Shelter out of time to clear out cats

Philip A. Janquart
After two, three-month extensions, time has run out for a woman who operates a cat shelter from her Weiser home.
 During an informational session at a special city council meeting held Monday, March 23, city attorney Cherise McLain, a partner at MSBT Law in Boise, recommended the city enforce its animal ordinance.
 “I’m not trying to be draconian; I’m just trying to be fair,” she said, addressing council members. “I would suggest the city not proceed without enforcement.”
 Cheri Gordon has run “Felines Needing Purrfect Homes” from her garage off W. Galloway Street for over two years. It is a cat and kitten rescue and adoption organization that has helped keep down the number of stray cats throughout the city and provides an alternative to euthanizing the animals.
 Gordon told the Signal American that she has adopted out more than 900 cats over a two-year span.
 In recent months, she has been trying desperately to rehome cats she has been caring for after being notified she is in violation of city code that limits the number of cats at residences within the city to six. 
 At times, she has had upwards of 30 cats at any given time, which has reportedly garnered complaints from neighbors, but has yet to result in a citation.
 Last summer, Gordon launched a campaign for a proposed city or county animal shelter that involved over a dozen individuals. 
 The group has reportedly splintered into a separate effort in support of what participants are calling the Weiser River Animal Shelter. The new group received nonprofit status on Jan. 23, 2023. The registered agent is Weiser resident John Aegerter. A website is currently under construction at
 For the last six months, Gordon has been focused on trying to find a temporary shelter where she would have transferred her cats. The City of Weiser has even discussed modifying city code in support of Gordon’s effort, but to date, no code change has been announced.
 Gordon was supposed to rectify the situation last summer, but was given two, three month extensions, which have now expired.
 She told the Signal American that she currently has 12 cats in her garage aside from the six she has inside her home that she keeps as personal pets.
 “I have adopted out most everything in my garage,” she said. “I have maybe 12 left and once I get them spayed and neutered, I won’t have anything in the garage. It will be a couple of weeks and the remaining cats will be gone.
 “I have been in tears over all of this; I’m really upset,” she said.
 Mayor Randy Hibberd indicated it was time to take a different course and proposed that any further action be led by city administrators..
 “I would recommend to the council that you let the mayor’s office handle it from this time out since the time has expired,” he said.


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