Italy’s Animal at Large Ordinance

Did you ever wonder why the City of Italy has an ordinance for dog and cats at large?

Most dogs and cats are family friendly and mean no harm, but they are still animals and can not verbally communicate with their owners. Most dogs use growls, barks and other actions to warn or greet other animals or people. Most dog and cat owners are responsible owners, but sometimes even the most responsible owner can not predict the behavior of their pets.

In 2010, there were 32 fatal dog attacks in the United States, according to news agencies across the United States. In those 32 cases, 23 were from the family’s own dog. Just recently, a 71 year old female was fatally attacked in Valley View, Texas by her own pet Doberman Pinscher according to an article with CHNI News.

The City of Italy has adopted an Animal at Large ordinance for the safety and health of the citizens to prevent attacks, reduce the stray pet population and keep them from being a general nuisance. Loose dogs and cats often get into and spread trash making Italy appear to be unsanitary. They can also come into contact with wild and unfriendly animals such as skunks, coyotes and raccoons which are known carriers of rabies. City Ordinance # 091012-3 Section 8 relating to Animals Running at Large reads:

…No person owning, possessing, or harboring any dog or cat shall permit such dog or cat to run at large time.

The definition for At Large or Running at Large is defined as:

…At large or running at large refers to a dog or cat that is not: (1) confined to the premises of it’s owner by a fence of sufficient strength and height to prevent the animal from escaping therefrom; (2) confined within a house, building or other enclosure; or (3) secured on said premises by a leash of sufficient strength to prevent the animal from escaping from the said premises, and so arranged that, when the leash is stretched to full length in any direction, the animal will remain upon said premises and will not be able to reach a roadway, right of way, sidewalk, alleyway or common area. A dog or cat shall not be considered at large when confined within a vehicle or when held and controlled by an individual by means of a leash, cord, chain or rope of proper strength and length to control the action of the animal.

An offense under this ordinance is a Class C Misdemeanor and a violator can be fined for each offense.If you are a dog or cat owner, please help the Italy Animal Control prevent unsanitary conditions or a tragic accident from occurring in the City of Italy and keep your pets confined.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact the Italy Police Department at (972) 483-6414. We are here to serve YOU!