By TYLER MASK
Nobody likes being left inside a car during extreme temperatures, hot or cold – animals don't like it either.
Mineral Wells Police Chief Dean Sullivan presented an ordinance at the Tuesday's City Council meeting amending Article 1 of Chapter 18 Animals of the Code of Ordinances to prohibit leaving animals unattended in a vehicle and providing for an effective date. The ordinance passed 7-0.
“[Mineral Wells Police Department] had 25 calls last summer specifically on this topic,” Sullivan said.
The amended ordinance reads:
“It shall be unlawful for a person having possession, charge or custody of an animal to place or confine such animal or allow such animal to be placed or confined in a motor vehicle or trailer under such conditions or for such a period of time as may endanger the health of the animal due to extreme temperatures, lack of food or water or such other circumstances as may cause injury or death of the animal. Animal control officers, or any peace officer, finding an animal being held in violation of this provision may cite the owner for violating this chapter, obtain a search warrant, pursuant to state or federal law, or use any reasonable force necessary to remove an animal from a vehicle whenever it appears the animal's health or safety is, or soon will be, endangered and said neglected or endangered animal shall be impounded and held pending a hearing in accordance with state law.
An animal's owner shall be responsible for any repairs or damages caused during the removal of any animal found in such a dangerous situation or circumstance, as described above, by a city animal control officer or peace officer.”
"This is not unique to Mineral Wells,” Sullivan said. “There are a number of cities around the state that have these 'hotdog' ordinances... It gives our officers and our animal control officers a tool to address this issue.”
In other business, City Council approved:
• Acceptance of Independent Auditors' report for fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2013.
• Resolution authorizing the filing of project application with the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) for a Regional Solid Waste Local Implementation project.
• Award of bid and resolution authorizing execution of Special Warranty Deed conveying property at 377 Lanham to Leland Jeffrey Landers.