Press Release: City Enhances Pet Safety, Amends Animals Ordinance

The City Council unanimously approved amendments to Title 7 (ANIMALS) of the El Paso Municipal Code today, Tuesday, August 18, in order to enhance pet safety through new requirements for local groomers and grooming shops.

The ordinance amendments include changes to abandonment, disease control, veterinary care of City-owned animals, violation penalties and zoonotic disease reporting. These revisions will go into effect January 1, 2021.

The amendments also require groomers to obtain training certifications before applying for a groomer license. In order to maintain a grooming shop certification, grooming shops will be required to run background checks of groomers, provide proper hygiene and safety for pets, and provide the means for owners to observe the grooming process.

The Council also unanimously approved a floor amendment to expand restrictions on dog restraints and standards for animal care.

“El Paso is an animal-loving community and our pets deserve as much protection and security as we can give them,” said El Paso Animal Services Director Paula Powell. “These changes will ensure our pets remain safe and families stay together.”

This is the first grooming ordinance of its kind in the country; the ordinance significantly increases protections for pets in the community.

The amendments were part of a combined effort with El Paso Animal Services, the El Paso Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Unit, the El Paso Animal Shelter Advisory Committee and community stakeholders who developed recommendations.

El Paso Animal Services will meet with registered grooming shops to review new requirements from September through December 2020. NOTE: Grooming shops will be alerted when meetings to discuss changes are scheduled. 

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