The Dallas, Texas City Council Committee on Quality of Life will consider major changes to the Dallas animal control ordinance on Monday, April 28 at noon at the Dallas City Hall. The changes include mandatory spay/neuter, breeder permitting, limits on the number of pets that can be owned, stricter dangerous dog language, and a ban on tethering. It is imperative that responsible dog owners and breeders attend this meeting and voice your opposition to this proposal.
- This proposed ordinance mandates that you spay or neuter your dog at four months of age unless you obtain a breeder permit for each intact dog.
- Breeder permits will only be issued to owners of dogs of recognized breeds that are registered with a national registry. Owners must also be members of a purebred dog club that has been approved by the Director of Animal Services.
- The permit will cost $500 per year per dog and will restrict breeding to one litter per permit per year. Breeders are prohibited from selling puppies until they reach eight (8) weeks of age and have been immunized.
- In order to redeem a dog from impoundment, it must be spayed or neutered or the owner must purchase a breeder permit for that animal.
Mandatory spay/neuter is an ineffective solution to animal control problems because it fails to address the heart of the issue—irresponsible ownership. Mandatory spay/neuter laws are extremely difficult to enforce and can be evaded by irresponsible animal owners by not licensing their pets. More regulations increase the workload of already financially strained animal control offices, making it even more difficult for them to perform their duties. Further, breeder licensing fees place an undue burden on responsible breeders and owners and fail to address irresponsible individuals who neither comply with existing law nor will comply with new regulations. Such fees therefore punish responsible breeders who give the care and attention that puppies need in order to grow into healthy, well-adjusted companions and neighbors. Responsible local breeders also provide a support system to new owners; assisting them with housebreaking, training questions, behavior issues and basic new puppy care inquiries.
- The proposal also creates a limit of six dogs or cats or combination of both per dwelling.
- There will be a grandfather clause with a maximum of ten animals for current owners who list all their current animals with the Director of Animal Services and are in compliance with all other regulations.
Not only are limit laws easily evaded and difficult to enforce, they fail to address the heart of animal control problems–irresponsible ownership. Effective implementation of existing leash and curbing laws, rather than passage of new burdensome regulation, would prevent pet owners from allowing their animals to run loose, while clean-up ordinances would require owners to take responsibility for their pets.
Dangerous Dogs, Tethering and Confinement Requirements
- The draft ordinance requires all dogs deemed dangerous to be spayed or neutered.
- The owner of a dangerous dog must obtain liability insurance of $100,000.
- Any dog that has been determined to be dangerous by another jurisdiction will not be allowed into the city.
- Any tether used must be at least 10 feet long and be attached to the dog’s collar or harness and not the dog itself.
- The area in which dogs are kept must be at least 150 square feet per dog, if the dog(s) lives primarily outside.
- Tethering is allowed only if the dog is in the immediate possession or accompanied by the owner.
The AKC believes the answer to population issues is strict enforcement of leash and nuisance laws, rather than passage of new burdensome regulation. The key to resolving this issue is to implement and expand the wide range of programs available to educate the public about responsible breeding and animal ownership practices.
The Quality of Life Committee of the Dallas City Council will be briefed on this proposal on Monday, April 28 at noon at Dallas City Hall. There will be an opportunity for the public to speak at this meeting. To sign up to speak, please contact the City Secretary’s office at (214) 670-3738 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Dallas residents will be given preference. Many opponents to the proposed ordinance will wear black clothing to the committee meeting in protest of the proposed ordinance changes.
It is imperative that you also contact the members of the committee by following the links below to their respective websites. Please let the members of this committee know your opposition to the proposal as written.
District 2 – Pauline Medrano– Chair
District 3 – David A. Neumann
District 5 – Vonciel Jones Hill
District 6 – Steve Salazar
District 7 – Carolyn R. Davis
District 9 – Sheffie Kadane
District 14 – Angela Hunt
The Dallas, Texas City Council Committee on Quality of Life will consider major changes to the…