost pile either.
    Get some common sense. As my Mother would have said,"You guys are full of prunes!"
  13. Linn
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    Linn - March 16, 2013 4:45 pm
    I agree, you folks up there are nuts to have this kind of ordinance. Jefferson must be run by animal haters. Don't support that town in any way, cut THEM off from dollars.
  14. sarvi
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    sarvi - March 16, 2013 3:29 pm
    That is horrible and inhumane to feral cats. When one takes a cat in to the Feral Cat Coalition to be spayed/neutered, one is required to sign a document stating that you will take care of, and not abandon, this cat for the rest of its life. So if you are not allowed to feed it, you are not allowed to get it spayed/neutered. Feral cats that have been fed will not be able to sustain themselves on hunting alone, and even if they could, would the city like the related songbird population decrease?
  15. Yeah it's me
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    Yeah it's me - March 16, 2013 1:22 pm
    It is cruel to stop feeding an animal that has already become dependent on a food source. The feral cat population in our neighborhood is the result of renters leaving pets behind when they move. Personally I think that owners of properties that are not owner occupied should pay a fee to the city and the money be used for spay/neuter programs.
  16. animalsupporter
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    animalsupporter - March 16, 2013 12:23 pm
    I understand the wild animal issue but if people stop feeding the feral cats they have taken responisibility for by feeding the poor cats will starve! It is not the cats fault that they are feral, it is people who have dumped them off mistakenly believing they can fend for themselves. This law will mean death for many cats.
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