Costs climb as council battles cat woman

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 05:00 03/07/2014

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The city council has spent thousands of dollars fighting a woman with a clowder of cats through the courts.

The woman, who has name suppression, is facing charges of breaching an Invercargill City Council bylaw by failing to reduce the number of cats on her property to three and creating a nuisance under the Health Act.

Invercargill City Council environmental health manager John Youngson said costs sat at $26,000 and were expected to increase as the council tried to resolve the issue through the Invercargill District Court.

"Basically, each time a lawyer is engaged, it's another $5000."

Youngson said dealing with difficult situations, such the Invercargill woman who had 27 cats, could always result in court action which was inevitably expensive.

Deputy regulatory services committee chairwoman Karen Arnold said it was important that council followed through the courts in certain situations.

"It wasn't our first action, it was our last action."

The woman is expected to reappear in the Invercargill District Court on July 16.

Youngson said the council was also gearing up for a different legal battle with a woman who had her two dogs seized this year.

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- The Southland Times

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