Seeking Community Feedback for "Unlawful Restraint of a Dog" Ordinance

The City of St. Joseph Health Department is seeking feedback from the community regarding a proposed ordinance to address the Unlawful Restraint of a Dog.  The language presented here is exactly how the ordinance has been written to be presented to City Council; however, this is your opportunity to provide feedback to the definitions as well as the ordinance as broken into sections, below.
Please be specific in your comments and give alternatives to the statements provided. Thank you for your interest in the well-being of pets in our community.

* 1. 5-47.  Unlawful restraint of a dog.

     (A) Definitions as used in this section:

          (1) “Collar” means any animal restraint device constructed of nylon, leather, or similar material, specifically designed to be used for a dog.

          (2) “Prong collar” is made of metal links designed to control a dog by tightening around their neck.  The loop that fits around the dog’s neck is made of a series of sharp metal links, or prongs, with blunted points.  “Choke collar” is a collar made of metal links designed to control a dog by tightening around their neck.  Choke collars and prong collars are prohibited when tethering a dog.

* 2. (A) Definitions as used in this section (continuted):
       (3) “Direct supervision” means that the owner is in the presence of the dog at all times while the dog is tethered, whether indoors or outdoors; is in visible range of the dog at all times while the dog is tethered.
      (4) “Owner” means anyone over 18 years of age who has custody or control of a dog.

* 3. (A) Definitions as used in this section (continued):
      (5) “Properly fitted” means with respect to a collar, a collar that measures the circumference of a dog’s neck, plus at least one inch.
      (6) “Tethering” means the fastening of an animal to a stationary object, stake, or trolley system as a means of keeping the animal under control. Tethering does not refer to the periods when an animal is walked on a leash.

* 4. (A) Definitions as used in this section (continued):
      (7) It shall be unlawful to tether a dog outdoors, except when the following conditions are met:
(a) The animal may only be tethered between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
(b) The animal is under direct supervision by its owner while tethered.
(c) The animal is over six months of age.
(d) Tethered animals must not be out in extreme weather such as a temperature under 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or a temperature over 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
(e) The animal is tethered using a properly fitted collar. Choke or prong collars are prohibited.
(f) The tether must be designed for the animal, should not weigh more than one eighth of the dog’s weight and should be at least five times the length of the dog (from nose to base of tail). The tether must be unbroken and free of tangles.
(g) Tethered animals must be placed where the animal cannot be in danger of being strangled or hung. Placement of a tether must be in an area free of debris and obstacles.
(h) Tethered animals must be able to reach water, shelter, and dry ground.

* 5. (B) The provisions of this article shall not apply to the following:
      (1) A dog restrained in compliance with the requirements of a camping or recreational area as defined by a federal, state, or local authority jurisdiction.
      (2) A dog restrained while the owner is engaged in, or actively training for, an activity that is conducted pursuant to a valid license issued by the state if the activity for which the license is issued is associated with the use or presence of a dog.

* 6. (B) The provisions of this article shall not apply to the following (continued):
      (3) A dog restrained while the owner is engaged in conduct directly related to the business of shepherding or herding cattle or livestock.
      (4) A dog being restrained while the owner is engaged in conduct directly related to the business of cultivating agricultural products if the restraint is reasonably necessary for the safety of the dog.
      (5) A dog being restrained and walked with a hand-held leash regardless of the type of collar being used.

* 7. Sec. 5-48.  Animal housing enclosure requirements.

All animal housing enclosures must be securely built, adequately sized for the kind, size, and number of animals housed, maintained in a sanitary condition so that flies or mosquitoes are not allowed to breed, and odors are not offensive to adjacent residences or businesses, in compliance with all other requirements of this chapter, city zoning laws, and the following minimum standards:

* 8. (1) Enclosures housing fewer than five animals must be at least 20 feet from any adjacent building, excluding any building owned by the owner of the animals.

(2) Enclosures housing five or more animals must be at least 50 feet from any adjacent building, excluding any building owned by the owner of the animals;

* 9. (3) Enclosures used as an area for a dog to regularly eat, sleep, drink, and/or eliminate must have at least 100 square feet of space for each dog six months of age or older that is housed there;

* 10. (4) Enclosures shall be located so that the animals being housed are protected from inclement weather, harassment, stings and bites from insects, and attacks by other animals.

* 11. (5) A person commits an offense if he fails to provide an enclosure or enclosures is guilty of animal neglect or abuse.

* 12. (6) Vicious dog enclosures shall also meet the requirements of a secure enclosure as set out in this chapter.

* 13. Please provide any further feedback regarding this Unlawful Restraint of a Dog ordinance.

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