Changes proposed to city animal control ordinance

By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun

The Tucumcari City Commission on Thursday moved within one step of approving changes to the city’s animal control ordinance.

Changes range from definitions to fees and license requirements.

A final reading and approval of the changes is expected when commissioners meet on Sept. 14. If approved, they won’t be implemented until Jan. 1.

One new permit requirement: $100 for anyone operating as a hobby breeder, kennel, grooming parlor or pet shop.

Hobby breeder is defined as any person breeding dogs and cats, whether or not they are registered with a nationally recognized animal registry organization, said City Manager Bobbye Rose.

Rose said it will be against the law for anyone to operate as a breeder without a valid permit issued by the city, if the ordinance is approved.

“Breeders and kennels will be required to obtain a permit from the city,” Rose said. “Their permit numbers must be clearly displayed in any advertisement for selling, trading or giving away of the permitted animal.”

Rose said the new ordinance also allows the city to increase fees for impounding an animal that is not spayed or neutered. For a dog, that fee will be $100 — up from $25 — plus the impound fee.

For a cat, it’s $50 — up from nothing — plus the impound fee.

“The fee for a non-spayed or neutered animal can be reimbursed to the owner,” Rose said, “if the owner presents a receipt and documents from a vet (proving) they had the animal spayed or neutered within 30 days.”

City Clerk Christine Dougherty said the current ordinance has not been changed since it was adopted in 1994.

“This new ordinance was developed to help control animal populations inside the city in a positive way,” she said.

Tucumcari Animal Hospital veterinarian Gean Corey asked the ordinance not be enforced until Jan. 1 to prevent possible dumping of animals.

“They may dump the animals because they (won’t have time to) advertise to give the animals away,” Corey said. “They could also be trying to avoid paying the fines.”

Commissioners will hold a special works session at 6 p.m on Sept. 14 at City Hall to review and update the language of the proposed ordinance before it can be finalized.

A copy of the ordinance can be picked up for public viewing at City Hall.

Commissioners also:

• Approved $72,033.33 in matching funds for $288,133.33 to be used for the street improvements on South Third Street from Tucumcari Boulevard to Charles Avenue.

• Approved a Community Development Block Grant Agreement, for $2 million street improvements to South Second Street.