Colleyville pet policies to mirror regional effort

07/14/2014 5:33 PM

07/14/2014 5:34 PM

The city is changing its animal control ordinance to bring it in line with those of its regional partners.

City Council reviewed the new ordinance at Tuesday’s meeting, which Police Chief Mike Holder said is more like an upgrade to the current policy.

“We’re modernizing the ordinance and updating language,” he said. “The nuts and bolts are very similar.”

Colleyville has partnered with the cities of Southlake and Keller for regional animal control services, which Keller runs with a new animal shelter.

The other two cities already have adopted the new ordinance. The change aims to simplify practices and fees and give Keller animal control officers similar rules across city borders.

Southlake Police Chief Steve Mylett said the three chiefs worked together closely to create ordinances with similar language.

“It’d be almost impossible to enforce all this stuff if all three cities are significantly different in their documentation,” Mylett said.

All three cities agreed that one of the major differences in the new policy should be the removal of pet registration fees.

Holder said the cities hope this change encourages more owners to register their pets, which makes it easier for staff to return lost animals. On the flip side of that is impound fees for third, fourth and fifth visits will increase from $70 to $75, $90 to $150 and $110 to $150.

New language will be added in respect to dangerous animals, including that a person in control of a dangerous dog must be 17 or older and a dangerous dog must wear an orange collar with red tag.

The new ordinance will add language to clarify animal control officers’ ability to carry a tranquilizer gun.

Compared to its partners, Colleyville will not put a restriction on the number of dogs and cats in a household.

Holder said the city will handle such cases through its nuisance policies, which is how it governed pet restrictions in the past.

“We’ll stick with what we’re doing,” he said. “It has worked well for us.”

He said the change allowed the city to save about $8,000 by having Keller personnel be in charge of animal control. Before joining with Keller, the city rented animal shelter space from Hurst.

In its first month of operation, the shelter, which is run by the Humane Society of North Texas, had 83 adoptions.

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