The Abilene city council is considering adding, updating and/or changing some laws concerning your pets. Some of the cities ordinances will include other pets not just precluding to 'dogs', say you live in an apartment and you have four or more animals, depending on the size of your domicile you may have to get rid of some pets. Another ordinance is the 'vicious dog' ordinance, say someone comes onto your property (with or without your knowledge and/or permission) and your dog bites that person, your dog could be considered a 'vicious and/or dangerous dog' and could be taken from you and be put down by the city's dog pound. Here's what the Rescue the Animals folks had to say in their press release.
Let me remind you that Rescue The Animals does everything they can within their powers to save an animals life, and is very adamant in their resolve to defend Abilene residents rights, for responsible pet ownership. This is what the RTA/SPCA's Paul Washburn released on Wednesday prior to the first reading on Thursday March 22nd at 8:30am.

New Ordinance Makes Your Dog a Criminal for Defending Your Yard

A last minute change in the proposed ordinance, could mean you will be sued if an intruder who is stealing your stuff is attacked by your dog in your yard!

The new revisions to the Abilene Animal Ordinance will make your dog a criminal for defending your property. A last minute change, made after the ordinance was reviewed by Rescue the Animals, SPCA and other groups, will define your dog as dangerous if he attacks an intruder inside your fenced yard. Undoubtedly, the intruder will then sue you for having a “dangerous” dog.

This is a totally ridiculous change in the ordinance. Abilene does indeed have a large number of dogs that are dangerous to the community, but this ordinance is even worse than the one it replaces. We need some common sense definition of a “dangerous dog” and a sensible policy for handling theses animals. This ordinance will simply confuse the issue without adequately protecting our citizens.

Your dog will also likely be deemed dangerous if he gets into a fight at the new Dog Park, since the ordinance allows the animal to be deemed dangerous if he attacks any “domestic animal.” Any fight at the Dog Park will result in at least one of the participants being deemed dangerous and locked in secure pen for the rest of his life. Again, this is ridiculous.

Plus, the new ordinance will create a new class of “Aggressive Dogs” that will place restrictions on your dog if he chases a cat, even if he does not catch the cat. He will be deemed “Aggressive” even if he chases a cat inside your fenced yard! The dog will then be placed in a City of Abilene approved cage, and you will be required to muzzle your dog anytime he is out of the cage!

Next, your dog will move up to being a “Dangerous Dog” the second time he chases a cat! A “Dangerous Dog” is locked up too, and the owner must buy $250,000 of “Dangerous Dog” insurance.

There is no evidence that dogs that chase cats or fight with other dogs are always dangerous to people. In fact, many dogs exhibiting this behavior are quite lovable with kids and humans. We need to be concerned about animals that are a threat to humans.

These changes are anti-animal and will not make Abilene safer.

Apartment dwellers are told to get rid of a family member: For no reason at all, the new ordinance reduces the number of pets allowed in apartments from 4 to 3. The city has told people for years that they are allowed 4 animals in apartments. Breaking this contract with citizens is unjust. Telling people to get rid of a family member for no reason is ridiculous. Apartment owners already police this problem with pet deposits.

Animal Tax Will Triple With INTACT Animal Fee: This section triples the “tax” on pet ownership in Abilene by raising the yearly license fee from $8.00 to $25.00 on intact animals. This is simply a tax increase and will probably reduce the number of animals being vaccinated for rabies.

At $8.00, we are vaccinating only 20% of the animals in town. If we triple the fee for intact animals, we feel fewer people will visit the vet and the vaccination rate will fall. It is important to note that Waco has already repealed its “Intact Animal” fee.

You will get a ticket even if your dog DOES NOT POOP: Cleaning up after your animal is a good idea, but the new ordinance will allow a person to be ticketed even if his dog DOES NOT POOP. You must be carrying “materials” to pick up poop at all times and can be cited even if your dog DOES NOT POOP. If your dog goes out the front door headed to your car and makes a detour to the neighbor’s yard and DOES NOT POOP, you can still be ticketed if you don’t have “materials” for dog poop on your person.

There should be no tickets unless the dog poops!

Someone needs to call “re-write” in Hollywood and have this ordinance re-written with a happy ending for both the animals and the citizens of Abilene.

Source: Rescue The Animals SPCA Abilene Texas
After speaking with several city council members, I came to the conclusion that a few had already made up their minds on some of the ordinances, and one council member has me believing he's got a personal stake in this matter. The American Kennel Club (whose interests is preserving breeders rights) has yet to comment on the matter as their representatives are expected to show up for what appears to be a real 'dog fight', stay tuned.