Extreme Weather Ordinances

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It has become a serious concern for the citizens of Wayne County and the residents of Richmond Indiana that there are numerous dogs being left outside without proper care or shelter, especially during the freezing months of winter as well as the hot months of summer. As it stands our city ordinances only provide that a dog has shelter with straw, fresh food and water , unfortunately when it is 20°F outside this is not sufficient and many dogs suffer needlessly. Animal welfare is an important issue in this community and it is reflected in the number of calls handled by animal control daily and officers after hours.  Animal related calls are the highest in number of calls only after traffic stops and business checks. We are requesting that our ordinances be reviewed and updated to meet or exceed those ordinances followed and imposed by other surrounding counties and states.

Despite the fact that city ordinance 91.16 section B clearly states that "the animal must be attached by a tether no shorter than 10 feet and not to exceed a maximum of 12 hours in any 24 hour period" these ordinances are not being followed nor are they being enforced. Dogs have died in this community because of extreme weather and poor care. There are many animals being forced to live outside right now that will eventually die from the extreme cold. We can change that by changing our ordinances and making sure that they are enforced.

The following are a few examples of animal welfare ordinances adopted by other cities and states:

*Marion Co Indiana  Ch 531-401, Section E (2)  

Dogs must be brought into a temperature controlled facility when the temperature is at or below 20°F or at or above 90°F, or when a heat advisory, wind chill warning, or tornado warning has been issued. Violators face a fine of $25 for the first violation and up to $200 on the second violation.

*Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Allegheny Co ordinance 633.23                      

It shall be unlawful for any person to leave any dog outside and unattended during any period in which a severe weather warning has been issued for a continuous period of time greater than half hour if the temperature during such period remains entirely either :   (A) below 32°F or (B) above 90°F    

*Illinois Senate Bill SB125    

Makes it a class A misdemeanor for any persons convicted of violating section 5 where it states "no owner of a dog or cat that is a companion animal may expose the animal in a manner that places the dog or cat in a life-threatening situation for a prolonged period of time in extreme heat or cold conditions that result in injury to or death of the animal".  A second conviction for a violation of this section is a class 4 felony. This law became effective January 1, 2016 

We are asking to see extreme weather ordinances be put on the agenda.

Proposed Ordinances:    

(A) no animal shall remain outdoors, tethered, or penned during a period of extreme weather including but not limited to extreme heat above 90°F or extreme cold below 32°F or where wind chill warnings, a heat advisory or tornado warnings have been issued. (B) in no instance shall an animal remain outdoors, tethered, or penned under the age of six months while sick, injured or in distress. (C) any persons found in violation of these ordinances face a fine of $100 for the first violation and $250 on the second violation. A third violation of these ordinances will result in forfeiture of the animal and relinquished to the animal control officer on duty and a fine of $500.

 

Symptoms of hypothermia:  

Excessive whining and shivering
Blood vessels are dilating
Low body temperature (groin area is cold to touch)
Mental sluggishness, slow movements 
Drop in pulse rate
Drop in blood pressure
Shallow and slow breathing
Dog is unresponsive
Unconscious state develops
Death occurs 

These animals are helpless and depend on us to care for them properly. It is our responsibility as a community as well as elected officials to ensure the safety of all those who reside here, especially those that cannot speak for themselves, please be their voice.....

 



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