July 12, 2019
The City of Tulsa is seeking input from city residents on a significant rewrite of the city’s animal control laws.
A hearing was conducted on Monday, July 8, but thanks to the overwhelming response of local animal owners, the city agreed to not advance the proposal and allow residents to provide feedback through July 31 (scroll down for information on how to participate in the survey). AKC commends the numerous hobbyists, breeders, fanciers, club members, and sportsmen who packed the room for the short-notice hearing and expressed their concerns.
The 60-page proposal is a rewrite of many aspects of the animal control ordinance, including changes that will make a significant impact on those who own intact dogs in city limits. Current law provides for a “hobbyist exemption permit” which allows owners to possess more animals than the city’s limit, and allows an exemption from the city’s mandatory spay/neuter laws. The amendments proposed by the city would remove this permit and replace them with a variety of “exemption permits”:
- “Animal Count Exemption Permit” – Allows owners to have up to 10 dogs and cats per acre.
- “Intact Animal Exemption Permit” – This allows someone to keep up to 5 intact animals.
To obtain either of these permits, a person must be actively involved in “a nationally recognized, organized animal sport or hobby” for at least one year, or someone who owns a breed used as hunting dogs, participates in field trials, or owns a hunting license. AKC believes this creates an unfair bias based on breed ownership. A person who owns a “hunting breed” only has to obtain a hunting license. However, if someone owns another breed, then they must provide a show catalog with their name as an exhibitor and at least two show superintendent receipts.
Someone who is “in training” may obtain a temporary permit if they provide certification that they have completed at least two training courses in the past year for one of the required activities (animal sport, field trials, etc.). It is unclear whether someone who takes a break from showing, or is considering showing but has not yet competed would be able to obtain this permit and whether they would therefore be subject to the city’s limit law.
- “Animal Rescuer Permit” – Allows authorized rescue or foster homes for non-profit animal welfare organizations to own more than 5 intact animals, or up to 10 dogs and cats over six months of age per acre. Animals may not be kept for more than 120 days unless a medical reason is proven.
All three permits allow for inspection by an animal control officer at any “reasonable time”. If the officer is refused, the permit may be revoked. Those who do not possesses a permit may not own more than 5 dogs or cats, and none of them may be intact.
These are just a few of the numerous changes in the proposal. Those who reside or participate in dog events in Tulsa are strongly encouraged to review the proposal to see how it would impact you.
What You Can Do:
The City of Tulsa announced that it is seeking feedback until July 31, 2019 through an online survey. Please note the following:
1) You must be a Tulsa resident to participate in the survey
2) This is an extensive survey covering numerous issues. You do not need to answer every question. Just comment on the ones of interest/concern to you.
For more background and information, visit the city’s Animal Welfare webpage.
AKC Government Relations continues to closely monitor this proposal and work with local clubs. More information will be provided as it becomes available. For questions, please contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org.