Carmel looks to tighten animal welfare laws

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Carmel may soon tighten its animal welfare laws.

The city council will discuss an overhaul of its ordinance regarding animal care at its Feb. 17 meeting, set for 6 p.m. at Carmel City Hall.

Proposed changes include requiring animals – except livestock – to be microchipped or wear a collar with the owner’s contact information, limiting tethering to no more than 16 hours within a 24-hour period and requiring people who find lost animals to notify the Carmel Police Dept. within 48 hours.

Aasen

“I believe it’s the government’s role to protect those that can’t protect themselves,” said city councilor Adam Aasen, a sponsor of the ordinance. “Through these changes, we will give law enforcement more tools in their tool belt to help ensure safety and quality of life for all of Carmel’s residents, including our furry friends.”

The existing ordinance requires pet owners to be keep animals in sanitary conditions and provide them with sufficient food, water and veterinary care, but the proposed amendments provide greater detail on what that means. For example, “adequate shelter” is defined as being structurally sound; allowing easy access in and out; being weather resistant on the top, bottom and sides; and having a floor that is level and dry; among several other requirements.

The ordinance also proposes standards for commercial animal establishments, such as pet shops, veterinary hospitals and kennels. It states that they may not purchase or sell animals from puppy mills or backyard breeders and that they must provide isolation areas for sick animals, among other proposals.

Proposed violation fees range from $500 to $2,500, and a court may order the removal of other animals from the home of a violator.

See the proposed ordinance at http://carmel.in.gov/home/showdocument?id=15001.


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