Miami has a new ordinance to deal with stray and dangerous animals

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MIAMI, Okla. – The City of Miami enacts a new ordinance to help manage stray, dangerous or unwanted dogs and cats.

City Council approved the new Animal Control Ordinance (Chapter 4) at Monday’s meeting. It includes a “trap, neuter and return” policy for stray cats in the community. All dogs and other animals listed in the ordinance brought to the shelter or cared for by Animal Control will be spayed or spayed and vaccinated, unless proof is provided, before being released to owners or proceeding with treatment. ‘adoption.

“We wanted to release this information now to give residents time to prepare for the changes called for in this new ordinance. We are still developing fee schedules, forms and fine-tuning this ordinance as we begin to implement the changes,” Miami City Manager Bo Reese said, “While the prescription is legally active in 30 days, we will slowly introduce them. new measures and work with residents when enforcement begins.

According to the city, the new ordinance gives Animal Control the power to write citations and remove abused animals.

“The City doesn’t own any animals – we don’t own animals. We are here to welcome animals that are harmful, problematic or aggressive to public safety,” said Kevin Browning, Director of Public Works for the City of Miami. “We’re not here to just take care of unwanted animals.”

The following information comes from the City of Miami’s publication of the new ordinance.

All surgical spays and earmolds of community stray cats required by the ordinance will be performed by a licensed veterinarian. An ear swab, or notch of an ear, will be performed on community cats to mark and identify castrated and then released animals.

According to multiple sources, community feral and stray cats have a population of 60 to 200 million nationwide roaming the streets, alleys, buildings and neighborhoods. The city of Miami is no exception with hundreds of cats and kittens roaming the community. Animal rights groups strongly support the trap-neuter-and-return citing the extremely harsh lives of community feral cats dying from cruelty to human animals and diseases caused by cat overpopulation. Feral cats are also responsible for the deaths of billions of birds and mammals across the country, so the policy also has support from wildlife organizations.

Browning said other communities that have adopted such policies and ordinances have seen a reduction of up to 80% in the community’s cat population. Experts say that once 50% of the stray population is neutered, the animal population is better controlled and healthier overall.

While feeding the feral and stray cat population may be done out of good intention and compassion for animals, the new ordinance only allows feeding of community cats in agreement with the Director of Animal Control. According to Animal Control staff, feeding community cats only compounds the problems with feral cat populations.

Exemption certificates

A yearly renewable exemption certificate will be available for a fee to Miami pet and pet owners who wish to waive spaying or neutering their animals, or other measures under the ordinance, such as limiting the number of animals a resident can own, now set at five per residence. Commercial animal establishments located within the city limits, such as kennels, breeders and groomers, will require an annual exemption certificate. The fostering of animals on behalf of the animal shelter and other animal welfare organizations for temporary care is permitted by permit. Certificates will be granted at the discretion of the Miami Animal Control Director. A price list will be fixed by the municipal council.

These exemption certificates do not exempt the person from any nuisance regulations or other applicable restrictions.

The ordinance was created after months of research, discussion, debate and information gathering by the city administration, staff, animal control and city council to find solutions to the growing problem.

“Everyone will say they want litters to have a puppy or a kitten, but what happens to the rest of the litter,” said Maycee Wilkins, Miami animal control manager.

According to Wilkins, the shelter has 30 dog runs and is often filled to capacity. The cattery has about 10 to 20 cats, and Wilkins says she has to turn away five to 15 cats a day.

All reasonable efforts will be made to notify owners of any apprehended animals with microchip identification, wearing tags, or if an owner is known to Animal Control who is being taken to the Miami Ketcher/Keheley Animal Shelter.

The new order will take effect 30 days from September 19, 2022, on October 19, 2022. Sterilization measures for stray animals and animals brought to the shelter will begin at that time. Other parts of the newly enacted Animal Ordinance will be phased in before being more strictly enforced.

“We understand that this is not a solution for everything. We are looking at a period of five to eight years to see a real difference. We are rolling this out slowly and we can adjust as needed,” Browning said.

Overall, the ordinance requires owners to provide the basic care of food, water, shelter, and medical care and/or grooming, if necessary, for all animals and specifically defines them. The ordinance makes it illegal for anyone owning or possessing an animal to subject the animal to cruel, also specifically defined conditions.

Browning said, “We’re going to relax. We don’t knock on doors to see if animals are fixed. We’ve done everything we could imagine, and it’s a work in progress to fix these issues.

Other prescription

The new order will add other measures necessary to enable enforcement by Animal Control, including a provision calling on animal owners to provide adequate shelter for dogs and adequate enclosures for dogs and other farm animals. Tethering is permitted, but only for periods of nine hours in a 24-hour period, allowing for one-hour exercise periods, and no animal should be tethered outside overnight between 11 p.m. 6 a.m., unless a cart is used appropriately. .

Livestock of any species within the city limits is illegal and prohibited unless the property is zoned agricultural or the owner has designated at least one acre of property for raising livestock. The possession of miniature animals as pets in the city is now permitted but limited to two.

No poultry is now allowed within the city limits, except for the ownership of five hens solely for egg production, and no roosters are allowed. An ordinance was also issued regarding slaughter and butchery, with specific guidelines.

Ownership of wildlife or exotic wildlife within city limits has been further defined to include exemptions by following permissions from the USDA, APHIS Wildlife Services, and the US Department of Wildlife Conservation. ‘Oklahoma.

A copy of the new ordinance is available on the City of Miami website. or as an attachment to this press release. (A second press release will be issued on Friday regarding City of Miami Animal Control operations.)

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