city of San Antonio


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File #: 18-4518   
Type: Staff Briefing - Without Ordinance
In control: City Council B Session
On agenda: 8/1/2018
Posting Language: A Briefing on a proposed recommend revision to Chapter 5 of the City Code related to Animal Care Services. [María Villagómez, Assistant City Manager; Heber Lefgren, Director, Animal Care Services]
Attachments: 1. Staff Presentation

DEPARTMENT: Animal Care Services                     

 

 

DEPARTMENT HEAD: Heber Lefgren

                     

                     

COUNCIL DISTRICTS IMPACTED: City Wide

 

 

SUBJECT:

 

A briefing on a proposed recommended revision to Chapter 5 of the City Code related to Animal Care Services.

 

 

SUMMARY:

 

A briefing on a proposed recommended revision to Chapter 5 of the City Code related to Animal Care Services.

 

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

 

The City’s Animal Care Services Department mission is to encourage responsible pet ownership by promoting and protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the residents and pets of San Antonio through education, enforcement, and community partnership. Since 2006, the City of San Antonio has taken progressive steps to ensure the public safety of San Antonio residents while implementing more humane practices for the care and treatment of all animals.

 

To ensure and promote the humane treatment of animals in San Antonio, the City is governed by Chapter 5 of the City code which is a framework of humane laws and policies to ensure the protection of both pets and people. Chapter 5 of the City code establishes a minimum Standard of Care to safeguard humane care and treatment of pets.

 

In October 2017, City Council unanimously approved revisions to Chapter 5 of the City Code. These changes were based on input from City residents, stakeholders, and the ACS Advisory Board Subcommittee. Key revisions to Chapter of the City Code included increased/improved:

 

(1)                     Spay/neuter requirements for pets found in violation of City code.

(2)                     Tethering regulations for dogs

(3)                     Impoundment authority for pets being sold at unauthorized locations

(4)                     Animal limits for domesticated fowl

(5)                     Dangerous dog designation requirements

(6)                     Enforcement of animal related noise complaints

 

 

The current Standard of Care requires pet owners to provide owned pets: (1) Access to an adequate supply of fresh air; (2) Species-specific food; (3) Fresh water; (4) Exercise; (5) Shelter; and (6) Veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering. In addition, Chapter 5 of City code currently requires an animal access to shade when an owned pet is being tethered.  Violation of this ordinance can result in the issuance of civil and criminal citations with a financial penalty in the amount of up to $2,000 per occurrence.  

 

During the months of June through September, San Antonio can reach temperatures well above 90°Farenheit. Access to shade (in addition to shelter) helps with a dogs’ ability to regulate their body temperature during extreme heat. Dogs are vulnerable to injuries and illnesses related to hot weather including heat stroke, sunburn, and foot pad burns.

 

 

ISSUE:

 

This presentation will provide City Council with a recommended revision to Chapter 5 of the City code that will require all owned or kept animals have access to shade, whether natural or artificial at all times, and allow ACS to issue civil and/or criminal citations to those found in violation. The Animal Care Services Advisory Board is supportive of this recommendation. Consideration of an ordinance to amend Chapter 5 of the City Code is scheduled to be presented to City Council at the August 2, 2018 “A” Session.

 

 

ALTERNATIVES:

 

This item is for Briefing purposes only

 

 

FISCAL IMPACT:

 

The item is for Briefing purposes only

 

 

RECOMMENDATION:

 

This item is for Briefing purposes only