City Council Meeting

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Meeting Date: 04/19/2022  
Submitted For: Brandon Wright Contact: Kristoff Bauer, Deputy City Manager
Also Contact: Joe Costa
Phone: 469.658.3003  

Presentation and discussion of recommended amendments to Chapter 2, Animal Control, to add restrictions on tethering, require manure control for horses, and clarify the processes related to dangerous animals
Recent complaint and enforcement activity has identified a few areas in the Animal Control chapter that could benefit from updates or clarification in order to support more effective enforcement. Below is a list of changes that are recommended by staff for improved enforcement activities. 

Dangerous Animals - The current City regulations relating to dangerous animals authorizes an order to remove the animal from the City limits. It does not, however, contemplate the use of impoundment at the animal shelter, a standard practice, as part of the enforcement process. The administration of a recent complaint related to a potentially dangerous animal highlighted ambiguity in the current code regarding the process for the initial determination of whether an animal is dangerous and the appeal process thereafter.

Horse Manure Management - The City has received several complaints regarding the deposit of horse manure on sidewalks. While this behavior is currently prohibited by ordinance, it has been difficult to enforce this restriction as the act must be observed.

Tethering - The City has general provisions restricting the inhumane treatment of animals, but there are no specific restrictions on tethering of animals. The City has received a number of complaints and some methods of tethering are generally considered inhumane treatment. The absence of a definition regarding which methods are prohibited has complicated enforcement.

Livestock Minimum Lot Size - The current code requires 1 acre of pasture space for each large livestock animal. It can be unclear whether the area of homes and/or barns or similar structures should be excluded when making that calculation.
The attached draft ordinance, if adopted, would amend Chapter 2, Animal Control, to do the following:

Dangerous Animals: 
  • Clarifies who makes the determination that an animal is a "dangerous animal." The City's Animal Control Officer makes the determination of a dangerous animal. 
  • Provides for impoundment of the dangerous animal during any appeal of that determination.
  • Clarifies notice requirements and other procedures.
Horse Manure:
  • Makes the failure to use a manure management device while a horse is located in on public roadways or rights-of-way a violation.  
  • Identifies when tethering is permitted.
  • Identifies the appropriate collars or harness that may be used. 
  • Requires the use of a trolley type tether for any unattended tethering.
  • Excludes the footprint of any structure from the area that can serve as the required 1 acre of pasture required for each large livestock animal.
There is no financial impact associated with this Work Session agenda item. 
This Work Session agenda item is being presented for discussion and feedback purposes only. If Council supports these revisions, staff will introduce an ordinance for consideration at the Council Meeting on May 3, 2022.
Draft Chapter 2 Animal Control Ordinance Amendment


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