Letter: Impounding cats is worth the cost
To the editor,
The reason I ran for city office was to keep it honest. I find a couple discrepancies I wish to address.
As a citizen, I wish to be informed ahead of time when something near and dear to my heart, that I pay for, is taken away from me after many years of receiving that benefit. Sneaking in a vote has gotten very popular. I don't like it.
The 2010 U.S. Census results tell us there are 7,600 occupied resident units in Rosemount and 21,874 residents. Rosemount reports that in 2010 it cost the city $13,662 to impound cats not claimed by owners. Folks, this amounts to $1.80 per resident unit household for the entire year, 62 cents per individual resident for the year, and a fifth of a penny per day per resident. Find me one household that cannot afford $1.80 per year and residents who cannot afford one-fifth of a penny per day to have a safer human and cat population in Rosemount.
Rosemount reports that they have the second highest median income level in all of Dakota County: $84,651. We can afford to spend one-fifth of a penny a day on impounding cats for health, safety and humane reasons.
I would like to know exactly how the city plans to use my 1/5 penny that is so important. What do the five council members have in mind? A cause I may disagree with? Police chief Kalstabakken says that "impounding cats takes time and money that the city could better put to other uses." We have plenty of police officers in Rosemount. And, why is a police chief deciding how to spend my 1/5 penny?
Blame has been put on irresponsible residents for letting their cats loose. Has anyone noticed that the mortgage foreclosure pages in newspapers are not getting any shorter? It is common for homeowners who can no longer afford their own homes to leave pets behind. Is this the cats' fault?
Some highschoolers found a cat in the RHS parking lot. Putting up a sign at the high school as to its whereabouts, a student looked at the poster and said, "My cat disappeared a couple days ago and looks just like that." Asking if he would claim it, he indicated it wasn't worth the bother. Is being abandoned the cat's fault?
How do people get their cats? Out of the goodness of their hearts, people take in homeless cats they find roaming their property. This means Rosemount residents are warm-hearted people! Rarely will even responsible people pay for a cat license. Why should they? They are already doing a good deed taking in a stray and caring for it. Most people vaccinate, neuter/spay and care for their cats.
We will look back in shame at a city who won't even let its residents set aside $1.80 per year per household to aid these helpless precious creatures so near and dear to our hearts.