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City Council Approves Ordinance Updating Standards of Humane Pet Care


The Tulsa City Council passed an ordinance Wednesday detailing new humane care and treatment standards for pets. The ordinance requires pet owners to maintain their pets’ living and exercise spaces in a clean, healthy, and sanitary manner.

According to the new regulations, pet owners must keep their pets clean, provide them with adequate food and fresh water, and avoid using tethering techniques such as choke collars, collars that are too small, or any rope, chain, or cord directly attached to the animal's neck. Pet owners are also prohibited from tethering their pets between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Sherri Carrier, the manager of Tulsa Animal Welfare Shelter, expressed her satisfaction with the new ordinance, stating that it represents a significant step forward for animal welfare in Tulsa.

“The new ordinance will help ensure that pets are treated with the care and respect they deserve and that their basic needs are met,” Carrier said. “We are committed to working with pet owners to ensure that they understand their responsibilities under the new rules and to providing support and resources to help them comply.”

Under the new regulations, pet owners must provide shelter for their dogs when confined outside. The shelter must be made of solid wood or other weather-resistant material and must be large enough for the dog to stand up and turn around. During the winter, the shelter must be large enough to allow the dog to move around and must contain dry bedding. Dogs must also be brought into a temperature-controlled facility when the temperature is at or below 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

On any day when the temperature is at or above 85 degrees Fahrenheit or when a heat advisory or more severe heat-related warning is issued by a local, state, or national authority, the shelter must be shaded by trees, a tarp, or a tarp-like device.

“We researched and worked with experts on this important ordinance to protect our furry family members while not overburdening citizens," Crista Patrick, District 3 City Council and Council Chair, said. "I’m encouraged our animal welfare officers’ priority will be resident education on these best practices. And I want to thank our Animal Welfare team for their unwavering commitment to the safety and welfare of all Tulsans and their animals."

The ordinance also requires pet owners to provide access to facilities for their animals during threats of severe weather. For example, during a tornado warning, all dogs must be brought into a residence or anchored building.

Animal welfare officers and police will be authorized to act against violators to enforce the ordinance. Those found in violation may receive written notice of the practices or conditions that violate the ordinance. The violator may be given up to 30 days to correct the violation, and failure to do so could result in impounding the animal for protective care.

Pet owners who use chains to tether their animals will be given a written notice of the violation and up to 30 days to correct the violation under the new ordinance.

The new regulations aim to improve the quality of life for pets in Tulsa and ensure that pet owners provide a safe and humane environment for their animals.


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