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Articles New pet rules back bark with bite From the KRQE News Website:
New pet rules back bark with bite
From the KRQE News Website:
Source: KRQE News 13
ALBUQUERQUE -- Weeks of snarling ended Monday night as the Albuquerque City Council passed a new animal control ordinance.
The new law requires all pet owners to spay and neuter their dogs and cats and requires them to microchip the animals for identification should they stray.
"We have to do something to stop the overpopulations of animals," Councilor Sally Mayer, the bill's sponsor, said. "We're killing over 300-a week.
"It's the right thing for the animals; it's the right thing for the whole community."
After debates at two previous council meetings, the ordinance passed over three no votes.
"It's going to be very expensive for the city and there will have to be other projects that will have to be cut," Councilor Michael Cadigan told KRQE News 13. "I don't think people are going to like every aspect of their pet relationship regulated down to what kind of toys they give their dog and how long of a leash they use."
Cadigan said he fears the new ordinance will cost millions of dollars to upgrade the animal shelter so animals can be held for 10 days over two weekends before they're put to sleep.
Supporters of the ordinance, however, couldn't have been happier.
"I just think it's just the most wonderful thing to happen to Albuquerque in a long time," Marea Cheval said.
The new ordinance, which also increase fees for breeders and limits the number of litters, has drawn national attention including opposition from the American Kennel Club. The ordinance still requires the signature of Mayor Martin Chavez, but he has said he will sign it.
The new ordinance is expected to take effect at the end of August.
Among the requirements:
* House cats and dogs must be spayed or neutered.
* Keeping those pets intact incurs an annual fee of $150
* Pet breeders are limited to one litter for each female each year
* Pets must have an ID tattoo or implanted microchip
* Dogs are to be kept on 8-foot leashes; retractable leashes are banned
* No free-roaming cats or dogs
* Regulations also cover feeding, grooming and housing
Pet owners needn't fear animal control officers barging in to check on pets, according to Mayer.
"We continue to be complaint driven as we are now," she said.
Some kennel owners are not happy since the ordinance also mandates in-floor heating which cannot be retrofitted into existing slab floors.
"One of our buildings has radiant heating in the floor, one doesn't," said Linda Payne, manager of New Mexican Kennels. One will have to be gutted.
The floor and radiant heating will have to be put in."
Kennels have five years to comply, and pet owners would have until February to spay or neuter their cats and dogs. The new law carries legal weight since pet owners can be cited for a misdemeanor, fined and even jailed.
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