Council Delays Decision on Animal Control Proposal

Albuquerque, N.M., is considering a sweeping plan by a city council member to make spaying, neutering and microchipping mandatory.

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Despite more than five hours of debate on May 1, the Albuquerque City Council was unable to reach an agreement on a series of sweeping animal control measures.

The proposed ordinance by city council member Sally Mayer would re-write rules on everything from basic grooming to redefining animal cruelty to what kinds of animals pet stores can sell.

During the public comments portion of the meeting, about 70 people spoke, with more than 50 opposed to aspects of the proposal.

Under Mayers proposal:

  • The spaying by a vet of all dogs and cats more than 6 months old would be mandatory. Exceptions would be allowed for older pets and those with health issues.
  • Microchipping of all pets would be mandatory.
  • Pet stores in the city would be prohibited from selling cats and dogs.
  • Basic grooming regulations would include things like maintaining healthy skin and keeping toenails to a reasonable length. Weekly removal of animal feces and soiled bedding would be required.
  • The definition of animal cruelty would be expanded to include a range of offenses, such as any physical abuse, animal fighting, taunting animals and chaining or tethering an unattended animal outside for over one hour.
  • People holding special permits for things such as litters or unneutered animals must allow an inspection animals accommodations.

Because the discussion on the proposed ordinance ran so long, the council decided to table the proposal and resume discussion at its next meeting, scheduled for May 15.

Posted: May 4, 2006, 5 a.m. EST

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