Tulsa Passes New Ordinance For Standard Of Care In Pets

Tulsa Animal Welfare says it prefers to resolve issues with education, but if that doesn't work, violators could pay a fine and habitual offenders could go to jail.

Thursday, November 30th 2023, 10:15 pm



A new ordinance went into effect in Tulsa on Thursday, setting standards for the care and treatment of pets.

Tulsa Animal Welfare says it prefers to resolve issues with education, but if that doesn't work, violators could pay a fine and habitual offenders could go to jail.

Under new regulations in Tulsa, pet owners are now required to ensure their pets remain clean, well-fed, hydrated, and have access to appropriate shelter during excessively hot or cold weather.

Tulsa Animal Welfare says the ordinance applies to cats and dogs, which has seen an alarming number of preventable illnesses and deaths over the last year.

“It’s really about how quickly we can get to them and start giving them the help that they need,” Operations Manager Colton Jones said.

He says the ordinance also prohibits the use of tethering techniques such as choke collars and cords attached to a dog’s neck. Pets also cannot be tethered between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

“That’s going to be your coldest hours, but also, it’s most of the time when people are asleep. So, if an animal is going to get off that tether and be unmonitored, it’s going to be most likely those hours,” Jones said.

He says the ordinance allows the city to issue citations, but punishing pet owners isn’t the primary focus.

Instead, Jones says teaching pet owners proper care helps prevent any reoccurrences.

The Oklahoma Alliance for Animals says most of the time, distressed pets aren’t neglected, and education is all it takes.

“I’m not going to say that there are not people who neglect because there are quite a few of them, but most of the time we can correct that,” Founder James Suarez said.

But it takes a voice to speak up.

“Because they can't care for themselves. They are dependent upon somebody else caring for them,” Jones said.

Fines range from $100 to $1,200, depending on the number of offenses. Excessive violations could lead to up to 6 months in jail.

Animal welfare officers and police will enforce the ordinance.

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