Council to vote on animal rules

Several Craig residents have promised to attend Tuesday's Craig City Council meeting to oppose portions of a law that tighten animal ordinances.

Kathy Shea doesn't think that responsible pet owners should be punished for the actions of those who are irresponsible. John Kinkaid thinks that "he who governs least governs best" and that the ordinance needs to address only lawbreakers.

The proposed ordinance makes changes to the animal portion of the Craig Municipal Code. At the height of controversy are spaying and neutering recommendations and leash requirements.

On Tuesday, the Craig City Council will hear the second and final reading. Should they vote in favor, the changes will become law.

According to Craig police Capt. Jerry DeLong, more than 80 percent of the code stays the same. There has been a leash law in effect since the code's original adoption in 1978, and there has been a requirement that dogs be licensed for the same length of time.

The Police Department originally tried to require that cats be licensed too, but the measure was unsuccessful because of public outcry.

One of the code's goals is to reduce unwanted pets by having as many spayed and neutered as possible. To that end, the code requires that all animals adopted from the Craig Animal Shelter be spayed or neutered or that the adoptor bring a receipt from a veterinarian proving that he or she has paid for the procedure in advance and has scheduled it to be done.

Also, people licensing spayed or neutered pets can do so at a discounted rate of $2. People who chose not to, such as breeders, can license their pets for $10.

Other changes proposed include:

  • Animals can not be tethered to property not owned by the animal's owner without prior written permission of the property owner.
  • Dogs must be on a leash at all times.
  • Dogs get two strikes in a 12-month period when it comes to barking before they are impounded.
  • People cannot have or sell poisonous snakes or nonpoisonous snakes longer than six feet, nonhuman primates or wild animals.
  • Unless zoning allows it (rural residential or agricultural) residents cannot have any livestock and fowl.
  • Any person who gets a dog or a cat must get the animal vaccinated within 30 days or by the time that animal is 3 months old, whichever is later.
  • Dogs must wear rabies tags on their collars.
  • Owners may not have more than six dogs and cats in any combination that are older than four months or more than 15 small animals, such as rabbits, guinea pigs or hamsters.

The Craig City Council meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Council Chambers of Craig City Hall.

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