April 20, 2018
Final Reports
San Mateo Courts - Civil Grand Jury

Response from City of Brisbane

The City Council has reviewed the 2000-2001 Grand Jury Report and considered the recommendation that the City of Brisbane adopt the Pet Overpopulation Program. We do agree that pet overpopulation is a grave problem, but the Pet Overpopulation Program has some severe flaws. In particular, the provisions for cat licensing and enforcement are unrealistic and would exacerbate the problem.

There is an old adage that you don't own cats, they own you. Cats often adopt several homes and it would be difficult to determine who should be responsible. Certainly holding whoever feeds a cat responsible is unfair. Many people leave food out for feral cats that would otherwise starve or hunt protected species of birds and rodents. Under the county ordinance these people would be held responsible for the cats they feed. Most likely this would lead to complete abandonment of such animals.

A 1992 study of proposed cat licensing for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors found that most cats coming to the shelter were "either unowned, or lacking in responsible ownership." The study further found no evidence to support any of the claimed benefits of cat licensing.

There are many more concerns to be raised regarding this issue. Consequently the City of Brisbane will not be adopting the Pet Overpopulation Program as it currently stands.


© 2018 Superior Court of San Mateo County