West Carrollton cracks down on roaming animals


West Carrollton City Council has updated its city code to regulate feeding and confining pets outdoors to address problems with roaming animals.

The new changes will forbid residents from leaving food outside overnight or unattended during the day without their pets present.

"The old regulations made it difficult to do anything about the (roaming) cats or other pet-related problems," said Carl Enterman, the city's code enforcement officer, in a statement.

City Council on Tuesday approved amendments to its city ordinances that changes the definition of a pet owner, at-large animal and public nuisance.

Pet owners are now defined as residents who knowingly allow any animal to remain on their properties. Owners also include people who " knowing and recklessly" feed these animals food or water, or restrain the animals to prevent them leaving the property, the city said.

At-large animals are defined as those that are not confined to a property by a leash or tether, fence, enclosure or control of a person, the city said. The leash and tether requirements relate to dogs.

Animals are considered a public nuisance if they molest other people or passing vehicles, attack other animals, trespass on school grounds, damage property or audibly "disturb the peace," the city said. Animals that are repeatedly at large are considered a nuisance.

The new rules also regulate the outdoor feeding of roaming animals.
Residents will be prohibited from leaving food outdoors overnight or during the day when their animals are not present.

"Owners can feed their own animals outdoors as long as that feed doesn't attract wild or at-large animals," Enterman said. "The outdoor feeding of one's own animals should also take place only during daylight hours."

First-time violations of the new ordinances can result in a minor misdemeanor charge and penalty up to $150. Second-time offenses will head to the Montgomery County court system, and offenders face a fine up to $250, the city said.

Officials also said farm animals, including roosters and chickens, are entirely forbidden in residential neighborhoods.