city of San Antonio


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File #: 20-6042   
Type: City Code Amendments
In control: City Council A Session
On agenda: 10/29/2020
Posting Language: Ordinance amending Chapter 5 entitled “Animals” and Chapter 20 entitled “Municipal Court” of the City Code to regulate the retail sale of pets, expand eligibility for the animal care compliance assistance account, provide updates consistent with the strategic priorities of Animal Care Services, and establish penalties. [David McCary, Assistant City Manager; Heber Lefgren, Director, Animal Care Services]
Attachments: 1. Draft Ordinance, 2. Ordinance 2020-10-29-0772
DEPARTMENT: Animal Care Services


DEPARTMENT HEAD: Heber Lefgren


COUNCIL DISTRICTS IMPACTED: All


SUBJECT:

An Ordinance amending Chapter 5 entitled "Animals" and Chapter 20 entitled "Municipal Court" of the City Code and providing for criminal penalties and publication.


SUMMARY:

An Ordinance amending Chapter 5 entitled "Animals" and Chapter 20 entitled "Municipal Court" of the City Code and providing for criminal penalties and publication.


BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

Animal Care Services (ACS) committed during the FY 2019 budget development process to study the issue of pet sales in San Antonio. Best practices research identified two states (California and Maryland) as well as 280 cities that restrict the retail sale of dogs and cats. Animal rights organizations including the Humane Society of the United States and the Best Friends Animal Society have uncovered systematic inhumane treatment of animals in commercial breeding facilities and recommend stronger regulations of this industry, including retail pet sales bans at the state or local level. These regulations also encourage community members to adopt pets from animal shelters and nonprofit organizations.

Previous Council actions to regulate pet sales include establishing a ban on roadside pet sales in 2010, the creation of a permit process for breeding and selling animals in 2017, and the addition of an animal care officer position in 2019 to specifically target online and roadside sale of dogs and cats. These actions were designed to regulate the sale of pets by individual residents. Since 2010, 170 citations have been issued for roadside sales, while 387 citations have been issued for violations of the permit process created in 2017. Since the Animal Care Officer position dedicated to pet sales was filled in April of 2019, an additional 522 pet sales cases have been investigated and 270 pet sales related citations have been written.

In July of 2019 and February of 2020, ACS conducted "S...

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