Commercial Pet Breeders and Animal Shelter Licensing Act
By now many organizations have received in the mail a letter, application and revised Act for the Animal Shelter licensing. This Act was voted in to help regulate shelters or those who house 10 or more rescue dogs/cats in order to protect and ensure they are sufficiently cared for. Oklahoma authorities have closed poorly run rescue organizations charging the owners with Cruelty. The Representatives of Oklahoma introduced and voted in House Bill 1359 to enforce good conditions for animals in efforts to reduce the number of cruelty charges in rescue organizations. Photos on this post are from a fairly recent closure of a rescue organization in which the owners were changed and plead guilty to animal cruelty. Below are a few basic questions for organizations to read over and gain more knowledge about this new Act. At the bottom are links to the Act and other information.
1. Who has to apply and how to get a license.
Foster-based rescue groups do not need to apply for an application.
Veterinarians or Resort kennels housing rescue dogs/cats do not need to apply for a license.
Rescue operated shelters that house 10 or more rescued dogs/cats MUST apply for license.
Deadline for application submittal is NOVEMBER 1st, 2013. Click here for the application. Application can be mailed to:
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry
Office of General Counsel
PO Box 528804
Oklahoma City, OK 73152
The $200.00 application fee MUST accompany the application. Be sure and give plenty of time for the mail delivery.
Once the applications are submitted, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture (ODA) will access the locations of the shelters and schedule inspections. There is one inspector for the state of Oklahoma, so the shelters will be mapped out for her to inspect by regions. Once your shelter has been inspected it will take up to 10 days for the inspector to turn in their findings and then the organization will be notified if granted an Animal Shelter license or not.
The ODA shall issue an animal shelter or commercial pet breeder license to each applicant who:
- Meets the requirements of the Commercial Pet Breeders and Animal Shelter Licensing Act.
- Applies to the Department on the form prescribed by the Department; and
- Pays the required fee ($200.00)
2. What are the penalties?
The penalties vary by the animal and daily offenses. You can refer to the Act to review. If penalties are not addressed, the ODA will send notice of the occurrence. If the organization does not respond to the notice, then the ODA will send the inspector and/or other state agency to the location of the organization. If the organization does not respond then the ODA will turn over the case to their attorneys. Penalties are noted to be no less than $100.00 to no more than $10,000.00. Violations of this Act can result in a misdemeanor.
Licenses will be denied or revoked for the following:
- Applicant is convicted of a crime involving animal cruelty;
- Applicant is convicted of violating the Commercial Pet Breeders and Animal Shelter Licensing Act more than three times;
- Applicant is convicted of felony specified by subparagraphs a through pp of paragraph 2 or Section 571 of Title 57 of the Oklahoma Statutes;
- Applicant is convicted of a felony punishable under the Oklahoma Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act; or
- Applicant has held or applied for United States Department of Agriculture license pursuant to the Animal Welfare Act and whose license was
suspended or revoked, or whose application was refused due to improper care of animals.
- Falsified application or information can result in a misdemeanor.
- Unlicensed organizations can result in a misdemeanor.
- Organizations that deny access to the dog/cat’s records for ODA or authorized authority.
3. What are the requirements?
Here is the list of requirements:
- Organizations that qualify for a license must apply and pay the $200 (non-refundable) inspection fee.
- Organizations must maintain their license annually.
- Organizations must display a copy of the Animal Shelter license at their facility.
- Organizations must maintain a separate health record for each animal in the facility.
- The Health record shall include:
- The breed, sex, color, and identifying marks of the animals; and
- A record of all inoculations, medications, and other veterinary medical treatment received by the animal while in the possession of the facility.
- Organizations shall make the health records available upon request to the ODA or authorized agent.
- Requirements of standard of care please refer to Chapter 3 of the Commercial Pet Breeders Law & Rules.
4. Document References: