Iowa city suspends policy allowing police to shoot feral cats
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A city in Iowa has suspended its policy that allowed police officers to shoot feral cats they deemed "unadoptable." 

Jefferson, Iowa, announced Friday that they have suspended the policy pending review, The Associated Press reported.

The practice began as a way for the city to control the multiple feral cat colonies.

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If police thought a cat, trapped by a resident or the city, was "unadoptable," they would euthanize the cat with a gunshot, WHO-TV reported.

The city argued it was cheaper to euthanize the cat with a gunshot versus with gas or drugs. But opponents argued the practice was inhumane.

City Councilman Matt Wetrich told KCCI that shooting cats was the only option to combat the multiple feral cat colonies that pose a health risk to the town.

"Cats don't belong outside," Wetrich said.

Wetrich said he understood why people were upset by the “violent" response to the animals and some of the police officers did not want to participate.

"I think the issue with the idea of shooting a cat is tough in the fact that it seems violent because we think of shooting as violence, and that's an entirely reasonable thought," he said. "I think that's a pretty natural reaction."

Wetrich said the city is looking to temporarily house up to 30 cats while the policy is reviewed. 

Josh Colvin with the Animal Rescue League of Iowa said they’re hoping to instruct the city on better practices, such as trapping and neutering.

“There's no reason for it, no reason that (it) needs to happen,” Colvin said of shooting the animals.