Like herding cats…

Monday night, County Animal Control visited the Vancouver City Council to discuss planned increases in fines for certain violations, including having an unlicensed pet.

But that’s not exactly what the council talked about for much of the hour-long workshop — instead they hit on rabies, problem raccoons and the circle of life. At one point, City Manager Eric Holmes was forced to interject: “If I could suggest that we get through the fines?”

Councilor Pat Campbell wanted County Animal Control Manager Paul Scarpelli to tell him if his cat, Roxie, needed a rabies shot.

“The vets want you to do it every year,” Campbell said, adding he wanted to know if that was really necessary. “It looks to me like I’m getting multiple layers of protection. It seems like every time, it’s ca-ching, ca-ching, ca-ching, and I want to know what to do.”

Animal control informed Campbell that his vet is probably the best place to get this information, or they could check his license for the expiration date on Roxie’s rabies shot.

The city council also ruminated on the food chain. After hearing the county destroyed the eight coyotes it trapped last year, Councilor Larry Smith pointed out we may be killing off the natural predators for those wascally wabbits in the city.

“Coyotes mostly feed off rabbits,” Smith said. “Except when they pick up a spare meal of a cat or a dog.”

An animal control officer said that actually coyotes mostly eat feral cats.

But those weren’t the only species to fall into the expansive discussion.

“What about a problem with nuisance raccoons?” Councilor Jeanne Stewart asked. “Frankly in my area, I’ve seen way more problems with raccoons than coyotes.”

And finally, Campbell asked: “Why are possums getting a free pass here?”

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