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Friday, January 3, 2014

Village Lacked Authority to Regulate Feral Cats

In County of Cook v. Village of Bridgeview, 2013 IL App (1st) 122164-U (Rule 23 order), the Illinois appellate court struck down the Village's feral cat ordinance that prohibits residents from operating feral cat colonies within the Village's corporate limits.  The county had challenged the ordinance because it was inconsistent with the county's own animal control regulations that allow county residents to maintain feral cat colonies provided the residents participate in trap, neuter, and release programs sponsored by humane societies.  The Village argued it had authority to adopt its own regulations pursuant to its home-rule powers.
The appellate court first determined that animal control is both a statewide and local concern.  In these cases, a court must consider which unit of government has a "more vital interest" in controlling or regulating in a particular area. In this case, the court determined that the counties have a more vital interest than municipalities in controlling the feral cat population and the spread of rabies.  Consequently, the Village of Bridgeview exceeded its authority by banning feral cat colonies.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink


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