Want to Legally Shoot Cats & Dogs? Move to Utah!


cat outsideI am not an animal rights activist by any stretch of the imagination. I wear leather and eat meat. But there is something very, very wrong with a new law being proposed by a republican legislator in Utah. He is sponsoring a bill that would legalize the shooting of all feral animals, on sight. It calls for:

the humane shooting or killing of an animal if the person doing the shooting or killing has a reasonable belief that the animal is a feral animal.

Reasonable belief? What exactly is that and who is regulating the guy on the corner to make sure he isn't just shooting his neighbors dog because it is off its leash?

A feral animal is any domesticated animal that "has returned to live in wild conditions." So all of those homeless cats you see roaming around ... or abandoned dogs ... they are the animals Republican Representative Curt Oda is talking about. He says this is the cheapest and quickest way to get rid of, essentially, the homeless pet population in Utah. And he may be right, but there are advocate groups like No More Homeless Pets in Utah, that say he is wrong and have employed other methods to cope with the overpopulation of these animals.

This proposed law is over-the-top, especially since the animal doesn't even have to be noticeably aggressive or sick to be shot. It just has to be considered, by the shooter, to be feral.

It seems terribly dumb to give rights to every person in the state to shoot or kill these animals by way of clubbing, decapitation, or a bow and arrow. Yes, you read that correctly. I mean, if you can't afford a gun you should be able to participate too!

The bill also includes the rights to kill rodents and other "pests" such as pigeons. Listen, I've never jumped on Bert's love for pigeons, but that doesn't mean they should suffer a clubbing.

Are you as outraged by this as I am?

Image via peyri/Flickr

in the news, politics, law


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.


This is absolutely sick and ridiculous. I cannot see how on earth this could get passed, but who knows if there are a bunch of crazy people that agree?  ugh.  Disgusting.

sherl... sherlokke

we have a real problem with cat under our house wrecking our plumbing and wild dogs and coyotes chasing them near and on our property. i hear them every night, close enough to endanger my dog and cat.

i KNOW which are feral and which are pets.

of the options, i do believe shooting them is the only appropriate one.

i think the cats and their kittens are cute, but i would not call this law inhumane. what other solution is there? round a million of them up and euthanize them or adopt them out?

sherl... sherlokke

also - would you rather them starve or die slowly from CONTAGIOUS diseases? i doubt they've been vaccinated, and if by some chance they have, they can still carry parasites and parvo, among everything else.

nonmember avatar Anon

Isn't it more important that our kids are safe walking from the car to the house, or God forbid, playing in their own backyard?

mommix4 mommix4

My first thought was to be outraged, but then I thought of the thousands upon thousands of poor animals left to fend for themselves. They are being starved, fought, and are in danger. It is not their fault but a quick death seems more humane then a slow painful one. We've adopted 4 dogs from the pound and if I could I'd take them all. But until people learn how to be responsible pet owners they will continue to suffer. This law sounds awful and the need for a law like this is worse, but maybe it would be better for the animals left on their own?

nonmember avatar Deanna

Also, consider that you are not talking about a highly urbanized state. Many ranchers and farmers have been taking this approach for generations. Generally, it is for the safety of their own homes, families, and animals that these measures are taken. But you will have the bad apples out there, in ANY situation.

As a previous reader stated, feral animals have the potential to carry many diseases and parasites that can be harmful to your children, and food chain. They also attract predators closer to homes and yards, endangering small children and pets, as well as livestock.

Sure, if you can find a more humane and cost effective way to deal with the issue, by all means please do so. And please provide the funding as well. My tax dollars are currently tied up in way too much as it is.


If an animal is obviously feral and is endangering your family or pets, or is killing or threatening to kill your livestock,  then YES, people should have the right to do what they must to protect their family and livelihood.  The thing is,  giving the right to shoot "percieved" feral animals opens the door for a family pet that got out the front door or gate to be shot and killed,  no questions asked.  That is NOT OK.  And there are plenty of rednecks that will get a kick out of just riding around and killing animals whenever they feel like it.  There has to be a way to manage these issues in a common sense and humane way.

Knitt... KnittinMama

KTMOM: Hey redneck here. We arent all just out shooting your family pets ya know. The vast majority of us have better things to do. Especially since most of us dont have the leisure time. We do work and care about things. Please dont lump us all together as heartless lay abouts. When we country folk are out shooting animals it so we can have meat in our freezers. If we are going the offensive route, most of you city folks wouldnt have the common sense it takes to survive out here. Us rednecks would give you more help than we could afford to. That includes your pets. We take care of whatever life happens our way. We do what we have to and what we dont have to to help anyone who we can. I for one am damn proud to be a redneck. Turn off your cell phone and computer and get out of the city. Get to know us and youd be suprised what you learn. Guess what we go to school too! Yeah so we can learn better ways of putting food on your table so you can do your grocery shopping.

PonyC... PonyChaser

Ok, I will agree with the original post on this basis: there is no need to legalize decapitation or clubbing.  A well placed arrow, shot by a capable archer is fine - it will be a quick and clean kill.

Sorry to offend, but you have to understand - there are a ridiculous number of feral animals running around this country.  As others have pointed out, they carry disease, and the majority of them are not "fixed", which means they're also procreating, creating more and MORE feral animals.  They get into our chickens, killing them and breaking eggs.  They get into rabbit hutches, and kill them, too.

Yes, it's a sad thing, to think of a poor dog or cat being shot just because they exist.  But sometimes it's necesssary to protect livestock and livelihoods. 

Want it to stop?  Then get active and be the Bob Barker of your state... "spay and neuter your pets".  Vaccinate them to help stop the transmission of things like rabies and parvo.  And NEVER let them off-leash, or just "let them out" - MAN, how many times to people just "let the cat out", and it wanders the neighborhood?  Encourage donations to no-kill shelters, and make it "chic" to adopt from there, instead of getting a "labradoodle" which is just a fancy name for a mutt.  If people don't take some responsibility, the feral population is just going to keep growing, and their fate is a sad one.

Beaz Beaz

KnittinMama, she wasn't necessariIy insulting country folk...the term redneck can be used as a term for someone just ignorant. agree with KTMOM...too many people would take advantage of this proposed law and end up shooting their neighbor's pets if they somehow got out and they didn't like them, or just for a sick game. I've lived around plenty of stray cats and to be honest, they never caused a problem. They were never aggressive, starved, or diseased. I can see this happening to a dog, since they aren't exactly the brightest creatures and can't fend for themselves, but I've seen stray cats live fine by themselves in urban and rural areas. If you truly had to kill to protect your pets, children or livestock because they are endangered, you have more than the right to do it, but if the animal is just a bother, call animal control and they'll handle it.

1-10 of 56 comments 12345 Last