BARBERTON, OH (WOIO) - The Barberton City Council will meet Monday night to discuss the controversial issue: should it be a crime to feed wild animals?
Janet Graff and Judy Michaels feed stray cats from their Barberton homes, "You know, you become attached to them," said Graff. "Somebody put them out, moved out and left them or they were dumped."
But Barberton City Councilwoman Carol Frey, says residents are complaining, "People have too many cats and it's causing problems for people who don't have any."
So City Council will vote tonight on an ordinance that would make it a misdemeanor to feed stray or wild animals after dark. Bird and squirrel feeders are exempt.
"I think that's what's going to spread disease if animals die from not being fed," said Graff.
But Frey says when they call it a "nightmare situation of winter starvation", it is a great exaggeration. The ban she points out is only at night, not an all out ban on feeding. Feeding during daytime hours is still allowed, as is feeding at night as long as it's inside, like in a garage.
"They don't have to starve," said Frey.
"We are trying to put some controls in place to have a handle on what's going on. There are other controls in the city for things like noise and parking. And those ordinances are also complaint driven."
Still, people like Judy Michaels think it's overkill, "I've never even had a speeding ticket then to be charged with a misdemeanor? Plus fine of 50 dollars per day? That's ridiculous."