New Madera Animal Ordinance

July 25, 2008 9:26:30 PM PDT
The city of Madera is cracking down on people who own animals that may be dangerous, or a public nuisance.A new ordinance is now in effect in the city of Madera. It gives animal control officers the authority they need to deal with certain animals and to hold their owners more responsible.

Barking dogs aren't the only problem pets Madera residents report to the city's Animal Control Department.

Stacey Caha-Arellano: "We deal with loose chickens and roosters. Cats, cats everywhere, and people letting them breed."

Officer Stacey Caha-Arellano says she's even received calls about peacocks, like the pair that are often spotted in this neighborhood.

Betty Montanari: "They appeared about two or three months ago, and they were next door, and then they'd come over here once in awhile."

Betty Montanari enjoys seeing the birds, but other people have complained about their loud cries. However, in the past, the city's noise ordinance only applied to dogs. So officers could not remove other animals that were considered a nuisance. And they were not able to cite owners for keeping pets or livestock in poor conditions. But the city's new ordinance has changed that.

Stacey Caha-Arellano: "This entails all animals, parrots, dogs, roosters, you name it."

The ordinance also outlines the investigation procedure for dogs that may be considered dangerous or vicious. Officer Arellano says the process could help prevent an attack like the one reported in Fresno earlier this month when a mail carrier was bitten by four pit bulls.

Stacey Caha-Arellano: "We're not gonna let a dog like that back out on the streets to hurt somebody else."

And now the owners of animals that are removed from a home must cover all of the related costs ... instead of leaving the city to pay the price.

Stacey Caha-Arellano: "The new ordinance, what it states now is that they are responsible for all fees, veterinary, food, and housing."

Animal control officers say the next is to develop an ordinance that limits the number of domestic animals, like dogs and cats that can be kept within the city limits.

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