SANTA CLARA – This month, Santa Clara has officially joined neighboring Ivins in becoming a “no kill” city when it comes to animals.
“We’ve been using the ‘no kill’ philosophy,” Santa Clara City Manager Ed Dickie said. “Now we’ve just gotten around to updating the ordinance to reflect (that).”
The city’s new animal control ordinance was made official in a meeting of the Santa Clara City Council on Oct. 14. Dickie said Santa Clara’s animal shelter has been a no-kill shelter for just over two years now, but the city’s old animal control ordinance was still on the books.
“The (new) ordinance makes it a lot more official,” he said.
In addition to making the city’s animal shelter officially a no-kill facility, the new ordinance also affects the tethering of animals within the city, Friends of Ivins Animal Shelter President Linda Elwell said. According to the new ordinance – which Elwell said is similar to an ordinance that was already in place in Ivins – dogs can only be tethered for up to 10 hours per day, and the ordinance also spells out the conditions in which a dog can be tethered.
“It’s an extremely progressive ordinance,” Elwell said.
The new ordinance also implements a policy that Elwell said has worked out very well for Ivins, which is having the outcome of animal incidents decided by a panel.
“If a dog is deemed vicious or attacks or there’s a situation with a pet, then there’s a review panel,” Elwell said.
Panel members review the incident and the circumstances and then decide what should be done with the animal.
The City of Santa Clara signed a memorandum of understanding with Friends of Ivins Animal Shelter in 2012, Elwell said, putting the Santa Clara shelter under the jurisdiction of the Ivins Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, which is a no-kill facility.
“We’ve also partnered our police services with Ivins City and also animal services,” Dickie said.
“It’s a really good partnership with both cities,” he added.
Friends of Ivins Animal Shelter is a nonprofit organization that supports the Ivins Animal Shelter. Friends of Ivins Animal Shelter and Santa Clara City have been working together since May to change the outdated animal control ordinance, Elwell said.
“The mayor and City Council are great to work with,” she said.
So far this year, Elwell said, Ivins and Santa Clara have a save rate of 99.7 percent when it comes to shelter pets and other animals within the cities’ jurisdictions.
She said seeing Santa Clara’s ordinance officially change has justified a lot of hard work.
“It was pretty exciting,” Elwell said. “I was a little teary when I walked out (of the City Council meeting).”
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