Spurred by complaints about unattended dogs chained up in yards, the Gretna City Council voted Wednesday to add a number of animal-cruelty prohibitions to the city’s code of ordinances.
The changes, proposed by District 3 Councilman Mark Miller and approved unanimously, are designed to bring the city’s ordinances up to date with parish and state laws.
Miller said he looked at the city’s animal cruelty laws after constituents asked whether it was legal for people to tie dogs to trees in their yards. He found there weren’t a lot of specifics, he said.
Gretna’s ordinances basically said pets needed to be contained in their yard and on a leash when they’re not in a yard, but they didn’t address much else.
Tethering a dog unattended “is basically against the law within Jefferson Parish and the state,” Miller said.
The changes approved Wednesday make the practice illegal in Gretna and incorporate a number of other specifics, including a ban on transporting unsecured dogs in the back of pickup trucks.
Like a change approved by the Jefferson Parish Council last year, Gretna’s ordinance will now require that the animal be in a crate fixed to the truck bed.
The amended ordinances also make it a crime to neglect, abandon or mistreat animals. They say animals must be fed and given proper medical care and shelter. They also ban leaving animals in cars without appropriate temperature control.
“These are all things that come down to common sense, but it’s always better when we have it down for people to see like this,” Miller said.
On another issue, the council gave Mayor Belinda Constant the authority to negotiate with ride-booking companies such as Uber to see what kind of agreement can be reached to govern their operations within the city.
Councilman Joe Marino first broached the idea last month, saying residents appear to like having access to services like Uber, but he said the city should follow the lead of New Orleans, which approved regulations for them last year. Any terms would need to be approved by the council.
The Jefferson Parish Council also has a set of regulations in the works and is expected to vote on them in coming weeks.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.