Animal violations will cost city residents more
Friday, March 1, 2013
WENATCHEE — Violating the city’s pet ordinance will now take a bigger bite out of your wallet.
The City Council on Thursday approved several new and increased fees, including:
The fine for having an unlicensed dog or cat will jump from $30 to $130 for the first offense and from $50 to $250 for second offenses.
The penalty for having dogs running loose will jump from $30 to $130 for the first offense. After the third offense in one year it will cost $500 each time.
Failure to relinquish a biting animal to animal control officers is $500.
The new fees are in line with what Chelan and Douglas counties and nearby cities are charging, said Allison Williams, city services director.
The city began reworking the laws last fall after being approached by a couple who had been trying to deal with a neighborhood cat problem. City rules were not helping.
Under existing city law, no household can keep more than three dogs and three cats over the age of 4 months without acquiring an excess pet license. A pet owner can be issued a license for excess pets, such as in the case of a kennel. The council on Thursday eliminated the $25 kennel license and added a $50-per-pet fee for every extra pet.
That should address the issue of people keeping too many cats, which is a problem throughout the city, Williams said.
The city will revise its zoning codes in the near future to address commercial kennels.
Violating the city’s pet ordinance three times in a five-year period will now be punishable as a misdemeanor crime. That will give the ordinance more teeth, Williams said.
Michelle McNiel: 664-7152
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