Potbellied-pigs, other animal regulations before Apache Junction City Council Dec. 4

Apache Junction council meetings are held in the council chambers, 300 E. Superstition Blvd. (Arianna Grainey, Independent Newsmedia)

Regulations and policies revisions for pot-bellied pigs and other animals are to be considered at the Dec. 4 meeting of the Apache Junction City Council.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the council chambers, 300 E. Superstition Blvd.

Three animal-control items are up for public hearings. They are:

  • Ordinance No. 1464, amending the Apache Junction City Code; Volume 1, Chapter 4: Fees, Article 4-3, Animal Control Fee Schedule.
  • Resolution No. 18-34, declaring as a public record the document 2018 Amendments to the Apache Junction City Code, Volume 1, Chapter 6: Animals.
  • Ordinance No. 1465, adopting by reference the document 2018 Amendments to the Apache Junction City Code, Volume 1, Chapter 6: Animals.

Ordinance No. 1464 eliminates the class 3 kennel permit, which allowed nine to 12 dogs to be kept in accordance with other provisions.

The class 3 permit approved June 15, 2015, costing $80, was only applied for by several dog owners in the city, according to the ordinance.

One of the recipients of a class 3 permit did not responsibly manage her nine to 12 dogs and caused surrounding neighbors extreme emotional stress, the new ordinance states.

β€œ(I)t is now the desire of the mayor and city council to reverse the 2015 legislation so that the number of dogs allowed to be owned, maintained or harbored in the city limits is capped at a reasonable level to no more than eight dogs, provided all license fees are paid and remain current and health, noise, safety and sanitation regulations are followed,” according to the ordinance.

Individuals who hold a class 3 personal dog kennel permit prior to the effective date of the ordinance, Jan. 1, 2019, may continue owning, maintaining, or harboring nine to 12 dogs provided they are up-to-date on permit fees and dog licensing. They may continue to renew their permit until they decide to surrender it or fail to pay the renewal charge of $80, according to the ordinance.

Other proposed animal-control changes include:

  • Allowing the city manager to convene a panel of city residents for a civil hearing in lieu of a citation for animal-noise nuisance.
  • Allowing alternative owner notification of animals impounded during the arrest of an owner and providing for abandonment determination.
  • Allowing for the city to recover the cost of animal care of animals found in a motor vehicle when the owner is not present.
  • Eliminating the licensing and fees of potbellied pigs because the state of Arizona Department of Agriculture regulates them and other livestock.
  • Clarifying jurisdiction and quarantine for potbellied pig bites.
  • Adding clarifications and terminology to the criminal filings and penalties section.
  • Making minor grammar and terminology changes.

Capt. Arnold Freeman

β€œThe changes also include updates to terminology and definitions that are considered a necessity to keep Paws and Claws administration and animal regulations consistent with other agencies across the state of Arizona, to enhance the welfare of animals and correct outdated language with regard to enforcement,” Apache Junction Police Capt. Arnold Freeman said in a memo to the council.

The Police Department operates the Apache Junction Animal Control Paws and Claws Care Center, 725 E. Baseline Ave. Services include adoptions, licensing, public outreach and education. It provides shelter to cats and dogs that are owner-surrendered as well as strays, according to the city website.

Other items on the Dec. 4 Apache Junction City Council agenda are:

  • An employment agreement with the presiding magistrate, for a base salary of $135,000 annually. The current employment agreement with Judge James W. Hazel Jr. expires on June 30 and the new agreement will be for a period of two years beginning July 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2021.
  • Recognition by the mayor and city council of individuals and/or organizations who have made donations to support city activities, programs and projects. Recipients may make comments on their donation.
  • Receiving an update on the Apache Junction Unified School District from Superintendent Dr. Krista Anderson.
  • Hearing from Vicky McLaughlin, president of the Superstition Mountain Historical Society, who is to introduce Annie Vaugier, newly hired director of the Superstition Mountain Museum.
  • An application for a temporary extension of premises liquor license for Elks BPOE No. 2349, 2455 N. Apache Trail, for the Paws 4 Life Annual Car Show on Saturday, Jan. 19.
  • An application for a special event liquor license for Elks BPOE No. 2349, 2455 N. Apache Trail, for the annual beer and brats event and Lost Dutchman Days Rodeo Dance Feb. 21-22.
  • Resolution No. 18-35, declaring as a public record documents titled 2018 Amendments to Apache Junction City Code, Volume 1, Chapter 9, Health and Sanitation.
  • Ordinance No. 1467, adopting by reference the document titled 2018 Amendments to Apache Junction City Code, Volume 1, Chapter 9, Health and Sanitation.
  • Discussion and possible council direction to staff on public art and the establishment of a public art commission.
  • Discussion and possible council direction to staff on the process for filling an upcoming Apache Junction Planning and Zoning Commission vacancy.

Editor Richard Dyer can be reached at rdyer@newszap.com

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