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(A) Requirement. No person may harbor a dog or cat six months of age or older within the city limits that has not been spayed or neutered unless such person holds an unaltered animal permit for each unaltered dog or cat, unless the dog or cat is otherwise exempt under this section.
(B) Unaltered animal permit.
(1) Qualifications. An owner of an unaltered dog or cat shall qualify for an unaltered animal permit if one of the following is satisfied:
(a) Shows and competitions. The dog or cat is used to show, to compete or to breed, which is of a breed recognized by and registered with the American Dog Breeders Association (ADBA), Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA), or other bona fide registry, and meets one of the following requirements:
(i) The dog or cat has competed in at least one show or sporting competition sanctioned by a bona fide national registry within the last 365 days;
(ii) The dog earned conformation, obedience, agility, carting, herding, hunting, protection, rally, sporting, working or other title from a purebred dog registry, referenced above, or other registry or dog sport association; or
(iii) The owner of the dog or cat is a member of, and the dog or cat is registered with, a bona fide purebred dog breed club or CFA which maintains and enforces a code of ethics for dog or cat breeding that includes restriction from breeding dogs or cats with genetic defects and life-threatening health problems that commonly threaten the breed, or the owner signs a statement under oath attesting that the dog or cat is being trained to comply with division (a)(i) and (a)(ii) above.
(b) Medical fitness. A veterinarian licensed in the State of Texas certifies in writing that a dog or cat is medically unfit to undergo the required spay or neuter procedure because of a medical condition, including but not limited to age or a medical condition that would be substantially aggravated by the procedure, or would likely result in the death of the dog or cat. The certification must state the date, if any, by which the dog or cat may be spayed or neutered, if applicable. As soon as the medical condition that prevents a dog or cat from being spayed or neutered ceases to exist, it shall be the duty of the owner to have it spayed or neutered within 30 days thereafter.
(c) Law enforcement. The dog is currently used by a law enforcement agency for law enforcement purposes or is part of a bona fide law enforcement animal breeding program. Such certification shall be provided to the city.
(d) Service animal breeding programs. A dog or cat that is a service animal that is part of a certified service animal breeding program. If the animal is part of a such breeding program for service dogs the owner must provide to the city a written certification from such breeding program administrator.
(e) Breeders. The owner demonstrates to the city written proof of a breeding contract for a particular dog or cat, membership in a bona fide national, state or local breeder organization, for the perpetuation of a given breed of a dog or cat or proof of a litter produced by intentional breeding of the dog or cat within the last 365 days for which a contract to breed can be produced.
(f) Hunting and herding dogs. The dog is currently used as, or trained to be, a hunting or herding dog and the dog is registered with a bona fide national, state or local hunting or herding dog association. Alternatively, the owner of the dog signs a statement under oath attesting that the dog is used, trained, or will be trained to be a hunting or herding dog. None of the aforementioned qualifications shall be construed to authorize the breeding or harboring of dogs or cats in violation of this section nor exempt the owner of the dog or cat from any other provision of this chapter.
(2) Deadline. A dog or cat governed by this section shall be spayed or neutered by its owner within 90 days of the effective date of this section, or, if eligible hereunder, the owner shall obtain an unaltered animal permit within the latter of 30 days after the effective date hereof or of such dog or cat becoming six months of age, or, in the case of an owner who hereafter acquires a dog or cat that is to reside within the city, such animal shall be spayed or neutered or an unaltered animal permit shall be obtained within 30 days of the animal being brought within the city or within 30 days after the animal becomes six months of age, whichever is later.
(3) Micro-chipping. Micro-chipping is already required on all dogs and cats residing in the city limits of Port Isabel. Any dog or cat presented for a spay or neuter that is not currently micro-chipped will be required to be micro-chipped at the time of a neuter or spay procedure.
(4) Place of residence. The address of the owner shall be presumed to be the residence of the dog or cat. All changes of address must be reported to the city animal control division within 30 days following such change. Changes of address and other contact information must also be updated through the micro-chipping entity.
(5) Change in ownership. A permit holder shall notify the city animal services division and the national registry applicable to the implanted microchip in writing of any change in ownership of a dog or cat within 30 calendar days of the change.
(6) Term of permit. An unaltered animal permit shall be valid for a period of three years at which time it must be reapplied for by the animal owner, unless revoked as hereafter provided.
(7) Revocation. Upon receipt of information of violation of this section, the animal control division may issue a notice of revocation to an unaltered animal permit holder. The notice of revocation shall provide a summary of the information of the violation and shall be sent by certified mail (return receipt requested) or by hand delivery by a City Animal Services Officer or by any legal officer of the city, or upon posting of the notice at the address listed in the permit application. Any request for a hearing to appeal such permit revocation shall be filed by the permit holder with the city animal services division within ten days after the notice is served in accordance herewith. The permit holder shall set forth the reasons why the permit holder believes the revocation would be an error in such notice. Failure to timely give such notice of appeal and to request a hearing shall render the permit revocation final. A hearing shall be conducted by the City Manager for any permit revocation appeal within 30 days after the receipt of a request for hearing, and the City Manager's decision shall be final and not appealable. If an unaltered animal permit is revoked the animal must be spayed or neutered within 30 days or it must leave the city or obtain a new permit.
(8) Penalty. Any person who violates any provision of this section, as amended, is subject to enforcement and penalties as set forth herein.
(C) Exemptions. Any dog or cat being harbored by a lawful humane society/animal shelter, whose principal purpose is securing the adoption of dogs or cats is exempt from the spay and neuter requirements of this section until they are adopted or no longer housed at such shelter.
(Ord. 483-G, passed 8-26-2014)