Many cat owners that we talk to are unaware that cats are not allowed to be free roaming in Coronado.
Although California State Law dictates that cats may be free roaming, each municipality has the right to create their own laws that over ride the State mandates. That is the case here in Coronado.
City of Coronado Municipal Code 32.12.020 At large states the following:
It is unlawful for any person having control, harboring, or having ownership of any cat:
A. To suffer, allow, or permit the cat to run at large upon any street, land, alley, park or other public place, or private property under the control of another person; or
B. To fail to keep the cat in such manner that the peace and quiet of another person or the traveling public is not disturbed.
Delving deeper into the Municipal Code, it says:
The Department (the City of Coronado Police Department, Director of Police Services or his/her agents, employees or deputies ) may attempt to capture any animal found at large in violation of law and may destroy an animal at large if, in their judgment, such action is required for public health and safety, or for the safety of the animal.
The Department shall not seize or impound any animal, however, for being at large that has strayed from, but then returned to, the private property of its owner or custodian, but in such case a citation may be issued; provided, however, that if in such a situation the owner or custodian is not home, the animal may be impounded, but the Department shall post a notice of such impounding on the front door or other appropriate entry location of the living unit of the owner or custodian of the animal.
Additionally, any person who finds an animal at large may take it into his/her possession and must as soon as possible, but no later than 24 hours thereafter, notify the Department and surrender the animal. No such action shall result in a charge against the City. The finder of the animal at large shall use reasonable care to preserve it from injury.
Although there was a moratorium on the law during the closure of the Animal Care Facility last year, that has been lifted and free roaming cats – whether someone’s indoor/outdoor family pet or abandoned stray are being trapped and brought into the facility by Coronado residents or by the Department in answer to a valid complaint.
The controversy about indoor only versus indoor/outdoor cats continues between cat owners. Here in Coronado an extra fact adds weight to the concept of keeping your cat indoors – it is against the law for them to be outside unless they are in your control via a harness and leash or pet stroller.