And the number continues to grow.
Diane Elrod holds two of the five kittens that her cat, Matty, had after she adopted it from Columbia County Animal Care and Control.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
County officials say at least five of the 92 cats that were seized from a Martinez woman's home Feb. 10 have recently been discovered to be pregnant, one of which already has given birth to five kittens.
"They're so cute,'' said Diane Elrod, who adopted the cat, named Matty, that recently gave birth to five kittens. "We've already got good homes for them.''
Linda Fulmer, the director of Columbia County Animal Care and Control, said Matty wasn't the only pregnant cat.
"She was one of several,'' she said.
In light of the case in which Martinez resident Denise Beausoleil was charged with animal neglect after authorities found 92 cats living inside her Springlakes home, officials are now looking to make some changes concerning an animal ordinance in Columbia County.
"What we're looking at is something broader that gives more teeth when Linda needs to go out and write citations for people having multiple animals,'' said Pam Tucker, the director of the county's Emergency Services department, adding that such an ordinance "would really focus in on the breeding and selling and housing so many (pets).''
Tucker said a panel, including herself, Fulmer, planning officials and members of the county's code compliance department, have met once already to discuss the need of a such a change concerning pets.
She said the goal is to "prevent the people that are hurting animals, not the people that are helping animals."
"So what ever we do, we can't negatively impact people who are handling situations just fine and taking care of their animals,'' she said.
Currently, the county has no limit on the number of pets a person can have as long as the pets are being properly cared for.
"That is going to change,'' Tucker said, adding that an exact number of how many pets might be allowed in a home has not yet been determined.
She said kennels also are being taken into consideration in the planning phase.
"We're doing this kind of like a collaborative team effort so we don't miss anything,'' she said.
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