Yakima Council updates animal code with new permit fees, rules regarding barking dogs | Government

The Yakima City Council on Tuesday updated rules regarding barking dogs, feral cats and stray poultry.

The council approved changes to the city’s animal control ordinances and licenses unanimously and without discussion.

The proposed changes include strengthening the definition of “dangerous dog”; increasing and rationalizing dog license fees; reduce “free range poultry” offenses to one offence; increase the threshold for violating a barking dog; and adding a “human responsibility for cats” section to the city code.

Dog licenses, which require proof of rabies vaccination, would cost $25 (changed) or $75 (unchanged) for one year, or $60 and $180 for three years, with reduced rates available for dog owners. elderly dogs.

Regarding the rules regarding barking dogs, owners of any dog ​​that barks, growls, yaps, howls or whines loud enough to be heard by neighbors for 15 minutes or more may be subject to an infraction punishable by a fine of $250. .

Complaints filed by at least two people from different households or a record of behavior during the specified time period will be used to verify the violation, the new barking dog ordinance states.

If the dog’s barking or other noises are a response to trespassers, trespassers or other persons trespassing on or near the dog owner’s property, the complaint will be dismissed, the order states.

The city is also considering a humane feral cat abatement program, such as “trap-alter-return,” said Supervisory Codes Inspector Tony Doan.

“Staff found that other communities with feral cat trap-alter-return programs partner with a nonprofit agency,” Doan said. “City staff have identified grant opportunities most appropriate to be managed and administered by nonprofit entities that provide direct spay/neuter services. »

The city is willing to support and partner with any organization seeking funding for a humane feral cat reduction program, Doan added.

Doan also discussed business licensing requirements for those who sell animals and are engaged in animal breeding. License identifications must be included in puppy sale advertisements.

Doan said the city requires a business license for anyone soliciting sales, and that would apply to breeding animals or selling puppies.

“There is an income threshold that determines whether a license is required,” Doan said. “Identifying and enforcing violations would be a challenge, but staff is prepared to continue exploring this topic. »

Animal control enforcement is in transition to the Yakima Police Department’s community service officers, with employees currently undergoing training, Doan added. Animal control complaints were previously handled by the city’s code enforcement division.


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