LONG BEACH — At their first meeting of 2011, the Long Beach City Council considered amendments and updates to the city’s animal control ordinance, which the board reviewed back in August.

City Administrator Gene Miles told councilors that the ordinance on Monday’s agenda was an updated version that incorporated parts of Ocean Shores’ animal control ordinance and public input provided during the Aug. 2 meeting.

The new document states that  owning livestock or wild/exotic animals is prohibited in the city limits. Livestock is defined as “horses, bovine animals, sheep, goats, swine, reindeer, donkeys, mules, and any other farm-type animals.” Miles noted that rabbits and chickens are excluded from the list.                          

Wild is defined as “an animal that generally lives in its original natural state and is not normally domesticated.” The city lists the following as wild or exotic animals: monkeys and non-human primates, lions, tigers, bears, mountain lions/cougars, fox, lynx, poisonous reptiles or serpents, or any dangerous, carnivorous, wild or exotic animal, fish, reptile or hybrid.

The ordinance deems it unlawful for a person to keep more than four adult (older than four months) dogs on their property within the incorporated city limits. This provision would not apply to licensed kennels, veterinary clinics, pet stores and animal shelters, but the operator of an unlicensed kennel could be fined anywhere between $100 and $250.

Aside from domestic cats, animals will not be allowed to “run at large” at any time or will be impounded. The South Pacific County Humane Society is the authorized impound facility for Long Beach. 

A first-time at-large or nuisance violation will cost the pet owner $50 or more; second offenses will cost the owner at least $100 and third offenses will be fined at least $200. If a detained animal is not claimed, it is at the discretion of the humane society as to whether the animal would be put up for adoption.

Animals that are suspected as being rabid may be detained by a police or animal control officer and surrendered to the animal shelter at the owner’s expense. 

The ordinance adds, “Any dangerous dog found at large and which cannot be safely taken up and impounded may be slain by an animal control officer/police officer.” It further states, “Any person may lawfully kill or destroy any vicious animal when reasonably necessary to protect the person’s family, home, animals, property, any other person, or the public safety.”

The ordinance also defined the proper animal care expected within the city limits; defined animal cruelty; and explained the process used for declaration, confinement, registration and confiscation of potentially dangerous dogs.

Councilman Jerry Phillips said that he disagreed with the four dogs per household rule, but the ordinance was unanimously approved.

 

Livestock discussion

Also presented to the council was another ordinance amending the “livestock and other animals” portion of the city’s existing animal control ordinance. The amendment stated that possessing wild animals and birds would be prohibited, as well as raising, breeding or keeping livestock and poultry within the corporate city limits.

The document noted that the above restriction “would not apply to any person keeping, maintaining, or having in his or her possession or under his or her control any wild animal and/or bird in connection with an educational program, zoo, circus, or licensed/certified rehabilitator, provided such person has taken adequate measures to safeguard persons and property.” 

The document also included restrictions on horse riding and leading.

Though the consensus was that roosters are not welcome in the city limits, Mayor Bob Andrew and a few councilors asked if potbellied pigs, pigeons and 4-H-type animals would be restricted under the amendment.

Miles said that the restriction is directed at “any animal kept for eggs or meat.” 

The topic was tabled until the next meeting.

Councilors also authorized the mayor to sign a recycling agreement with Peninsula Sanitation for 2011, and adopted an ordinance establishing the farmer’s market business license fee at $50.

 

During public comment, Kendall Biggs, co-founder of the Domestic Violence Awareness Project, thanked the council and mayor for supporting this past summer’s run to memorialize Lisa Bonney and raise domestic violence awareness. He stated that there were 73 participants and the event raised funds for Crisis Support Network. 

Biggs said that he and co-founder Scott Klingler have been considering applying for non-profit status, which would help them in their goal to educate young people about respectful relationships and also supply gas money, hotel stipends and other necessities to victims of domestic violence.

The second annual Domestic Violence Awareness Project 5k run is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 6.

Long Beach resident Al Pilger expressed dissatisfaction with the lighting in the Chinook tunnel. 

During council reports, several members of the board said they received positive responses in regards to the city’s Christmas light displays. 

Phillips reported that the Elks Lodge served over 400 meals on Christmas. He also thanked the city crew for their work to collect funds and donations for local food charities.

In his mayor’s report, Andrew announced that Country and Sunset magazines recently featured articles about Long Beach. He also said a date will soon be set for an open house for citizens to tour the new water plant.

Due to the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday, the next Long Beach City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m.


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