Police Chief Brian Oxley said residents call the department daily "about animals that don't have the proper housing, animals that aren't properly pinned, and they call in about wild cats."
Pet owners with more than the allotted number of pets will be grandfathered in and exempt from fines, provided they can prove they owned the animals prior to Nov. 1, the date the ordinance is set to take effect.
Ordinance Committee member John Montgomery said pet owners would need written witness statements from unrelated parties, veterinarian bills, and other documentation to show they owned the animals before that date.
However, in the event that a pet dies, pet owners who are grandfathered in must submit an application for a special permit with a humane officer if they want to adopt another pet.
If a pet owner's dog or cat has a litter, they must find new homes for the puppies or kittens within 90 days. The ordinance originally called for 30 days. Breeders may apply for a kennel license to circumvent the ordinance.
The responsibility of enforcement falls to Strickland. She will field all calls regarding feral cats, set the traps and take the animals to the Kanawha/Charleston Humane Association shelter on Greenbrier Street in Charleston.
A $50 fine will be assessed for first-time violations, and a $100 fine will be charged for subsequent violations.
Council members expect the initiative to dramatically decrease the number of calls related to feral cats.