City Animal Ordinance almost finalized, Headed to City council for final approval

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EUREKA, Calif. (KIEM)- Looks like the City of Eureka’s Animal Ordinance is closer to being finalized after the eureka police department hosted a virtual meeting last month to introduce and discuss the proposed changes.

According to EPD’s Captain Brian Stephens, reptile owners were the most vocal, and Tuesday their suggestions will be heard during the city council meeting.

An animal city ordinance written seven years, before the Animal Welfare Act of 1966 was enacted, will finally see a transformation.

“So, there was a lot of information that needed to be updated the last time it was really updated was in 1992,” said Capt. Brian Stephens with EPD.  

On March 9th suggested updates were presented to the Eureka City Council by EPD and through public comment.

“Once you get your fourth dog, you have to have your dog fancier’s license, and we’ve moved the number of cats to five,” he said.

Any more than five, will now require a fancier’s license or breeders permit, which also applies to exotic pets.

“We realized that a lot of exotic animal owners can safely own more than one, more than five, more than 10 reptiles,” said Stephens.

Reptile pet owners can now responsibly keep a larger number of animals and for law officials to know their location within the city.

“You can have cattle, you can have horses, it’s all about lot size,”

Capt. Brian Stephens says the updated ordinance is not to punish but rather educate people on responsible pet ownership and those with multiple pets get a discount.

“All that input has helped us create a code that we believe actually reflexes the City of Eureka.”

If everything goes as planned in Tuesday’s City Council Meeting, pet owners will have 30 days from the approved ordinance.

However, Stephens says he’ll ask the Eureka Mayor Susan Seaman to wait until September before enforcing the new license and permit fees, to give pet owners time to adjust after COVID and the summer season.  

“We’ve made all the adjustments in-line with the recommendations that we got, otherwise we wouldn’t take it to council,” he said.

A link to the full draft ordinance can be found by clicking here.