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The Pocatello City Council has approved changes to the City’s code concerning Animal Services. At Thursday’s meeting, the Council approved adding a section governing restraint and care of dangerous animals. Under the code, the owner of any animal found to be dangerous by a court of law will have to register the animal with the City’s Animal Services Department. During the registration process, owners will be required to: - Show proof of a current rabies vaccination for the animal - Show proof that the animal has been spayed or neutered - Present evidence that the animal will be confined to a proper enclosure, confined in the owner’s residence, and will be muzzled and confined in the owner’s fenced-in yard until a proper enclosure is constructed - Post clearly visible signs warning minors and adults of the presence of a dangerous animal on the property - Have the animal be permanently identified by with a registered microchip “Our number one goal as a department is public safety,” said Richard Stewart, Animal Services Director. “The new ordinance will give us the necessary tools to better protect the public, as well as better protect the animals that have been deemed dangerous by helping ensure that all dangerous animal owners are following current restrictions.” Owners will be required to pay $100 to register their dog the first year and $50 for each year following. Enforcement of the change will begin February 1, 2017. Owners of known dangerous dogs will be sent a letter notifying them of the new procedure. The Council also approved changes to require Pocatello cat owners to license their cats. Under the ordinance, when a cat reaches three-months of age, owners must purchase a license and in doing so, provide their name, address, phone number, as well as proof the cat has been microchipped. The cost to register a cat is $5. “Cats are the animals we see at the shelter the most,” said Richard Stewart, Pocatello Animal Services Director. “Often times, there is no way to identify the cat and its owner. By requiring licenses and microchipping, we’ll have a way to know who the cat belongs to and ensure that more cats return back home.” Enforcement of the license requirement for cats will begin in June 2017 following the department’s annual discounted animal licensing sale Residents with questions about the changes to the code are invited to contact Pocatello Animal Services at 234-6156.