By Pilar Arias
San Antonio City Council passed amendments to Chapter 5 of the city code regarding Animal Care Services laws on Thursday.
“Some of these rules are really innovative and I think they’re smart,” District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval said.
ACS staff worked on the changes for eight months, constantly staying in connection with people of the community and gathering feedback. Numerous community meetings were held and two comprehensive surveys were distributed.
“We believe all these compassionate changes before you today will become a model for other communities who are also striving to improve the plight of our pets and the people who care for them,” ACS Advisory Board member Kathy Davis said. She was one of several people who gave public comment in support of the enhancements.
Key changes to the laws include:
A complete ban on the use of chains of any weight as tethering for dogs
Stricter spay/neuter requirements for dogs legally declared dangerous or repeatedly impounded for roaming by ACS
Authorizing ACS officers to impound pets sold in illegal locations like roadsides or flea markets or those without a litter permit
Increase in the allowable number of chickens on a property within the city limits to eight (housing restrictions still apply)
No more than one rooster allowed per property within the city limits
While the revised animal ordinance will go into effect immediately, ACS will initiate a bilingual six-month outreach campaign to help the community learn more about the new laws.