Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

Letter: animal control ordinance suggestion

Joyce Coomer writes:

I read the county's proposed animal control ordinance a few times this past weekend. I'm not comfortable with this ordinance, on many levels. However, there is something that that I feel should be included, which would help everyone, cats included.

It should be mandatory, unless someone is raising pedigreed animals as their ONLY source of income, that all cats and dogs should be spayed and neutered.

Throughout the years, I have seen charts showing how many kittens (and subsequent offspring) one female cat would produce throughout her lifetime. Yes, there would be many. Few people pay attention to such information, nor act on it.

However, when dollar signs are added, people become much more attentive.

I've asked people throughout the years, when they've complained to me about their cat or dog being pregnant again, why they don't have the animal spayed. The first - usually the only - answer is: "It costs too much." I tell them to figure up the additional costs in food alone. This past weekend I did that myself.

I bought a 3.15-lb. sack of Purina Cat Chow at Walmart. It cost $6.47. The instructions on the bag said to feed a 10-14 pound cat one cup (a standard 8-oz. measuring cup) of food per day. I measured this out, making sure the cat food in the cup was level, not piled up above the rim. This 3.15-lb. sack of cat food would feed one cat for two weeks. That comes to $168.22 for a year's worth of cat food.

If a female cat had four kittens this spring, and the owner kept them all, the cost of feeding five cats for one year would be $841.10.

This week I called veterinary offices and asked the cost of spaying a cat. Fees ran from $125.00 to $200.00.

The difference in the cost of feeding one cat for a year and five cats for a year is $672.88. That would enable someone to spay three cats per year.

Everyone has some habit that costs them money. Smoking. Fancy coffee. Manicures. Energy drinks. Playing the lottery. I eat out more than I should. Add up what those habits cost per week.

Putting $5.00 aside a week would add up to $260.00 at the end of a year, sufficient to spay a cat or dog. This amount shouldn't prevent anyone from enjoying their habits.

Before utilizing knee-jerk reactions to a situation, we need to step back and analyze it. There are ways to deal with most anything without penalizing everyone. Alley Cat Allies is one of several organizations that promote TNR (trap, spay, neuter) as a way of curbing cat population growth; I feel it would be beneficial to the county for the local governments to talk to these people and learn ways to solve problems that help both cats and humans.

Joyce M. Coomer

This story was posted on 2023-03-08 20:57:36
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.


Quick Links to Popular Features

Looking for a story or picture?
Try our Photo Archive or our Stories Archive for all the information that's appeared on


Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by Linda Waggener and Pen Waggener, PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270.403.0017

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia Magazine. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.