(a)   Prohibition. No person within the limits of the City shall knowingly feed and/or harbor nuisance health risk animals.
   (b)   Exceptions. The provisions of division (a) above shall not apply to the following situations:
      (1)   Any qualified caregiver sponsored by and under the supervision of an animal welfare organization registered with the City to promote a Trap-Neuter-Return ("TNR") Program in which feral or stray cats are trapped, sterilized, vaccinated against rabies, ear tipped and returned to the qualified caregiver.
      (2)   This section shall not apply to licensed trappers or permitted hunters actively baiting nuisance health risk animals in order to lawfully trap or harvest such animals.
   (c)   Affirmative Defense. It shall be an affirmative defense to the feeding of a feral cat or a stray cat that the cat previously was spayed or neutered. Evidence that the cat was ear-tipped shall constitute proof of this affirmative defense.
   (d)   Definitions. The following words and phrases, when used in this section and Section 618.20 , shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section:
      (1)   "Abandoned animal's" means a domesticated cat that an owner has forsaken entirely or neglected or refused to provide care and support.
      (2)   "Animal welfare organization" means any charitable corporation whose purpose includes promotion of animal welfare and that has been granted 501(c)(3) nonprofit status by the Internal Revenue Service and which has registered with the City to operate within its boundaries.
      (3)   "Ear-tipping" means straight-line cutting of the tip of the left ear of a cat while the cat is anesthetized when done to evidence that the cat has been sterilized and vaccinated.
      (4)   "Feral cat" shall mean a member of the felis catus genus species that does not reside in a human occupied dwelling and that has never been tamed and socialized to humans.
      (5)   "Feral cat colony" means a group of cats that congregates, more or less, together as a unit. Although not every cat in a colony may be feral, any non-feral cats that congregate with a colony shall be deemed to be a part of it.
      (6)   "Nuisance health risk animals" shall mean rats, raccoons, skunks, deer, coyotes, Canada geese and feral cats.
      (7)   "Qualified caregiver" or "feral cat colony caregiver" means any person who takes responsibility for the care and management of a City registered stray feral cat colony.
      (8)   "Registration" means annual completion of a form by an animal welfare organization that contains the information set forth in Section 618.20.
      (9)   "Stray cat" means a cat that is regularly off the property of the owner, is not under the physical control and restraint of the owner, and is not regularly provided with food by its owner.
      (10)   "TNR" means trap, neuter and return.
      (11)   "TNR Program" means a program pursuant to which feral and stray cats are trapped, neutered or spayed, vaccinated against rabies, and returned to the location where they congregate, in accordance with this chapter.
   (e)   Penalty. Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor for a first offense, a fourth degree misdemeanor for the second offense, and a third degree misdemeanor for a third or subsequent offense. The penalty shall be as provided in Section 698.02 and in Chapter 698. A separate offense shall be deemed committed each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.
(Ord. 2017-O-21. Passed 7-25-17; Ord. 2022-O-17. Passed 9-13-22.)