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Cat "Running At Large"

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MURRAY, Utah (KSTU/CNN) - A Utah cat owner wants to see change after she says an antiquated ordinance led to misdemeanor charges for allowing her cat to lie on her front lawn.

Kate Anderson says orange tabby Milo is a part of the family, but she never expected the feline would be the reason she was slapped with misdemeanor charges.

“He’s got a cat door, so he just comes and goes and is a cat,” Anderson said.

Milo had let himself outside Monday and was lying on the front lawn when someone took a picture and reported it, according to Anderson. Animal control arrived and wrote the cat owner a citation.

“I just got a ticket for my cat being outside in my yard,” Anderson said. “This is a cat who is neutered and micro-chipped and vaccinated and is not a menace to society.”

Two misdemeanor charges were listed on the citation: having an “animal at large” and not having an animal license attached.

"I don’t think most people think it is illegal to let your cat outside under any circumstance,” Anderson said.

However, based on a Murray, Utah, ordinance, which was enacted in 1963, it is illegal for any animal to run “at large,” which is defined as any time an animal is not on a leash, confined to a vehicle or secured in the yard.

Murray City Attorney G.L. Critchfield says while Milo being on the front lawn was technically a violation, a motion was filed to dismiss the charges, considering how minor the violation was.

Anderson says she doesn’t know what to do now, considering Milo is an indoor-outdoor cat.

"This just feels like animal control being out of control,” Anderson said. “It’s definitely antiquated. I think, if anything, there needs to be some kind of addition or amendment to the ordinance excluding felines.”

Critchfield says no amendments to the ordinance are expected. He says it is intended to allow broad coverage of any animals that may be encountered.

Copyright 2019 KSTU, Tribune via CNN. All rights reserved

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