The Antioch City Council will finalize its updated animal ordinance which has not been updated since the early 1980 which includes making it unlawful to feed feral cats on property that is not your own.
The ordinance was originally supposed to be updated in January, however, City Council requested staff to gather more information after multiple people from the public spoke out about different aspects of the proposed updates—specifically feral cats and number of animals. The ordinance also drew spotlight from National Non-profits such as the Alley Cat Allies who are offering a grant to the City for a Spay and Neuter Program within the City of Antioch.
Here are some highlights out of the 13-page staff report:
The Feeding of Free Roaming Abandoned and Feral Cats
The policy essentially says it is unlawful to feed feral cats off one’s own property—the goal is to cut down on complains from public regarding uncontrolled cats that are trespassing, defecating or otherwise being a nuisance to or on neighboring properties.
Limits on the Number of Pets
At the January 12 meeting, the public spoke out against the idea of the proposed limit of pets in a home. Specifically, there were objections to the limit of 5 cats, 10 fowl, 10 rabbits, and 15 animals total. Staff has now reviewed those limitations and now recommends no overall limit on animals and that the limit on fowl and rabbits provide that a permit can be sought for more than that number, just like the limit on 3 dogs or 5 cats. Ultimately, there is a proposed “no restriction” on the number of pets, but with a permit process to allow additional pets, is a rational approach to protect the public health, welfare and safety of Antioch residents to protect animals from overcrowded and unsanitary conditions.
Trap/Neuter/Release Clinic Costs
Using the formula created by feral cat expert Dr. Julie K. Levy (Maddie’s Professor of Shelter Medicine), the City of Antioch has approximately 17,419 feral cats living here.
For the City to set up a fully-fledged and well maintained TNR program it would require a budget of $324,460. This cost does not include purchasing/construction/remodeling of a building or Animal Services trucks to utilize when trapping. The facility would be estimated to spaying and neutering 60 cats a week (or 3,120 cats per year). This would not include treatment for fleas, ear mites, wound care, upper respiratory infections, or any other medical treatment needed at the time of surgery.
Outsourcing Spay/Neuter Surgeries of TNR
For the City to run a TNR program using an outside veterinarian solely for Spay/Neuter surgeries, it would require an estimated budget of $157,533 as well as the current prices for spay/neuter surgeries of feral cats at a local veterinarian. The City took pricing from 6 local vet hospitals with estimated costs ranging from a low of $177,840 to a high of $709,800.
Highlights of the proposed Animal ordinance
- It’s unlawful to keep more than 5-cats without a permit.
- It’s unlawful to feed feral cats off one’s own property
- It’s unlawful to allow a dog to bark unabated
- It’s unlawful to keep a roster without a permit.
- Redeeming impounded animals: Animals will now be micro-chipped before release to an owner and now will include a $22 fee. For a second offense, the dog or cat must be spayed or neutered before release to an owner.
- Multiple Pets or Kennel Permit: Animal Control will notify adjacent property owners and tenants within 300 feet of the applicant’s property. Adjacent property owners and tenants will now be given 10-days to provide Animal Control with any written/verbal comments regarding any animal nuisances. The applicant may now appeal the Animal Control Supervisors decision to deny a permit. No more than 10-dogs are allowed.
- Barking Dog: a dog that barks, bays, cries, howls or makes noise for 30-60 minutes within a 24-hour period may be impounded by Animal Control.
- Updated the Authority, Entry on Private Property, Procedures, Violations and Remedies for Animal Control and Antioch Police when going onto Private Property.
- Keeping Animals & Bees
- Number of dogs – unlawful to keep more than 3-dogs that are required to be licenses
- Number of cats – It is unlawful for a person to keep more than 5-cats without a permit
- Number of fowl – its unlawful for a person to keep or maintain more than 10 each of ducks, geese, chickens or other fowl. No person may keep a rooster without a permit under section 6-1.601.
- Number of rabbits – no more than 10 domesticated rabbits may be kept on any parcel within the city.
- Bees – Bees may only be kept in an agricultural or open space zoning district and with a permit from the Animal Control Supervisor.
For the full staff report, visit the City of Antioch City Council Agenda
City Council Chambers
200 H Street