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City council will consider ban on roadside sales of pets

By DAVID TEWES
July 6, 2010 at 2:06 a.m.


OTHER BUSINESS

The city council also reviewed the proposed water-wastewater budget that would take effect Oct. 1.

It calls for keeping water and sewer rates level. The typical household using 10,000 gallons of water per month would pay $31.33 for water and $31.84 for sewer service.

The city plans to issue $20.7 million in revenue bonds in Fiscal Year 2012 to pay for a new sewer plant. That would raise the average household water and sewer bill about $1.02 per month.

Roadside sales of animals in Victoria could be banned by the end of this summer.

Mayor Will Armstrong on Tuesday instructed the city attorney to prepare an ordinance making it illegal to sell pets from parking lots or similar private property.

"I think the citizens who have approached us would appreciate a ban," Armstrong said after the city council meeting. "It would be more inclusive than trying to enforce the permit process."

Armstrong's instruction came after three people asked the city council to regulate the sale of animals by roadside vendors.

They are concerned about the way the animals are treated and about people buying diseased pets.

Karen Brooks-Hodges told the council she represents 48 members of the Victoria Dog Obedience Club and the Kennel Club of Greater Victoria.

Both groups oppose the sale of pets from the roadside, she said.

People sometimes buy the animals impulsively and she knows three people who bought diseased dogs that died.

"It's part of a big problem," she said. "There is no recourse because it's not regulated."

Resident Michael Welton said it wouldn't be that difficult to prepare an ordinance regulating the sales.

"Nearly every city around the state has a ban," he said. "They're pretty consistent and they're pretty simple."

Resident Jerry McCaskill said she happened to be traveling on Navarro Street on Tuesday and saw puppies for sale. It was before the rain and they were in the hot sun, she said.

McCaskill said she's checked with the city secretary and only one itinerant vendor's permit has been issued by the city this year.

City Attorney Thomas Gwosdz said the people selling the animals should have permits.

Mayor Pro Tem Paul Polasek said the council shouldn't be so quick to adopt a ban.

"Perhaps we need to enforce what we already have and see how it goes," he said. "If that doesn't do it, then ban them."

Polasek said he believes a ban would affect private property rights and questioned what right the city has to tell property owners what they can and can't do.

Armstrong said there is no guarantee the ordinance would pass, noting that council members Tom Halepaska and Joe Truman were absent Tuesday.

Gwosdz said he plans to have a proposed ordinance ready for the council in late July or early August.

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