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Bitch Noone Wanted
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TX-RPOA E-News
>From RPOA Texas Outreach and
Responsible Pet Owners Alliance
"Animal welfare, not animal 'rights'
and, yes, there is a difference."
Permission granted to crosspost.
November 11, 2010

Longview City Council Animal Ordinance Vote Today!

Kathryn Beard, RPOA and Longview Kennel Club member, served on a Task Force
that felt they had come up with a very good ordinance proposal. However in
city staff hands, it took a different direction. The final draft was just
released and RPOA is emailing our opposition to [email protected]
today. We can only hope they read it before they vote. Council meets at
5:30 pm so feel free to email them a short message. Any city ordinance that
passes in Texas is copied in other cities.

Dear Mayor and City Council of Longview, Texas:

Responsible Pet Owners Alliance just received a copy of your proposed animal
ordinance from our members in Longview and ask that this important vote be
postponed to give us ample time to review the proposals. We've had 20 years
experience dealing with animal problems, animal control issues and
legislation that has unintended consequences. Our Pet Education, Assistance
& Rescue Program works diligently to keep pets from being surrendered to
animal controls and animal shelters.

We note you are voting today and it will be effective immediately.
Unfortunately it will only exacerbate your problems. It includes vague
language with a lack of due process for animal owners and will undoubtedly
wind up with court challenges.

Under Sec.13-7 Access: If an animal on PRIVATE PROPERTY is subject to
impoundment, an officer may enter the property for the purpose of
impoundment or issuance of notice of violation or both. Be advised that no
one can legally enter private property without a search warrant.

Article V: Fierce or Dangerous Dogs (Vague and lacks due process)

Please give us time to send you the recent regulation passed in San Antonio
in this regard which clearly delineates three levels of Aggressive Dogs with
a scale for the seriousness of the situation. San Antonio uses the state
definitions for Dangerous Dogs. Your proposal states if impoundment cannot
be made with safety to animal control officer or other persons, the dog may
be destroyed without prior notice to the owner or harborer. This without
the owner's knowledge or notification?

Another example is the definition "At-large" which means "running free or
otherwise without physical or other restraint whether ON OR OFF THE PREMISES
OF ITS OWNER." It's not clear who or what this refers to: people or cats
or dogs. It doesn't say but if the intent is to regulate dogs, be advised
that pets confined to our property are not "at-large" in any definition of
the word.

Sec. 13-4. Authority to impound or destroy certain animals.

Animals are legally our personal property. This section states any police
officer, animal control officer or other person designated by the
administrator may impound any animal kept in violation of this chapter or
any animal which is diseased; any animal which has bitten; or acted in a
fierce or vicious manner (without clear definition). It also allows a
contract with an animal shelter for enforcement of all these provisions.

On pets being legally personal property: Pet mandatory spay/neuter surgery
is life threatening and required for any dog impounded for running at large.
There's a city liability and sterilized dogs running loose are just as much
of a threat to public health and safety as unsterilized animals. They also
bite, spread disease and terrorize neighborhoods.

Dog and cat limits of 6 each or total aggregate unless owned as "competition
dogs or cats" with an unworkable definition for same.

There are three confusing definitions: "fowl, domestic fowl and poultry"
along with vague overlapping restrictions.

The "Kennel" definition is a hodgepodge of confusing language. There are no
commercial dog or cat breeding kennels within any Texas city limits due to
Pet Limits.

Under "Restraint" regulations, the ordinance forbids animals riding inside a
car being driven or parked unless it's in a crate large enough to stand up
and turn around in or "cross-connected with a single lead." Cats aren't
going to like that cross-connected lead very much and dogs shouldn't have to
be crated.

There is an "Intact" and "Sterilized" Animal definition which is redundant.
 
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