New city ordinances affecting Norman pet owners to go into effect this weekend

NORMAN, Okla. – Pet owners in Norman need to be aware of a few changes to the city’s ordinances that are about to go into effect.

Beginning Sept. 1, pet owners will no longer be able to tether dogs and cats

“The intent is just to make sure that animals are as safe as they possibly can be,” said Capt. Brent Barbour, with the Norman Police Department.

Barbour said if a dog is tethered while the owner is supervising them, it is OK. However, if they are simply left tethered without supervision, the owner could get a ticket.

“Tethering dogs or cats using choke-chains or prong collars is prohibited. Tethering of an unsupervised dog or cat is prohibited when the outside air temperature is not between 35 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit,” the ordinance read.

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The City of Norman also set the hold time of three days for stray animals located without a known owner. Animals with a city pet license, rabies tag, or a registered microchip will be held an additional two days, for a total of five days.

A new ordinance also requires all residents who have large reptiles that are "capable of exceeding forty (40) pounds at an adult age" to register the animal with the Animal Welfare Division. Animals gathering naturally in an outdoor setting are exempted from this rule.

Officials say they are also revising the definition of adequate shelter to "Structure or area of structural soundness with three sides, with a waterproof roof, solid floor, adequate bedding material, positioned to allow for protection from north and west winds, proper ventilation, structural soundness, and which is suitable for the species, age, condition, size and type of animal which is safe and protects each animal from injury, precipitation, direct sunlight, adverse effects of extreme heat or cold, enables the animal to be clean and dry, and has sufficient room for the animal to move about freely and to lie comfortably while allowing the retention of the animal’s body heat. Wildlife, livestock, and other non-domesticated animals normally residing outdoors shall be only required to have appropriate shelter from extreme weather through natural or artificial means available to it to protect the animal.”

The city is also defining a pet owner as a person who either has a legal title to the animal or "keeps or harbors the animal in excess of fourteen days without delivering the animal to its proper owner of the Animal Welfare Center, provides food or water regularly for the animal, or provides routine or ongoing non-emergency medical care for the animal."

If you find an animal, you must notify the animal shelter within 72 hours.

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