Reprimanded for feeding strays - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Reprimanded for feeding strays

So aggravated today. We have this beautiful orange kitty here at my workplace who has been coming around for about 3 weeks. He comes up to you, loves on you and leaves, no big deal. Well I gave him some leftover chicken from my lunch yesterday and some drama queen in the building told my boss and I was actually reprimanded for it. I am starting to HATE people that don't like cats. I didn't realize how many people don't until owning one. I swear if i hear "I hate cats" one more time i just might smack 'em! It's just a stray that isn't causing anyone any harm and now I can't give him snacks anymore. As if I didn't already hate coming to this place..ugh lol.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 11:19 AM
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If I were you I'd either take the kitty and bring him to a no-kill shelter (or my home to foster until I could find him a home), or keep feeding him from across the street. If you're on your lunch break or outside of work hours, and not on the property they can't say a single thing about you feeding him. Doesn't matter if they like it or not, if you aren't working at the time they don't get to have an opinion.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 11:19 AM
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That seems a little silly to me... If I were in your position, I'd be checking with HR and asking for where exactly in their employment policies and guidelines does it state that feeding cats is forbidden.

Having said that, depending on where the stray was encountered, it could also be the case that the office building management itself has rules against feeding strays within the property.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 11:22 AM
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Did you read the recent thread on cat bites? What if this cat starts hanging around, and one of your co-workers (or you) goes to pet it, and the cat bites them? There is a possible liability issue here (should that happen on workplace property), even if you're not seeing it.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 11:48 AM
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If the cat is well fed and seems healthy, he may be just roaming around the neighborhood and came upon you, a friendly face willing to share a bite of snack with him. I understand the company may have regs against feeding animals on their private property, but I agree that if you cross the street or go off site for lunch, I don't see the harm in sharing a nice moment with a new furry friend. Ask the busy body if she also would oppose feeding the squirrels or ducks or pigeons? If not she is a hippocrat as all animals have value - especially those with superior intellect than her.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 11:49 AM
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Ugh, I encounter this attitude from people a lot in my TNR work--"if you didn't feed the cats they wouldn't be here"; which I respond to by pointing out that no one would randomly begin putting out plates of cat food for cats that didn't exist. Honestly, it's like these people think you can chum for cats!

The City of Toronto has a TNR program and takes the stance that the feeding and sheltering feral cats on your own or public property, in combination with undertaking TNR efforts, is perfectly legal and not something that anyone can stop you from doing. If there is public property near by, and your municipality has a similar bylaw or stance on the feeding of community cats, I would feed the cat there. If so, there is nothing that your boss or co-workers could do to prevent you from doing this, and any disciplinary action on your boss's part would be inviting a lawsuit. I wouldn't suggest taking it nearly so far if it can be avoided, but dealing, as I do, with these sorts of situations on a fairly frequent basis, I know that things can escalate. I know of people who have been given eviction notices by their landlords for feeding community cats, believe it or not.

In any case, I would contact a local TNR group or Alley Cat Allies chapter to see what your options are and what your local bylaws are, as pertains to the feeding of community cats. That way, you'll at least be prepared if someone at your workplace decides to make a big stink.

Of course, the preferable course of action would be to rescue the cat if you suspect that he's lost or abandoned. Any vet's office or shelter should be able to scan the cat for a microchip. You can also try putting up found cat posters, if you think he might be lost. Again, a local TNR or no-kill cat rescue might be able to suggest a more specific course of action or help to rehome this kitty if his owner can't be found.

Your coworker who felt the need to tattle to the boss on you about something completely un-work-related sounds like a really special kind of loser. I'm always amazed by the number of adults working in professional offices who seem to have the mentality of obnoxious 12 year olds.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 12:31 PM
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I know of people who have been given eviction notices by their landlords for feeding community cats, believe it or not.
I don't know about where you live (as I am in the States), but landlords do have the right to restrict animals on their property, whether "community cats" as you call them or pets kept by tenants. A tenant feeding stray cats on their landlord's property could be seen as harboring those animals and, thus, a breach of the lease contract if the lease says "no pets."
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dt8thd View Post
Ugh, I encounter this attitude from people a lot in my TNR work--"if you didn't feed the cats they wouldn't be here"; which I respond to by pointing out that no one would randomly begin putting out plates of cat food for cats that didn't exist. Honestly, it's like these people think you can chum for cats!
Haha chum for cats! That really made me giggle. Yeah I don't like people who don't like cats either. Once I was told by a dog lover after I was talking about how my female doesn't like many people and how much I love my two cats that if my cats were big enough they'd eat me lol.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 01:10 PM
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My inlaws hate cats... my husband didn't care for them much but he married into being a dad to my kitty..now he loves them and we rescued another cat .. and he's going to make some cat furniture for thr new kitty

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 01:12 PM
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I think that employers have to be careful about liability and many other things when it comes to animals around the work place or building. I will tell you a story with my daughter. She worked in a small semi-industrial complex made up of small businesses that rent spaces. In the parking lot she would see a cat running around during the day and she was worried about it getting run over by the trucks that came through there. Plus it was a Abyssinian so she didn't think it belonged there. She called rescue agency. They provided a cage. First she caught a skunk! Then she caught the cat and turned it over to the rescue. A couple of days later a women and her friend came into the office screaming and yelling at my daughter saying she stole the cat and it belonged to one of the woman who worked in another office. My daughter told the rescue and they ended up giving the cat back eventually but in the mess of it my daughter got in trouble with her boss, was harassed for several days and as soon as the cat was returned, it still was running lose in the parking lot. The woman brought the cat to work and let it run around during the day.
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