Cheney Free Press -

Staff Reporter 

The deer counter

Fish and Wildlife assign big game biologist to work with Medical Lake on concerns


Animal control was one of the main focuses of the April 1 Medical Lake City Council meeting.

During their report, Mayor John Higgins and City Administrator Doug Ross announced they had been getting complaints about deer in the city. Ross said he received an email from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, who are assigning Medical Lake a big game biologist. According to Ross, the biologist will come out and do a deer count in the area and go over the options with the city.

“We don’t have a magic wand, we don’t have control over the wildlife,” Ross said. “We’re going to try and do something.”

During public comment, Dr. Jim Roloff approached the council on behalf of several concerned citizens. He said he understood the contract with Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) and the rules requiring animals to wear collars. While he said he understood why dogs should wear collars, Roloff said cats are a different issue.

Roloff explained that cats have an aversion to collars. Cats also are known for crawling through tight spaces and can strangle themselves on their collars while squeezing through a small hole. He added quick release collars are not necessarily a better solution as it could easily come off.

“If SCRAPS finds the cat that has lost its collar, they have no way of identifying the animal or alerting the pet’s owner,” Roloff said.

Roloff asked if pet owners could use microchips as a way to identify their cats instead of collars. He explained that SCRAPS and other shelters have chip readers and could identify the animal.

Roloff’s other concern was in regards to cats that stay primarily indoors. He asked if they would require licensing. Ross said as long as cats are indoors, SCRAPS will not pick them up. He added the city’s issue with felines relates to stray cats.

During the meeting, the City Council had the first reading of Ordinance 1035, which adopts certain animal control provisions of the Revised Code of Washington and Spokane County Code. The council agreed to put in a clause that would allow citizens to use microchips for their cats.

Ross said he received a call from Spokane’s Waste to Energy Plant and was told that if the city does not re-up with the plant, self-haulers will not be able to take their garbage to the plant. Ross said that was contrary to what he and other cities “have been told by Spokane County” and he is sure “that will not hold.” He added that Sunshine Recycling and Disposal has a transfer station and citizens will be able to take their garbage out there.

“Self-hauling will not be eliminated,” Ross said.

Also at the meeting, council approved a resolution presented by Medical Lake Fire Chief Jason Mayfield for a permit to allow J and M LLC to operate a fireworks stand at 111 N. Lefevre.

Al Stover can be reached at


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