Did you know the City of Douglas has an Animal Control Ordinance? Recently, there has been an increase in animal control issues within the City of Douglas. Citizens are reminded of the Animal Control Ordinance and are asked to adhere to the ordinance. Pet owners are responsible for not only properly feeding, sheltering and caring for a pet, but, also for housing the pet inside a safe, secure area, and taking measures to ensure the pet does not become a public nuisance.
“Definitions were added a few years ago to the Animal Control Ordinance to define abandoned animals, proper shelter, enclosures, dangerous dogs, potential dangerous dogs, and vicious dogs,” says Code Enforcement Marshal, Rodger Goddard. “We need pet owners to be responsible and know where their pets are at all times.”
A public nuisance animal is defined as any animal, excluding livestock maintained on properly zoned property, that damages another’s property, attacks a human or another animal without provocation, barks or makes vocalization for more than 15 minutes without interruption or more than 30 minutes if the vocalization is intermittent (unless animal is warning of an intruder), creates unsanitary conditions or offensive and objectionable odors in enclosures or surroundings, is in heat and not confined within a secure enclosure to prevent unintentional breeding, or chases vehicles, bicycles, or people.
A pet is considered not under restraint or control when it is running at large, whether wearing a collar and tag or not. Reasonable care and precautions shall be taken to prevent the dog from leaving the real property limits of its owner, guardian, possessor, or custodian, and to ensure that it is securely and humanely enclosed within a house, building, fence, pen or other proper enclosure out of which it cannot climb, dig, jump, or otherwise escape on its own volition; and that such enclosure is securely locked at any time the animal is left unattended. If the pet is on a leash it must be under the control of a competent person.
It is unlawful for an owner to restrain an animal by means of tether, chain, cable, rope or cord, unless the tether or other restraint is being held by a competent person. An exception shall be made for the limited purpose of allowing the owner to temporarily restrain the animal by such means to allow the animal’s needs to be met, such as the time necessary to clean the animal’s living quarters, feed, and water.
Animals/dogs found running at-large or in violation of the Animal Ordinance may be immediately impounded by animal control officers, police officer, or any law enforcement officer. Code Enforcement/Animal Control has the power to enforce penalties on owners and confiscate animals of owners who are not properly caring for their animals.
For the complete ordinance on animal control, please see Chapter 10, Animals and Fowl, Code of Ordinance for the City of Douglas Ordinance. Douglas Code Ordinances can be found on the City of Douglas website, to the left side of the home page, under Code of Ordinance.