Towns across our Valley are cracking down on animal cruelty, in efforts to protect animals like dogs and cats.

The City of Campbell passed an ordinance last week implementing stricter laws on tethering and outside enclosures. But over in Struthers, they're seeing a different issue. The number of stray animals, specifically cats around town.

That's why city council is taking action to strengthen laws in the city to make sure the issue doesn't get worse.

In the City of Struthers, there's an ordinance that's been in place for a decade now that prohibits any feeding or caretaking of stray dogs.

"We want the animals to be brought indoors and to be safe," said Mayor Cat Cercone Miller. "But when they're roaming the neighborhood, they're multiplying and there's more and more cats in these different areas causing a lot of problems."

The number of stray cats in town has some residents upset. Some homeowners are known for feeding stray cats, leading hundreds of cats to wreak havoc on yards and gardens with unwanted feces around town.

"There's not a particular neighborhood where this is happening," said John Zomoida, Struthers Law Director. "We are just becoming increasingly more aware that this is happening in the city."

Animal Charity of Ohio recommended the city implement legislation to prevent an influx of stray felines.

"We figured that it was time to do something to try and curb that so that we didn't have any further issues with an overpopulation of cats within the city," Zomoida added.

Council will vote to amend an ordinance next month that adds cats to language restricting animals at large and also strengthens penalties up to a first-degree misdemeanor.

"So after the first offense, the penalty will go to an M-4," Mayor Cercone Miller explained. "And then the third offense will be an M-3, M-2, and then an M-1. We really want to help control the issue."

The amended language was passed to a second reading on Wednesday and will be voted on in February. 

Also at Wednesday's meeting, Struthers cheerleaders were honored with a Proclamation from the City. The council recognized the high school team for their outstanding community service and volunteer work around town.

Mayor Cercone Miller said their contributions and dedication create a ripple effect in the community. Congratulations to them!