The Norman Animal Welfare Center is holding a public hearing on Monday, November 26, to obtain community input on several proposed changes to the city’s Animal Welfare Ordinances.
The proposed amendments include, but are not limited to:
- Mandatory sterilization of all dogs 4 months of age or older, unless an intact animal permit is purchased. It is unclear how much this permit would cost – and appears to be in addition to the current kennel licenses required for anyone who keeps, boards, sells, or trains a dog for profit, or for anyone who wishes to exceed the city’s dog ownership limit. A dog is determined to be four months old by “eruption of the animal’s adult teeth.” Further, even with the kennel license and intact animal permit, the owner is still limited to breeding one litter per year, regardless of the size of the litter.
AKC has significant concerns with this section. Numerous scientific studies demonstrate that juvenile spay/neuter can lead to a myriad of significant medical issues. In addition, the AKC opposes the concept of permits to maintain an intact animal, so long as the dog is being kept in a responsible manner. Finally, determining a dog’s age based solely on its teeth does not account for variations in breeds or individual dogs.
- Two tethering proposals that limit when and how a dog may be tethered outdoors.
Tethering Option 1 states that it would be unlawful for a dog to be tethered outside for any duration unless the animal is continually supervised. A city Animal Welfare Officer or Commissioned Police Officer may provide an exemption for a short duration. If the city grants an exception, then the animal may not be tethered under conditions that may reasonably threaten the health or well-being of the animal, and the dog must have access to water and shelter and be allowed adequate exercise. A dog may never be tethered outside unsupervised unless the temperature is between 35 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tethering Option 2 would make it unlawful for any animal to be tethered for any duration under conditions which may reasonably threated the health or well-being of the animal. No dog may be tethered unsupervised between midnight and 6:00 am. Any dog tethered outside must have a harness to which the tether is attached. As with option 1, the tether must allow for access to water and shelter, and for adequate exercise. A dog may never be tethered outside unsupervised unless the temperature is between 35 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
The AKC agrees that no dog should be tethered outside when its health or well-being is at risk. However, specific temperature requirements are arbitrary and do not consider the needs of specific breeds that may thrive in temperatures outside these ranges, or those dogs that may not be able to tolerate even these temperatures.
Other proposed changes include decreasing the amount of time an impounded animal may be “sold, destroyed, or otherwise disposed of” from five days to three days. This begins the day after the animal’s intake and does not include Sundays, holidays, or other days the shelter is not open to the public.
What You Can Do:
Residents of Norman, Oklahoma, are strongly encouraged to attend the public hearing and express your comments and concerns with this proposal. Visit the Norman Animal Welfare Center’s website to review the full text of the proposed amendments.
The meeting information is as follows:
Norman Animal Welfare Center Public Meeting
Monday, November 26, 2018
Norman City Council Chambers
201 W. Gray Street
More information may be found on the animal center’s website.
AKC Government Relations will continue to closely monitor these proposed amendments and provide updates. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.