The ordinance, which faces a second vote on Tuesday, Oct. 1, would allow administrative citations to be issued, even if owners aren’t home, to ensure that dog licenses and proper vaccinations have been administered.
The “fix-it ticket” as Annette Patton, executive director of the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency, called it, could cost $100 for non-compliance for a first offense, $200 for a second offense and $500 for subsequent offenses. Dog licenses for neutered or spayed dogs cost $13 a year, Patton said. It is $6 a year for a senior citizen. Unaltered dogs cost $150 to license.
The goal is to be compliant with the licensing program, not to assess penalties, Patton said.
The $100 citation can be signed off and the penalty won’t be assessed if the dog owner comes in and licenses their dog within 30 days of receiving a citation, she said.
The program is expected to decrease the unwanted pet population by encouraging spaying and neutering of pets, and also decrease the occurrences of rabies in pets within the community.
Patton, who was on hand to talk about the new ordinance that has been approved in other cities within the county, also talked about another provision regulating the capture of cats.
Cats entering neighboring yards can be captured with traps provided by the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency, but they could not be then abandoned away from the area in which they live, according to the new ordinance.
Patton said they’d had instances where people were trapping the neighbor’s cats and dropping them off outside of town. The new ordinance would allow capturing cats with the approved traps, but the animal must be brought to the Animal Services Agency and not abandoned.
“You should alert neighbors that you are going to trap cats,” she said. “You cannot capture and abandon; they must be trapped and brought to the shelter.”
Councilman Dominic Farinha, an animal advocate, thought the program should go further.
“I’d like to see something like this for dogs, as well,” he said.
• Contact Nick Rappley at 892-6187, ext. 31 or firstname.lastname@example.org.