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Phoenix considers strengthening animal cruelty ordinance

Phoenix leaders will consider changes to its animal cruelty ordinance. 

Assistant City Manager Lori Bays said it includes defining adequate shelter as being natural or artificial, structurally sound and accessible year-round.

“It has to be of sufficient size to permit the animal to enter, stand, turn around and lie down n a natural manner and it also must protect the animal from extreme weather conditions, have adequate ventilation and drainage and shall be maintained in a manner which minimizes the risk of disease, infestation or parasites,” she said.

The proposal also clarifies that access to food, water, shade and dry ground be available always and removes chains as an option for tethering. Violations can bring fines and potential jail time.

“I also want to emphasize that the intent regarding the enforcement of the ordinance is to lead with education and provide pet owners information about resources to assist them  in properly caring for their animals,” Bays told a council subcommittee.

If the City Council approves, the police department will launch an educational campaign to promote the ordinance.

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.