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The original item was published from 12/19/2016 4:06:51 PM to 3/1/2017 12:00:05 AM.

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Police Department

Posted on: December 19, 2016

[ARCHIVED] City offers pet care reminders from animal ordinance


Especially as winter settles on the city, officials want to remind residents of a few provisions from our ordinance pertaining to animals.

The entire ordinance can be found on our website, Navigate to the I Want To… tab, then click Find a City Ordinance. Chapter 608 Animals is under Part Six – General Offenses Code.

Please note the following, as it relates to your pets:

  • Residents must provide their pets with shelter and protection from the weather. “Shelter” is defined as a roofed structure with at least three sides that is suitable for the age, size, species and physical condition of the animal and provides adequate protection from the elements and weather conditions. This includes, but is not limited to, dry bedding when the outside temperature is – or is predicted to be – below freezing. (608.01 Definitions)

  • Pets on a tether must have access to suitable shelter and, for dogs, the tether must be at least 10 feet long, with the tether and collar or harness together not weighing more than one-eighth of the dog’s body weight. The dog should have free movement while on the tether. The period of tethering should not exceed one continuous hour, but may resume after the dog has been off the tether for three continuous hours. Dogs should not be tethered for more than a total of three hours per day. (608.09 Cruelty to Animals)
    For other animals, the tether must be at least three times the length of the animal, nose to tail, or the tether should allow movement of at least 120 square feet, whichever is greater. (608.09 Cruelty to Animals)

The city is working through updates to the animal ordinance, including changes to the Cruelty to Animals section. A public meeting was held in September to gather feedback, and additional meetings are anticipated in 2017. The City Commission will take up the new ordinance once those meetings are complete, on a date yet to be determined.

View the proposed changes on our website, Navigate to Your Government, Police Department, Overview, Resources, Animal Ordinance. (Direct link:

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