Since the start of the recession, the rate of abandonment of dogs and cats has increased throughout the State as a result of the economy and home foreclosures. It was reported that in City shelters these factors have contributed to a 20% increase in the rate of animal impounds.
The City has undertaken efforts to reduce the rate of stray animals and increase pet adoptions. In February 2008, the City adopted a Spay and Neuter Ordinance that requires all cats and dogs in the City to be spayed or neutered after the age of four months. In addition, the City Council assists animal rescue organizations to facilitate pet adoptions through its "Adopt a Pet" Program.
However, there is one barrier that prevents animal adoptions - the City's limit on the number of animals a person may own. Currently, under the City's Municipal Code, a City resident may only own and register up to three catsand!or dogs. For a City resident to have more than three cats and!or dogs the resident must qualify as a kennel and have a kennel permit.
Clearly, this limitation is preventing stray cats and dogs from finding homes and potentially putting them at risk to be euthanized.
Raising the number of dogs and!or cats that a City resident may have from three to five would have several benefits. First, it would provide stray animals with homes and keep them from being euthanized in City shelters. Second, it could raise revenue for the City through additional animal registration fees. Therefore, appropriate steps should be taken to raise the number of dogs and/or cats that a City resident may own from three to five.
I THEREFORE MOVE that the City Attorney be requested to amend the Municipal Code to raise the number of dogs and/or cats that a City resident may own from three to five.