Those living in the Ardmore Drive area of North Saanich are keeping a close eye on their pets, after someone posted a notice threatening to set traps for cats.
The “Notice to Cat Owners” posted at the south end of Ardmore Drive said several cats have been roaming on a local property.
“If you are the owner(s) of these beasts, please be warned that we do not want them pooping in our yard or stalking the birds,” the message said, adding traps have been set throughout the property.
“So be a responsible cat owner. KEEP YOUR CATS AT HOME!!!!!”
Kaley Pugh, the B.C. SPCA’s regional manager of cruelty investigations for Vancouver Island, said there is no investigation “because a crime really hasn’t been committed at this point.”
“Threatening animals is an offence, but there’s really no explicit threat involved at the moment.”
The message does raise questions, however, Pugh said.
“We certainly would be concerned if someone is illegally trapping other people’s cats and not following the regular procedures with bylaw control and whatnot,” she said. “If they were taking them out to the woods and dumping them, those sorts of things, that would definitely be a concern.
“Trapping a cat and just taking it out to the woods and dumping it is not a legal thing.”
Capital Regional District chief bylaw officer Don Brown said whoever posted the notice is taking the wrong approach.
“It’s a little scary, certainly, for the people that own cats in the area,” Brown said. “We certainly don’t recommend people taking things into their own hands like vigilantes.”
A good step is to talk to a cat’s owner if there is an issue, he said.
In a Facebook post about the message, the group Reuniting Owners with Missing Animals called it “incredibly disturbing.”
“If you live in the neighbourhood please keep your cats close to you and safe,” said ROAM, adding anyone who knows who put the notice up should “let them know how wrong this is.”
“We understand how frustrating it can be for homeowners to have unwanted cats in the yard, but this is not how to deal with it.”