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Feeding Birds, Cats, and Dogs

My neighbor is feeding stray cats. What can be done?

Nassau County Health regulations have little to say specifically about feeding cats, however there are a few related issues that we do address. The Public Health Ordinance states that no animal can be fed out in the open in a way that causes the food to be available for rodents. This means that feeding must be done in a way that will not cause health nuisances. It also means that feeding of cats is allowed if it does not create a public health concern. Other issues of concern the Health Department would respond to are: an accumulation of animal waste that is causing an insect pest condition, and a very severe odor condition.

Is there anything I can do to keep the cats off of my property?

There are several steps you can take if the cats are coming into your yard. You can purchase and apply repellants and plant vegetation or place physical impediments that discourage cats. You can purchase have-a-heart type traps, trap the cats and remove them to a local shelter (call them first to be sure they will accept stray cats). You can hire a nuisance wildlife trapper to trap and remove the cats. If nothing else works, and your property is being adversely impacted by a condition involving cats from a neighboring property, you should seek private legal counsel for advice on how to proceed.

I want to help stray cats. How can I do this responsibly?

There are many organizations that work to assist with feral cat populations, and several veterinarians make low-cost services available. Nassau County residents who need a list of contacts for these organizations can call the Nassau County Department of Health - Community Sanitation Program at 516-227-9715.

My neighbor is feeding wild birds. What can be done?

Nassau County Health regulations have little to say specifically about feeding birds, however there are a few related issues that we do address. The Public Health Ordinance states that no animal can be fed out in the open in a way that causes the food to be available for rodents. This means that feeding must be done in a way that will not cause health nuisances. It also means that feeding of birds is allowed if it does not create a public health concern. Other issues of concern the Health Department would respond to are: an accumulation of animal waste that is causing an insect pest condition, and a very severe odor condition.

Is there anything I can do to keep the birds off of my property?

There are several steps you can take if nuisance birds are coming into your yard. You can purchase and apply repellants, or place physical impediments that discourage birds. A nuisance/wildlife trapper can be hired to advise you on what will work best for your particular problem. If nothing else works, and your property is being adversely impacted by a condition involving birds from a neighboring property, you should seek private legal counsel for advice on how to proceed.

I want to help wild birds, how can I do this responsibly?

The best options would include making sure they are fed in a way that the feeding does not become a nuisance. A reasonable amount of feeding, done in a way to attract specific types of bird, placed in a way that does not violate the health codes, is a reasonable approach to feeding. You should contact wildlife organizations for information on how and what to feed in order to attract specific types of wild bird. Special feeders can be bought or built that will prevent the scattering of seed. Feeding should be discontinued if rats are found in the neighborhood. Nassau County residents who need more information on how to build a proper feeder, or vendors who sell bird feeders can call the Nassau County Department of Health - Community Sanitation Program at 516-227-9715.

Are there any rules about feeding dogs or other pets outside?

The Public Health Ordinance states that no animal can be fed out in the open in a way that causes the food to be available for rodents. This means that feeding must be done in a way that will not cause health nuisances. If Nassau County residents have additional questions or concerns regarding feeding their pets, they can call the NC Department of Health - Community Sanitation Program at 516-227-9715.

Is more information available?

You can visit the following web site(s) for more information:

Cats - Nassau County SPCA - (http://www.ncspca.com/home.html)
Birds - US Fish and Wildlife Service - (birds.fws.gov/)
Birds - Audubon Society - (www.audubon.org/)
Birds - National Wildlife Federation - (www.nwf.org/education/)

If Nassau County residents have additional questions or concerns regarding Animal Feeding in their area, they can call the NC Department of Health - Community Sanitation Program at 516-227-9715.