Sunday, August 17, 2008

Animal Limit City Council Timeline

The following is a time line of City Council meetings where a dog limit and changes to the animal control ordinance have been discussed since the first mention of limits on the number of animals in 2006.

June 20, 2006
First discussion of Animal limits.
November 7, 2006
Further discussion of Animal control issues. First discussion of a possible breeders
February 6, 2007
Further discussion of animal control, with discussion of breeders license fees and other related fees. Ross(sic) Jacoby spoke against breeders licenses or permits, and suggested using existing laws. It was noted that only 33% of owners license pets.
March 20, 2007
Discussion of draft ordinance on animal limits submitted. Motion to bring back ordinance limiting total dogs to 6 passed 4-3. Motion prohibiting sale, trade, or transfer of animals on public property passed 5-3
April 3, 2007
First public hearing to limit number of dogs to 6 failed by a 3-4 vote.

Judge Gilbert stated there were existing laws that would address the issues presented, and commented on the lengthy process to address such a complaint.

Staff was directed to bring back a comprehensive rewrite of the animal control ordinances.
July 17,2007
Revisions to the animal control ordinances were approved to be put in ordinance form for a future council meeting. This included the increasing the number of animal control officers from 3 to 5.

Mike Loving reiterated the issues are in the enforcement of the ordinances, not the number of animals.
September 4, 2007
First public hearing of a comprehensive amendment of the animal services ordinance is held and passed unanimously. No limit on the number of animals is included.
September 18, 2007
Second public hearing on the animal services ordinance amendments passes unanimously as part of the consent agenda.


  1. Interesting timeline, frankly, I had forgotten this went back over two years.

    More on point, both Mr. Jacoby and Mike Loving suggested then,using and enforcing existing ordinances.

    Before I get accused of being unfair, Mr. Loving may be executing his office by "presenting" to Council a measure he may or may not be personally ambivalent about. Mr. Jacoby spoke against permits before the specific numerical limit was in play, but did, as a matter of record, suggest using existing laws.

    I will say this of both men; neither has to my knowledge lied to Council or public. I regret I cannot say that of everyone I have dealt with politically, but I will say that of these two good men.

    I am not one to claim every change of position is a "flip" with that negative connotation, anyone with an active mind is subject to change any opinion on presentation of new evidence. Otherwise, one may as well start digging, you are brain-dead already.

    It does seem reasonable that the burden of proof in a change of opinion lies with the "changed" mind. I, for instance, will be making that case on the upcoming school bond, but I hope to make a persuasive case.

    This issue has been explored at great depth, legally, effectively, unintended consequence, history of other laws in other places. Part of the American Laboratory of Democracy is to allow the various states to try X or Y and let the viewers watch and see, quite simply; did it, or did it not WORK?

    So far, the overwhelming evidence from many jurisdictions is that flat limits, be they dogs, total pets, 2, 4, 12, grandfathered or not; final result, they not only do not achieve the desired goal, they are more often counter-productive. More unregistered, unvaccinated, unaccounted for dogs is more likely than a 100% public abidence by a (sorry, no other term fits) dumb law.

    Elements that survived the first "scorched-earth" debate are still arguable. How many litters per year moves one from serious hobby to retail business. We could stand clarification on that point, but a violation there would be zoning & permits.

    Noise ordinance, be it a barking dog or a neighbor showing off his "theater for the deaf" 600 watt car stereo for a large party of inebriated admirers at 2 AM, this ordinance could be tuned into enforceable terms.

    Sanitation; if one cannot have a backyard BBQ without smelling like the downwind of a feedlot, citations should be issued to the offensive source.

    I have had an officer refuse to take up the case. Even though he had to raise his voice to be heard over the feathered choir of fighting chickens next door, he made a valid, if less than convincing, case that the noise ordinance was insufficiently specific to guarantee a conviction in Judge Gilbert's Court.

    Could this be the same Judge Gilbert who on 4/3/07 told Council there were existing laws that would address such an offense?

    It is said a good prosecutor never asks a question he does not already know the answer of.

    A good Council would not pass new law until it has tried enforcing the laws already on he books. It should especially avoid criminalizing activity that has been legal if another approach is available. Most people are, and would like to remain law-abiding citizens, but don't get between them and their pets.

  2. this is the biggest mess i have seen.i wish thry would get off this dog issue,i have a neighbor that has 2 kids they make more noise than my dogs.they get my dogs to bark and here we go.