A Utah woman was stunned after she was charged under an antiquated law for having her pet cat ‘at large’ on her OWN front lawn.
When Kate Anderson was approached by animal control officers on June 24, she thought something had happened to Milo, according to Fox 13.
But city officials gave Anderson a citation because she had committed two misdemeanors by letting her beloved ginger tabby lie in the family’s garden.
The second charge was for ‘not having an animal license attached’.
Stop in the name of the claw! Milo the moggy and his owner were charged after he was spotted lying in his own garden
Kate Anderson, from Murray City, Utah, told Fox 13 she was shocked when animal control officers gave her a citation for two misdemeanors by letting her beloved ginger tabby lie in the family’s garden
‘This is a cat who is neutered and micro-chipped and vaccinated, and is not a menace to society,’ Anderson told Fox 13.
‘That (citation is) telling me I have to call for my court date… for my misdemeanors… of having my cat outside.’
Anderson joked that the use of the phrase ‘at large’ made Milo sound ‘like a fugitive…like (he) robbed a bank’.
The archaic law of which Anderson and her feline fell foul dates back to 1963, and bars residents of Murray city from letting any animal roam free.
Part of the ordinance reads: ‘It is unlawful for the owner or person having charge, care, custody or control of any animal to allow such animal at any time to run at large.’
‘The owner or person charged with responsibility of an animal found running loose shall be strictly liable for a violation… regardless of whether the owner or person charged with responsibility knows that the animal is running at large.’
Murray City goes on to define ‘at large’ as anytime an animal is not on a leash, confined to a vehicle or secured in the yard.
‘I don’t think most people think it is illegal to let your cat outside under any circumstance,’ Anderson said.
Milo fell foul of an antiquated law dating back to 1963 barring residents of Murray city from letting any animal roam free
Anderson joked that the phrase ‘at large’ in the citation made Milo sound ‘like a fugitive…like (he) robbed a bank’
A neighbor tipped off animal control after spotting Milo lying the Anderson family’s front garden (pictured). Anderson said on Facebook that the neighbor also ‘took our cat to the pound a few weeks ago because he didn’t like that the cat was outside’
Animal control was alerted to the cat-at-large when an unnamed neighbor took offense at Milo sleeping on the lawn and sent a photo.
Anderson wrote on Facebook that the neighbor ‘took our cat to the pound a few weeks ago because he didn’t like that the cat was outside. We only found out because the cat is microchipped’.
‘I think maybe I need to flyer the neighborhood to tell everyone to Beware- this man will knowingly abduct your pet,’ the concerned cat owner wrote.
City officials have now moved to dismiss the charges against Milo, so Anderson does not have to go to court.
Anderson was stunned when she was charged under an antiquated law for having her pet cat ‘at large’ on her own front lawn, writing on Facebook about the incident
Anderson also wrote on Facebook about the neighbor who reported Milo to animal control — it wasn’t the first time they took offense to Milo being outside
City officials have now moved to dismiss the charges, so Anderson, who lives in Murray with her husband (right), does not have to go to court
But she hit out at animal control officials for bringing them in the first place, saying: ‘It sounded like the ordinance was kept vague for a reason so if there are strange circumstances, they can do something about that.’
‘But this just feels like animal control being out of control.’
Milo is treated like part of the Anderson family.
‘He’s got a cat door, so he just comes and goes,’ Anderson said.
She added that the law is ‘definitely antiquated, I think if anything, there needs to be some kind of addition or amendment to the ordinance excluding felines’.