City Adopts Modified Animal Control Ordinance

New rules governing dogs and cats to go into effect next year

Written by TIFFANY KHA / Published December 7, 2012

A new animal control ordinance, which will affect Temple City cat and dog owners, goes into effect next July.

Ordinance 12-956 requires mandatory spaying or neutering of dogs, licensing of dogs, micro chipping of dogs and cats. The proposed amendments to the municipal code also include a new section dealing with vicious dogs.

The city council voted unanimously in favor of the modified animal control ordinance during its October 16, 2012 meeting. A slightly different version received approval this summer.

The ordinance originally stipulated that cats be licensed; however, a majority of the city council did not favor that provision.

“The purpose behind the [cat] licensing, aside from ownership information, is to also verify that there is going to be compliance with other provisions of the animal control ordinance,” City Prosecutor James Eckart said.

The city prosecutor stated that licensing of cats would ensure the animals were vaccinated against rabies, as well as to ensure that city staff would be able to enforce Ordinance 12-956.

“Our basis for licensing cats is the same basis for licensing dogs,” he said.

However, Mayor Vincent Yu, Mayor Pro Tempore Cynthia Sternquist, and Councilman Fernando Vizcarra voiced opposition to the provision mandating that cats be licensed.

“I just think licensing of cats is overkill,” Ms. Sternquist said.

Mr. Yu stated he was opposed to both cat licensing and mandatory micro chipping of cats. “I don’t think the government should be regulating things were it serves no big purpose,” he said.

Councilman Tom Chavez supported cat licensing because that would ensure the animals were properly vaccinated. However, Mr. Chavez eventually voted in favor of a motion by Mr. Vizcarra that omitted any references to cat licensing.

The ordinance will take effect in 30 days, though some of the provisions will not take effect until July 1, 2013.

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