Police Chief Chris Cole reviewed the existing ordinance, noting that dogs are to be leashed off their owner’s property, licensed with the City, and vaccinated for rabies if the animal is older than six months of age. Most of the same rules apply for cats. Licenses are $10 for spayed animals and $20 for unspayed.
Chief Cole said that to date this year there have been at least 315 animal complaints, most often for pets running loose.
Owners of dogs that habitually disturb the peace by barking, or those that chase people, bikes or cars, are subject to municipal infraction citations. Dogs allowed to run at large may be impounded.
City council members cited concerns over dogs that are may be restrained, but with chains or cords long enough to threaten people passing by on the sidewalks. It was also suggested that the City consider action to discourage dog owners from bringing them into crowded public events like the Star Spangled Spectacular or Kids’ Fest.
City officials wish to remind the public to follow the leash laws. Council Member Maria Ramos also expressed concern over poor treatment of animals in some cases. Council Member Maggie Martinez said she felt that the problems are not police issues, but public health issues, with too many bite incidents taking place.
The City staff will research ordinance options, and additional discussion will be planned for an upcoming council meeting.