This ordinance amends Chapter 3 of the City Code to provide clarification, eliminate redundancies, allow for shelter operations to be administered by an entity other than the City, and improve animal welfare. Clarifications and updates include a provision to allow roosters in agricultural areas only, expand the definition of abuse/neglect, limit tethering, and require a rabies vaccination for dogs and cats at four months of age instead of six. New sections include the prohibition of the sale/giving away of animals in public places such as business parking lots, the requirement that all owners spay/neuter their cats that go outside, and refining the current dangerous dog designation by dividing it into the categories of “aggressive,” “dangerous,” or “vicious.”
Based on the recommendation of the Jackson County Animal Welfare Committee and the support of the Advisory Board of Health, a new section titled “Community Cats” has been added. This section allows for residents to provide food, water and other care for four or fewer stray cats in their neighborhood and makes it unlawful to provide care for any cat that is unsterilized. This legislation was drafted to specifically address the overpopulation of stray and feral cats in our community.