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Chesterfield considers changing rules when it comes to cats in the county

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. --  Chesterfield leaders said the county's cat policies could change after more than 20 cats were left abandoned in the Carter’s Mill neighborhood.

“We need to help this particular situation,” Chesterfield County Planning Commission Chairman Edgar Wallin said. The county will review policies to determine what, if any, changes needed to be made, he added.

"We’re a changing society, and we need to be responsive to the needs of today," Wallin said. "As far as I’m concerned, any option is on the table."

Chesterfield cat lover Mary Cary said the county should use animal control officers to control trap, neuter and then release the stray cats back across the county.

"Two cats can go into 5000 in less than five years," Cary said. "[Trap, spay and neuter] works at eliminating this problem because the shelter is full."

While neighbors have worked to find homes for the cats found in Carter's Mill, 13 of the 20 abandoned cats remained in the neighborhood. The Richmond SPCA agreed to take in all of the cats that weighed four pounds or less.


  • Amy K White

    Name the cat “Mercy”- since that’s what took place when your employee rescued the kitten. Couldn’t find the right place to put this, so I just put it here .

  • Unknown

    1. Require anyone feeding these cats to keep them on their own property in a fenced in area, or face fines.
    2. In regards to the current oversupply of wildlife devastating creatures, trap and euthanize them.
    3. Impose a limit, similar to dogs, in regards to the number of cats one can keep at a residence.
    4. Consider a leash law for unfenced areas. Similar to dogs.

    What I find appalling, is the gall of this person:
    “Chesterfield cat lover Mary Cary said the county should use animal control officers to control trap, neuter and then release the stray cats back across the county.”

    So, because Bob let his cats overbreed, you want the county to capture, neuter, then release them…WHERE? They’ll decimate wildlife populations in areas they’re dumped, and they have a penchant for returning “home”/feeder locations.

    They should stop being treated as “feral cats” and start being treated as the destructive nuisances that they are.

    • HM

      Humans devastate wildlife ten times more than a cat. Should we euthanize all the developers that destroy wildlife habitats all the time? The issue should be to find a humane solution to stop the overpopulation caused by careless and negligent pet owners. If our local governments would make it a law to have your pet spayed or neutered unless you pay for a breeding license that should cost three times the amount of a low cost spay or neuter clinic, that would be helpful. Trap Neuter and Release (TNR) is a humane solution that vaccinates the cats against rabies plus stops the breeding, fighting, and unpleasant marking of territory. A TNR’d feral or “community” cat can provide a valuable service to a community by keeping disease carrying vermin at bay.

      Education is the best solution to any problem. If anyone needs information on low cost spay and neuter clinics and humane solutions for this problem please check out for resources in your area.

      • Unknown

        Simply requiring feeders to confine animals they’re feeding to their own property, then trapping and euthanizing the remainder is a simpler action than a convoluted system of allowing them to freely roam. They’re not tagged or tracked in any manner, nor should they be at the expense of the public.

        My point in this response is, if a person chooses to feed/care for them, then they should actually care for them in ways that benefit all involved. The cats will do better not being ran over by cars, the birds will do better by living, etc.

      • Unknown

        What’s so unbelievable? The Metro Zoo has giant cats fenced in. You’re saying people lack the intelligence to make a cat proof fence? Visit youtube sometime for working examples of cat fences/confined outdoor play areas.

    • Sandra

      The Henricus Park and Dutch Gap areas are overrun with feral cats that are drawing dangerous wild animals because cat food is being left behind. Numerous raccoons and fox show up to enjoy the cat food. A dangerous situation for people but little is being done about it. Bites, scratches from these animals is an accident waiting to happen and they all carry disease. If you are bitten or scratched, you MUST get rabies shots and they are most unpleasant. These scavenger cats are wiping out our bird population.

      ” … A recent study by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute suggests that cats are the top threat to US wildlife as they were found to be responsible for the deaths of up to 3.7 billion birds and 20.7 billion mammals annually, with feral and stray cats being the worst offenders.[40] These figures were much higher than previous studies suggested as they found cats had killed more than four times the number of birds as had been previously estimated. In the US, the American Robin along with shrews, voles, mice, squirrels and rabbits were most at risk from cat predation.[40] … .”

  • Kim

    “They should stop being treated as “feral cats” and start being treated as the destructive nuisances that they are.”
    Let’s see you say that when you get overrun with mice and/or rats. The point is, if people would stop being too lazy and/or cheap to get their cats fixed, the cat overpopulation problem would not be a problem at all!
    I’d hate to see what you’d say about dogs who are allowed to roam freely courtesy of negligent owners. I suspect just shoot ’em all.

    • Sandra

      There is a dog leash law in Chesterfield County and it is strictly enforced. If you want to take care of cats, TAKE THEM TO YOUR HOME and keep them out of other public areas. Feral cats are nasty and carry numerous diseases.

  • Sarah

    I lived in colonial heights and the woman whose fence bordered mine behind me would “rescue” cats. She said she got them fixed then would release them back into her yard. They didn’t stay there, my backyard became there personal litter box. I couldn’t let my daughter play outback because the cats were aggressive. They would stalk and chase anything smaller than them example, squirrels and birds. Nothing was safe. Why are cats allowed to run free when a dog that runs free gets picked up by animal control?? This needs to change, cat owners and people who feed stay cats should be held to the same standards as those who own dogs.

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