In an effort to get a handle on the ongoing problem associated with animal control within the Brady City Limits, the City of Brady passed an animal control ordinance in May requiring all dogs and cats owned by city residents to be registered with the City of Brady. The rebuilt animal control ordinance was formally adopted during the May 4 council meeting when it passed on unanimous vote by the city council on its second reading. Enforcement of the new ordinance required a mandatory six month probation period which officially ended in November. Among those recommended changes made that were passed in the final ordinance were: increasing the number of animals from three per household to four’whether it be an all dog, all cat or a combination thereof’not to exceed the maximum number allowed without inspection and written approval by the city’s animal control officer; allowing impounded animals (dogs and cats) five days before euthanasia occurs for tagged animals and three days for non-tagged animals; and limiting the licensing requirements for animal shelters due to the high volume of strays and abandoned animals cared for on an annual basis. One of the biggest changes to local animal control issues passed in the ordinance is that all dogs and cats must be registered with the city. To register animals, a valid rabies vaccination tag must be presented for each animal. The City of Brady is offering free registration of dogs and cats until the end of January 2008. Beginning Feb. 1, 2008, all licenses will incur a licensing fee per animal that will be determined by the City Council during its first meeting in January. “Our biggest challenge in the coming months is going to be educating pet owners about the rules that are now in effect,” said Brady Mayor James Stewart. “We talked about this over the summer, but now that the probation period has ended, enforcement is likely to stir the public’s attention when an enforcement issue becomes necessary.” The items addressed in the new ordinance include: ‘ The number of animals allowed per residence; ‘ Licensing and tags for dogs and cats is required; ‘ The number of days the city would shelter an animal at the pound before being euthanized; ‘ Offering city approved animal shelters different restrictions on licensing fees; ‘ Allowing the animal control officer the authority to approve any number that exceeds the maximum amount of animals allowed under the ordinance (following a thorough inspection of the premises and approval in writing). Portions of the ordinance are printed below. A full copy of the ordinance can be reviewed or obtained at City Hall. ARTICLE 2.300′ LICENSING AND VACCINATION Sec. 2.301 License and Fees (a) All dogs and cats four months or older that are kept, harbored or maintained within the corporate limits of the City must be licensed. To receive a License, the owner must show proof of a current rabies vaccination, the form of a rabies vaccination certificate, and pay for the licensing fee for each animal. The License will be valid for exactly one year from the issue date if the dog or cat is receiving its first vaccination. After the dog’s second vaccination, a License will be valid for a period of three years. The License may be obtained from the City or any licensed veterinarian. If the City or veterinarian determines that a License should be granted, the owner will be given a written document that contains the date of vaccination, the date that the License is granted and how long the License is good for, the owner’s name and a brief description of that dog or car. A Pet Shelter does not have to comply with the Licensing, vaccination, or Tag requirements in this Chapter as long as it obtains approval from the Animal Control Officer on an annual basis to serve as a Pet Shelter in accordance with this Chapter and all applicable State Law. (b) All licensing fees will be assessed by the City Council. Sec 2.302 Dogs and Cats to be Vaccinated (a) No person shall own, keep or harbor within the City limits any dog or cat four months of age or older unless such dog or cat has a current vaccination. A dog or cat will have a current vaccination for the remainder of the month during which it is first vaccinated at an age of 4 months or less and for the following 12 months. After a dog or cat’s second vaccination, the dog or cat will only be required to obtain a vaccination once every 36 months. The dog or cat must be revaccinated before the expiration of the first and each subsequent current vaccination period. (b) Official Current Vaccination certificates issued by the vaccinating veterinarian must contain certain standard information as designated by the Texas Department of Health. Information required is as follows: (1) Owner’s name, address, and telephone number; (2) Animal Identification. Species, sex, age (3 mo to 12 mo., 12 months or older); (3) Vaccine used, producer, expiration date and serial number; (4) Date vaccinated; (5) Rabies tag number; and (6) Veterinarian’s signature and license number. Sec. 2.303 Dogs and Cats Exempted from Vaccination (a) Vaccination will not be required for any dog or cat that has a License that has been accepted by the Animal Control Officer. (b) Vaccination will not be required for any dog or cat that a veterinarian determines should not be inoculated for valid medical health reasons. Sec. 2.304 Licenses and Tags A tag will be issued to each licensed pet that must be displayed on the animal at all times. Replacement Tags for lost or stolen tags may be obtained by presenting the receipt for the current year’s license fee and by paying a replacement tag fee. If the owner does not have a receipt for the current License fee, the License fee must be paid in order to obtain a new License and the new Tag that will accompany it. Tags are not transferable and no refunds will be made. Tags are not required for dogs that are being used for hunting, during