Updated animal code now in effect in Boise

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Posted at 2:45 PM, Jun 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-07 18:50:01-04

BOISE, Idaho — The updated code about animals and pets in the City of Boise went into effect on June 7. The code includes changes to animal cruelty regulations as well as general enforcement changes.

City Council Member TJ Thomson spent two years working on change with help from the Idaho Humane Society, along with some guidance from the Idaho Office of Attorney General. The first draft was presented to City Council in 2019 and public input was gathered in early 2021.

Related: Boise Council Member proposes a change in the city's animal code sections

Some of the changes to the code include:

  • Prohibits leaving animals unattended in cars under weather conditions that endanger their wellbeing.
  • Creates a “Good Samaritan” immunity from penalties, damages, and civil liability for those who rescue animals from life-threatening conditions. Individual must first dial 911.
  • Creates a new section to prohibit the sale of non-shelter dogs and cats at retail pet stores as well as the transfer of such animals on public property.
  • Amends the role and processes for the animal enforcement agency.

“This represents a complete re-write of our animal code, setting the ‘gold standard’ for our furry friends and creates a ‘compassionate animal code’ for our family companions and exotic animal friends that is more in line with Boise’s kindhearted values,” said Thomson. “My hope is that other municipalities across Idaho follow suit and adopt these changes to ensure all our furry friends, regardless of where they reside, share the same benefits of a code that looks out for their safety, care, and well-being.”

Related: Local law enforcement and the Idaho Humane Society urge you to "look before you lock" this summer

Boise Police will begin enforcing the updated code protecting animals. If someone breaks a car or trailer window, they will not face civil liabilities or criminal penalties for damages to the vehicle. If an animal sustains an injury, seeks treatment for heat-related ailments, or dies, the owner could face misdemeanor charges starting June 7.

To read the complete updated code, click here.