The City of Ashton has always been a home for pet lovers. City Codes regulating animal owners were first passed in 1906 which regulated certain animals from ‘running at large’ (horses, mules, ducks and pigs – some of which are not allowed within the City now). In 1918 the first ordinance pertaining to dog owners was passed. This ordinance required the muzzling of dogs which were considered to have rabies. Codes continued to be updated in 1952 and 1968 with regulations on licensing. Dogs were required to be licensed and surprisingly the license fee has gone down since 1952 when female dog licenses were $10 per year. In September of 1972 a limit of two (2) dogs per household was put into place. Also provisions for a non-commercial kennel license would allow residents to have three dogs and any puppies were NOT to be counted as dogs until 3 months old. This code required dogs to either be in a fence or on a leash and prohibiting them from running loose. Codes were amended later to allow for fines for dogs that were running loose and/or unlicensed. The last City Codes concerning dogs were enacted in 2009 to allow for license and citation fees to be set by resolution.
The current City Council is now considering an amendment to the City Code to eliminate the non-commercial kennel license. The provisions for a non-commercial kennel license are vague and seem unnecessary. There have been only two applications for such licenses in the last 10 years. Of the two applications, not one was renewed.
The Council is planning to leave the limitation on number of dogs per household at two and allowing citizens to have puppies up to the age of 3 months. Citizens who have been unaware of the two (2) dog limit per household need not worry. The City Council is not planning to enact a dog roundup. The Council is hoping that the amendment process will simply make pet owners aware of the code and plan accordingly. Although the City has dog licensing requirements, there are many dogs which are not licensed or not current on their licensing. The City Council is also hoping that these owners will now be aware of the requirements and have their dogs licensed.
A public hearing is scheduled for 7 pm on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 for citizens to voice their concerns about the proposed amendment.