The final reading of an ordinance, that’s been designed to replace the city of Branson’s current Municipal Code chapter regarding animals has been postponed, again.

This item’s first official final reading was presented at the virtual March 23 Board of Aldermen meeting, and was also postponed to gather more community input.

Its first reading was originally presented at the virtual March 9 meeting and passed with a vote of 4-2 with former Alderman Larry Milton and Alderman Jeff Seay voting against it.

At the April 27 meeting, Branson Police Chief Jeff Matthews suggested that this item be postponed again to gather even further community input.

“I know that the board still seeks comments from the citizens and I recommend that we initiate some town hall meetings,” said Matthews. “I recommend three individual ward, town hall meetings. Small groups will identify their locations inside the wards, that way citizens can speak directly to their aldermen, hear their comments, concerns, then we’ll move forward with whatever recommendations we get from those meetings.”

A motion was then made to postpone this topic to a date not to exceed August 24 by Alderman Clay Cooper. Which was then passed six to zero.

According to Matthews, they will “work with city staff, identify the dates that work with (the aldermen’s) calendars and announce those (dates for town hall meetings) publicly.”

The ordinance that has been presented will repeal the current Chapter 14 pertaining to animals in Branson’s Municipal Code and replace the chapter, in its entirety, with the proposed new Chapter 14.

 

The following information is from the proposed ordinance:

The newly proposed Chapter 14: pertaining to animals includes detailed information on several topics. Some of the things described within the ordinance are as follows:

- Definitions; including a detailed entry for nuisance, public nuisance, restraint and wildlife sanctuary.

- Animals that are allowed within residential zoning districts

- Limitations on number of dogs, cats and ferrets

- Limitations on pigs and chickens (hens)

- Licenses, vaccinations, fees, permits and reports

- Animal abuse

- Dangerous and/or vicious dogs (not based off breed)

- Exotic animals

- Commercial requirements

- Depositing of the carcass of a dead animal

 

Limitation on the number of dogs, cats and ferrets:

- It will be illegal in a lodging establishment for there to be more than three pets over the age of 120 days.

- It will be illegal in a residence for there to be more than six pets over the age of 120 days.

- When animals exceed these limits, the animals may be removed by animal control and be handled according to section 14-101.

- No person will be allowed to feed or harbor stray/feral cats except in connection with an approved animal adoption facility.

- Any cat that is allowed outdoors while unsupervised must be spayed or neutered.

- No person in residential districts will be allowed to breed more than one litter of dog or cat per household in any 12-month period.

- It will be illegal for dogs to run at large without supervision.

- It will be illegal for anyone to sell, trade, barter, lease, rent, give away or display a live animal on a roadside, public right-of-way, commercial parking lot, etc.

 

Licenses, vaccinations, fees, permits and reports:

- It will be illegal to knowingly have a pet over six months old without a rabies vaccination

- A yearly license fee will be required (service dogs will be exempt)

- If an animal is impounded, the owner may (within seven days) redeem the animal and pay for the fees and expenses incurred, including veterinary care and microchipping. The owner must provide proof of the current animal license and rabies certificate at the time of pick-up.

- There will be a $20 one-year annual license fee for an unaltered pet and a $10 one-year annual license fee for an altered pet.

- Seniors over the age of 65 will not be required to pay a fee for an altered pet.

 

A complete fee list can be found under the proposed amendment at bransonmo.gov. Please see the end of the article for more information.

Per the proposed code, a person cannot transport an animal in a vehicle on public roadways unless the animal is safely enclosed within the vehicle.

It will also be illegal for any person to willfully abandon any animal within the city. 

 

Depositing dead animals:

- No person shall leave the carcass of a dead animal in any street, alley, lot or allow the carcass to remain on anyone’s property.

- An animal carcass must be disposed of within 24 hours of death and shall be buried no less than four feet below the ground surface.

- Carcasses may be disposed of by the county, a private veterinarian or a disposal plant licensed under Chapter 269.

 

It will be illegal to eliminate, in any manner, squirrels, starlings, pigeons or any other known pests (non-domestic animals) not protected by the Missouri Department of Conversation within city limits.

To see the proposed ordinance in its entirety visit bransonmo.gov; click on the ‘Government’ tab; click ‘Agendas and Minutes’; find the April 27 meeting title; click on ‘HTML Agenda Packet’ and find No.8 on the agenda.

The live stream of the April 27 meeting can be found on the city’s YouTube page ‘CityofBranson’ or by clicking the ‘Live Stream’ button on the city’s website.

Visit bransonmo.gov for more information.

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