Proposed Animal Care Ordinance Revisions
Council is requested to approve several ordinance revisions relating to Animal Care for consistency, improved enforcement efforts, and other related matters.
B. Background / Discussion
The County and City have co-located animal services into one facility for the efficiency of operations, and to provide streamlined services for customers that will expedite the redemption of lost pets and increase adoptions.
According to the July 31, 2007 Intergovernmental Agreement between the County and City, the City's policies and ordinances shall apply to any and all operations of the Animal Shelter. The section is enclosed below for your convenience.
Currently, there are differences between the City and County's animal care ordinances. These differences sometimes cause conflicts with animal redemptions and other matters, and confusion amongst unincorporated Richland County and City of Columbia residents. Amending the County's ordinance to reflect the language in the City's ordinance in certain sections will allow smoother day-to-day operations for both entities, and will provide a clearer understanding of the animal care ordinances for Richland County citizens. Ordinance revisions relating to the provision of clarification and consistency with the City's policies and ordinances regarding shelter operations are highlighted in yellow for your convenience.
Council directed the Joint County – City Animal Care Subcommittee to review the proposed ordinance amendments, as well as the following motion submitted by Council members Malinowski and Kennedy:
Staff is requested to review Richland County's current ordinance as it relates to animal ownership in Richland County to determine if there is a better way of controlling the amount of animals (pets) a person has in their possession in order to eliminate the possibility of some locations turning into uncontrolled breeding facilities or a facility for the collection of strays and unwanted animals.
The Subcommittee met, and discussed the items, per Council's directive. While the group did not reach consensus on all items, the group did recommend approval of the yellow highlighted items, which pertain to aligning the County's ordinance with that of the City's regarding shelter operations. The group also approved all other revisions, but certain citizen appointees to the Subcommittee took exception to Sections 5-5 a, 5-19, and 5-20 c, d. Staff informed the Subcommittee that those revisions were included per discussions with and/or motions of Council.
Please note that the Richland County Animal Care Department currently enforces animal cruelty items under the current Animal Care Ordinance (via "Animal Care, Generally" Section 5-9). (Meaning, if a location is found to have, per Mr. Malinowski's and Ms. Kennedy's motion, "uncontrolled breeding facilities" or is a "facility for the collection of strays and unwanted animals," enforcement may occur.)
C. Financial Impact
Revisions to the animal care ordinance are not expected to have any financial impact of any significance.
1. Adopt all of the animal care ordinance revisions as presented.
2. Adopt some of the ordinance revisions and/or develop new revisions.
3. Leave the ordinance as currently written.
It is recommended that Council approve the recommended revisions as presented.