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New Dallas pet laws 6-25-2008

Dallas will significantly tighten its rules on animal ownership under new regulations overwhelmingly approved Wednesday by the City Council.

The ordinance will require that most animals be spayed or neutered, limit how many pets residents can have, and restrict how long dogs can be tied up, among other provisions.


•Establish a charge of $70 per animal for breeders to obtain permits. Previously, the city planned to charge $500 per animal.

•Limit a single house to six cats and/or dogs. People owning more than a half-acre of land would be allowed eight – something not contained in earlier versions of the proposal. People who currently own a greater number of animals could apply to the city to be allowed to keep their animals without penalty.

•Require that dogs and cats be spayed or neutered. But the ordinance would provide numerous exceptions. Animals younger than 6 months old, service animals, or those belonging to a licensed breeder would be exempt from spaying or neutering regulations. A veterinarian could also certify that an animal shouldn't be spayed or neutered for health reasons.

•Prohibit using animals as prizes.

•Allow the city to seize and impound a dog suspected of causing bodily injury to a person until after a hearing on the dog's fate. Now, such dogs are quarantined for 10 days and then returned to their owners in many cases.

•Prohibit tethering of unsupervised dogs to trees or poles except "for a period no longer than necessary for the owner to complete a temporary task."

•Force owners to provide at least 150 square feet of space and a "building or properly designed doghouse" for a dog confined outdoors.

SOURCE: City of Dallas


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