News Release – September 25, 2008

 September 25, 2008 – Dallas pet owners have until the end of the day to comply with the city’s pet limitation and tethering regulations.

The two ordinances were part of a package of amendments to the City Code approved by the City Council on June 25. Pet owners were given 90 days to comply with most of the new regulations.

According to the amended regulations, a resident of a single-family home is limited to a total of six dogs, cats or any combination of the two. If the resident’s lot is a half-acre or larger, the pet limitation increases to eight dogs, cats or any combination.

The limit for dwelling units that share a common wall, such as apartments or townhouses, was not amended – it remains at a total of four dogs, cats or any combination. The pet limitations do not apply to puppies or kittens younger than six months of age. Other details of the new pet limitation are explained in Section 7-4.6.

Pet owners who had more than six animals on June 25 must apply for an exemption for any cats and dogs over the limit of six. Exemption forms are available at Dallas Animal Services and Adoption Center and may be filed there: 1818 N. Westmoreland Rd., Dallas, TX 75212.

The new tethering regulations ban the practice of tethering or chaining a dog unless it is in the owner’s immediate possession and control. According to Section 7-3.1, the only exemption is if the dog is properly tethered “for a period no longer than necessary for the owner to complete a temporary task.” Proper tethering and confinement requirements are spelled out in Sections 7-4.7 and 7-4.9.

The City’s new Intact Animal Permit requirement, also approved on June 25, goes into effect on Oct. 25. The new ordinance requires pet owners to have their cat or dog spayed or neutered unless they obtain an annual $70 Intact Animal Permit for that animal.

Advocating for the ordinance before the City Council last June, Animal Shelter Commission Chairman Skip Trimble noted that the measure would not force owners to spay or neuter their pets, but it would help the city keep track of its pet population and recoup some of its costs.

Exemptions include puppies or kittens younger than six months; service, assistance and police dogs; purebred competition animals; animals exempted by their veterinarians, and others listed in Section 7-4.10. Applications for Intact Animal Permits are available at Dallas Animal Services.

For more information, call Dallas Animal Services at 214.670.8246. To view Chapter 7 of the City Code, log on to www.dallascityhall.com.

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