Commerce Council passes final reading of new Animal Control Ordinance
By Kevin Jefferies
Commerce – The Commerce City Council in regular session last night unanimously passed a new Animal Control Ordinance that has caused some controversy. Drafting of a new ordinance was spurred by complaints to the city about animals and a need to update obsolete regulations. But the part of the ordinance that caused a stir is a regulation that limits households to no more than 5 dogs and cats.
Several citizens voiced their opposition to the pet restrictions in the ordinance. One resident that said she owned two dogs and seven cats, and that the number of animals had nothing to do with her ability to take care of them properly. The question was also raised why current laws were not enforced to handle complaints.
Several council members pointed out that the city had little power currently to handle complaints that have been heard about certain areas of the city, and the ordinance was needed so the city could intervene. Councilman John Sands said that those who took care of their animals were not the problem, but the city needed a means to deal with those that did present health and safety risks to others. City Manager Bill Shipp also said the ordinance would be enforced based on complaints received by the Commerce City Staff.
The ordinance also requires all pets to be registered with the city. All licensing and registration fees were dropped to encourage citizens to register their pets. Proof of vaccinations will also need to be provided.