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A short leash

By Staff | Jul 23, 2010

The Rugby Police Department fields a good number of animal complaint calls each month, namely pets allowed to roam free and persistent barking.

While enforcing animal ordinances may not be at the top of the priority list for the department, its a continual problem, according to Luis Coca, police chief.

And one the department hopes can be curbed with the cooperation of pet owners. They are reminded the city recently revised some of its animal ordinances and if not followed carry a series of stiff fines.

Among the ordinances:

-Dogs and cats that are six weeks of age or older are required to be registered with the city. Licenses are $3 for a pet which has been spayed/neutered and $5 for an animal that is not. Licenses can be obtained at city hall or at Rugby Veterinary Service.

-Animals are not allowed to be at large at any time upon the streets, alleys, public places, school grounds or private premises other than the owners’. Animals found to be running at large will be impounded by the animal control officer. There will be a $20 handling fee to release the animal to the owner. Additional fees will also be required, if the animal is not registered with the city and/or has not been vaccinated.

Owners of animals found to be running at large on more than one occasion are subject to more fines.

-No person shall harbor or keep more than a combination of four dogs or cats within any household located in the city limits. New litters have 16 weeks from the date of birth to be given away, sold or adopted.

-Animals known to have bitten a person shall be quarantined at the city pound or contracted pound for a period of 10 days at the owner’s expense. After such a quarantine, the animal will be released to the owner with a certification of health from a veterinarian.

-Animals known to have bitten someone, and which are not registered, and the owner is unknown, may be euthanized immediately.

Coca said pet owners should abide by these ordinances which are created to ensure public safety and the health of the animals.

For more information about the ordinances, contact the department (776-6112) or city hall (776-6181)

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