A cat nap turned into a catastrophe in Utah on Monday.
Milo, an orange tabby cat, was snoozing on his owner’s lawn in Murray on June 24 when animal control officers delivered quite a wake-up call in the form of two misdemeanor charges.
The owner, Kate Anderson, told FOX13 animal control officers came to her house to hand her the citation, which listed two charges – one for having “an animal at large” and one for “not having an animal license attached” – both are Class B misdemeanors based on a city ordinance.
According to Anderson, someone in the neighborhood took a picture of Milo sleeping on the lawn and reported it to the city.
“This is a cat who is neutered and micro-chipped and vaccinated, and is not a menace to society,” Anderson said to FOX 13.
The woman said Milo has “a cat door, so he just comes and goes and is a cat.”
She said she was shocked by the citation.
“I just got a ticket for my cat being outside, in my yard,” Anderson said.
Anderson, who said she has to call for her court date for the misdemeanors, is concerned about her indoor-outdoor pal, noting the feline enjoys being outside on the lawn.
“I don’t think most people think it is illegal to let your cat outside under any circumstance,” Anderson said.
The ordinance dates back to 1963 and prohibits any animal being in an area – even if it’s on the owner’s property – without a leash, secured in a yard or confined to a vehicle. Any owner of an animal considered “at large” is found “unlawful” under the ordinance and can face a charge, as Anderson did.
“It’s definitely antiquated, I think if anything, there needs to be some kind of addition or amendment to the ordinance excluding felines,” Anderson said.
Murray city Attorney G.L. Critchfield told FOX13 that they have filed a motion to dismiss the charges, but will not likely be amending the ordinance.