Ordinance addresses pet numbers

As plans are being made to amend the animal control ordinance for the City of Borger, one of the issues addressed in the ordinance is the number of pets that can be owned by an individual at any one time.Except as authorized, a person commits an offense if he or she owns or harbors on the premises of a single residence more than four pets or companion animals in any combination. A person will also be committing an offense if he or she owns or harbors on the premises of a single residence within the City of Borger, in addition to the permissible number of pets or companion animals, more than one litter of pets or companion animals at any given time.There is an exception under this section, which covers owners who have been issued and possess valid permits that are issued by the Animal Control Authority. These permits will authorize the owner to keep or harbor pets or companion animals in numbers greater than four. Those wanting to keep more than four pets or companion animals in any combination on the premises of a single residence must apply to the Animal Control Authority for a multiple pet permit. The issuance of a multiple pet permit will be within the discretion of the Animal Control Authority. Under no circumstances will a permit be issued for more than eight pets or companion animals on a single residence’s premises. Permits will not be issued for more than three litters of pets or companion animals at any given time.The Animal Control Authority will be authorized to require the following conditions in connection with the application for a multiple pet permit:•The applicant must provide the complete address of the residence for which the multiple pet permit is made.•The applicant must provide authorities with full information on the breed, gender, and number of animals requested to be kept at a single residence.•The applicant, or any member of the applicant’s household, must not have been charged with any animal control violation in the twelve-month period immediately preceding the date of the application.•The applicant must allow authorities, upon reasonable notice, full access to the residence and premises for the purposes of physical inspection.•The authorities will have the right to interview occupants of all nearby properties in connection with the request for issuance of a multi-pet permit.The premises for housing multiple animals must meet the following criteria:•Facilities must be of sufficient size to allow each animal to move freely. The size of the facility must be in proportion to the size of each individual animal’s height and weight.•Adequate food and water must be provided so that all of the animals kept will be maintained in good health and free of malnutrition and/or dehydration.•Premises must be kept in good sanitary condition and reasonably free of animal waste, parasites, parasites, insects, and flies that could be harmful to the animal’s health and/or the health of the general public.•The animals and facility must be kept odor or stench-free so as to avoid offense to a person of ordinary sensibilities.•Animals must be maintained in a manner that doesn’t pose danger to their health or adjacent animals.•Animals must not cause noise that is offensive or disturbing to a person of ordinary sensibilities.•Animals must be duly vaccinated and exhibiting vaccination tags.Authorities are not required to issue permits, and do so solely at their discretion.Multiple pet permits will be valid for a 12-month period from the date of issuance and will be maintained and displayed to authorities or other officers on request. Each application for renewal of a multiple pet permit will be made in accord with the above provisions.These permits will be issued to specific animal owners and premises. Applications for new multiple pet permits will be required on the following conditions:•The original permit holder moves to a new residence within the city and proposes to move to that new residence more than four pets or companions or a combination, or more than one litter of pets or companion animals.•Ownership of the permitted premises changes and the new property owners propose to keep or maintain on the property more than four pets or companion animals or a combination, or more than one litter of pets or companion animals at the new residence.Multiple pet permits are subject to being revoked by authorities for causes including, but not limited, to violations by the permit holder or failure of the premises to pass inspection to meet the minimum criteria established for animals and public health.Appeals for the denial or revocation of a permit will have the right within ten days of the date that the notice is postmarked or hand-delivered to appeal, by written notice of appeal, the decision of the authorities to the city manager. The city manager will have 10 days from the day of receipt of the written appeal to render a final determination.Anyone who has a permit revoked cannot apply for another permit under this ordinance for a period of one year from the date their initial application was denied.The City of Borger is considering changes to its animal control ordinance. However, before these changes are made, it is seeking input from the public regarding these pending changes.Eddie Edwards, Borger City Manager, said that in order to allow ample time for public comment, the city council will conduct a public hearing on the proposed Animal Control Ordinance at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011.Those wanting to read the ordinance in its entirety can find it on the City of Borger web site at www.ci.borger.tx.us.The city council will consider introduction of the proposed animal control ordinance at its regularly scheduled meeting on Nov. 15, 2011. Edwards said the council’s consideration on final approval of the ordinance is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 6, 2011.There will be continued coverage of the proposed animal control ordinance throughout this week’s editions of the Borger News-Herald.People with any suggestions, comments, or concerns can contact Animal Control Supervisor Betsy Parks at the City of Borger Animal Shelter or at 806-273-0973 during normal business hours.