the time when the dogs are hunting. At all other times hunting dogs must have Tags to show that they are Licensed. ARTICLE 2.600′ NUMBER OF DOGS AND CATS ALLOWED Sec. 2.600 Number of Dogs and Cats Allowed (a) Unless specific written permission is obtained by the Animal Control Officer, the City hereby limits ownership of cats and dogs within the City limits to a total of four (4) cats or four (4) dogs or any combination thereof. More than four cats or dogs or a combination thereof, may be allowed by the Animal Control Officer, but such approval must be in writing and obtained from the Animal Control Officer. (b) Exceptions to subsection (a) above are hereby made for Breeders as provided for in this Chapter, Pet Shelters, kennels, and new litters of dogs or cats that are less than 30 days old, or less than 90 days old, provided that each of these exceptions must be approved in writing by the Animal Control Officer. Sec. 2.601 Pet Shelters and Kennels Pet Shelters and Kennels that meet applicable State Law and the requirements in this Chapter will be allowed to exceed the limit of four dogs and cats or any combination thereof and will be allowed to breed animals, if they obtain permits from the Officer on an annual basis to serve as a Pet Shelter or Kennel. Pet Shelters and Kennels will not be required to obtain permits for each additional animal, but instead will be required merely to obtain one license to operate as a Pet Shelter from the Animal Control Officer on an annual basis. The Animal Control Officer may inspect a Pet Shelter or Kennel at his or her reasonable discretion during weekday business hours from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. ARTICLE 2.700’ BREEDERS Sec. 2.701 License Upon approval of the city council, the animal control officer shall issue annual Breeder licenses, subject to the terms and conditions of this article. Sec. 2.702 Application The initial application for an annual dog or cat Breeder license, and any application for its renewal, shall at a minimum contain the following information: (a) Name and permanent address of the applicant and, if different, the location and/or address of the subject property or premises; (b) The maximum number of dogs or cats that the applicant will keep, harbor, breed and/or raise on the subject property or premises; and (c) A drawing showing the dimensions of the subject property or premises and identifying all structures on the premises, all fenced or enclosed areas, and the proximity of adjacent property owners and public streets. Sec. 2.703 Public Hearing on Application The city council shall hold a public hearing on any application for either a breeder license or its renewal. Public notice of the hearing shall be given by depositing a written notice in the mail addressed to all owners of real property located within 200 feet of the subject property or premises, as determined from the last approved city tax roll, and by its publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the city. Both the mailed and published notices shall be given at least ten (10) days prior to the date set for the hearing. Such notice shall state the date, time and place of the public hearing; adequately identify the location and/or address of the subject property or premises; state the nature of the application to be considered; and state that any party may appear in person or by attorney or agent. The public hearing procedure prescribed in this section shall apply to the initial application for any such license and any application for its renewal. Sec. 2.704 Fee An annual license and inspection fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) shall be paid to the city prior to the issuance of any breeder license or annual renewal. The City Council may increase the fee as needed from time to time. Sec. 2.109 Report of Animals-at-Large. It shall be the duty of every person to report immediately to the department the Location and description of any animal which is in violation of section 2.112 or Section 1.208. Any animal that is not on its owner’s property or on a leash or under the owner’s direct control as reasonably determined by the Animal Control Officer is deemed an unlawful Animal-at Large and the Animal’s owner may be cited as in violation of this Chapter. Sec. 2.111 Restraint of Animals and Birds (a) Every person owning or having charge, care, custody or control of any domestic animal or bird shall keep said animal or bird under his control by means of physical restraint as follows: (1) Confined on the premises of the owner within a fence or enclosure; (2) Fastened or picketed by a lead, rope, or chain so as to keep the animal on the premises, and not less than ten feet away from any public utility meter; (3) Under the control of a person by a leash; (4) On or within a vehicle being driven or parked. (b) Any domestic animal or bird in violation of this section may be seized and Impounded by the department. Sec. 2.112. Animals registered to be vaccinated. Animals not vaccinated or registered pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, and dogs in violation of this section 2.112 shall be seized and impounded. Sec. 2.125 Tethering Animals to Meters Prohibited Dogs, cats and all other animals may not be chained, leashed or otherwise tethered to a City water meter, gas meter, electrical meter or any other city property. Any property owner that chains an animal to a City meter will be liable for a fine not to exceed $250 for the first violation and $500 for any subsequent violation. Sec. 2.126 Keeping Animals in Front Yards Prohibited Dogs and Cats may not be kept in the front yard of an owner’s property unless they are fenced, leashed or kenneled, or the specific written permission of the Animal Control Officer. Electronic fending shall be considered fencing for the purposes of this section, but is not a secured enclosure for purposes of this Chapter.