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Numerous news sources report that the Fort Smith, Arkansas Animal Services Advisory Board has drafted proposed changes to the animal ordinance that would include a $500 annual license for intact dogs and cats in the city.

News reports further indicate that the $500 annual unaltered dog or cat license would be considered a “business license” and would provide that the animal may have one litter in a 12-month period.

Penalties for non-compliance would include fines of up to $500 and misdemeanor criminal charges. Reports also indicate the proposal would give the Animal Control Department authority to immediately “dispose of” the animal under certain conditions.

News reports are unclear if licensing fees or portions thereof would be received by a private animal shelter that is contracted to provide certain services to the city.

The Fort Smith City Administrator’s office reported that the proposal does not appear on the draft version of the agenda for the next Board of Director’s meeting on November 6, 2018.  For further information regarding the Board of Directors meetings, contact the City Clerk’s Office at (479) 784-2208.

What you can do

Concerned residents are urged to contact members of the Board of Directors to express concerns and learn more about this proposal and its current status.  Click here for Board of Directors contact information.

Mayor Sandy Sanders,

Keith Lau,

Andre Good,

Mike Lorenz,

George Catsavis,

Kevin Settle (Vice Mayor),

Don Hutchings,

AKC Government Relations will continue to closely monitor this proposal.  For more information, please contact AKC Government Relations at 919-816-3720 or