Keep your pets safe in the heat or be charged with animal cruelty

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 10:21pm

Record breaking heat wave has many people taking precautions to stay safe, but you also need to make sure you protect your pets.

In fact, you can face charges if you don't. Here's what city ordinances have to say about pet safety and what you can be cited for:

A. It is unlawful for any person to abandon any animal in the city.

B. Every person having knowledge of a violation shall report immediately to the program any facts, which could lead to the identification of any person or group of persons violating subsection A of this section. However, nothing in this provision shall subject an individual with knowledge of the violation to prosecution under Section 7.04.080.

C. It is unlawful for any person having charge or custody of an animal, as owner or otherwise, to place or confine such animal or allow such animal to be placed or confined or to remain in a motor vehicle or livestock trailer under such condition or for such period of time as may endanger the health or well-being of such animal due to heat, lack of food or water, or such other circumstances as may reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability or death.

1. Any officer finding an animal in a motor vehicle or livestock trailer in violation of the provisions enumerated in subsection C is authorized to obtain a locksmith at the owner's cost, or break and enter the vehicle if necessary to remove the animal.

2. Removed animals will be impounded at the center or veterinary clinic for safekeeping. Owners may claim their animals upon payment of all reasonable charges or fees that accrued for removal and maintenance of the animal, plus impoundment fees.

3. At the time the animal is removed from the motor vehicle or livestock trailer, the officer shall leave a written notice bearing his name and title and the address where the animal may be claimed.

4. The animal will be retained for a minimum of six days, and if not claimed, may be disposed of as provided by this title.

I'd also like to remind pet owners to make sure their pet has proper shelter from the heat, water and that long haired breeds be groomed properly. Not grooming your pet properly can also lead to charges for animal cruelty.

7.08.050 Standards for animal care.

Every person within the City of El Paso who owns or harbors any animal, or who owns, conducts, manages or operates any animal establishment for which a license is required by this title shall comply with each of the following conditions:

A. Shelter and shade for animals must be provided.

B. No animal shall be neglected.

C. All animals shall be supplied with sufficient good and wholesome food and clean water as often as the feeding habits of the respective animals require.

D. All animals and all animal buildings or enclosures shall be maintained in a clean, safe and sanitary condition.

E. Animal buildings and enclosures shall be so constructed and maintained as to prevent escape of animals. All reasonable precautions shall be taken to protect the public from the animals and the animals from the public.

F. Every animal establishment shall isolate animals known to be sick sufficiently so as to not endanger the health of other animals. Sick animals shall at all times be isolated from other animals.

G. The owner or custodian of an animal shall be required to present an animal to a veterinarian for examination or treatment if the director or veterinary officer finds this is necessary in order to maintain the health of the animal and notifies the owner or custodian to do so.

H. The use of any restraint device that is, or could be, injurious or cause unnecessary cruelty to any animal is prohibited by this title.

I. It shall be a violation of this title to provide an alcoholic beverage, controlled substance or illegal drug to an animal, unless prescribed by a veterinarian.


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