House Bill 1359

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.

Please Save Me

Please Save Me

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, 2013Click 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

Untreated eye disease

Untreated eye disease

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.

Poor Living Conditions

Poor Living Conditions

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?

poor conditionsThe 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.

Filthy water

Filthy water

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
    Untreated Eye Injury

    Untreated Eye Injury

    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?

Filthy Feeding Conditions

Filthy Feeding Conditions

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.

      Untreated Flea Infected Area

      Untreated Flea Infected Area

  • 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:

a.  Letter from the State of Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry: Formal letter to introduce the new Act.

 b.  Animal Shelter Application:  Eligible organization must have this filled out and turned in with the $200.00 fee by or before November 1st, 2013 and annually thereafter.

Improper Housing

Improper Housing

c.  House Bill 1359:  This bill will be law as of November 1st, 2013

 d.  Commercial Pet Breeders Law and Rules:  This is the Commercial Pet Breeders Act of 2012.

Preparing For Your New Companion

PREPARING YOUR PETS

playThe first thing you need to do when considering new pet is to protect your personal animals. Shelter animals can come to us from unknown origins, sometimes with underlying medical issues and conditions, so it is important that you protect your family pets as much as you can. If you choose puppies or kittens, you may be exposing your own pets to upper respiratory infections and worms or parasites.
Before bringing home your first pet, make sure your animals are up to date with their vaccinations. Talk to your veterinarian and follow their recommendations about any precautions you need to take. The veterinarian may suggest additional vaccinations/immunizations to protect your animal.

 

PREPARING YOUR HOME

Cats and dogs are curious creatures. Many are capable of jumping onto high surfaces or squeezing into the smallest of spaces. To protect pet(s) in a new environment and to safeguard your belongings, it is necessary to animal-proof your entire house. NEVER underestimate your pet’s abilities. Accidents happen!
Once you have chosen an area where you will care for your new companion, you should “pet-proof” the area. Pay attention to any small or dangerous objects, such as pins, needles, paper clips, nails, staples, thread, string, rubber bands, caustic/toxic chemicals, moth balls, plants and any other items that are potentially dangerous. Animals are also attracted to electrical cords, TV cords, telephone cords and curtains. These items should all be blocked so they can’t get at them. A good rule of thumb is “if you don’t want to lose it, put it away. Also, to ensure nothing is missed, get down at an animal’s eye-level. Look closely for any small holes or dangerous items that may have been missed at your first pass of pet-proofing

 

PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE BY ROOM

Kitchens/Bathrooms/Utility Rooms

  • shoeUse childproof latches to keep little paws from prying open cabinets.
  • Keep medications, cleaners, chemicals and laundry supplies on high shelves or in childproofed cabinets.
  • Keep trashcans covered or inside a latched cabinet.
  • Check for and block any small spaces, nooks or holes inside cabinetry, furniture, floors, appliances, etc. where your pets may hide. Also make certain that spaces behind washer/dryer units are closed off so your foster animals can’t get in there either.
  • ALWAYS keep your dryer and washer units closed!!! Make sure your pets haven’t jumped into the dryer or washer before you turn it on! (This does happen.)
  • Keep all foods out of reach and/or in cabinets. Even if the food isn’t harmful to the cat, the wrapper could be.
  • KEEP TOILET LIDS CLOSED to prevent drowning. Curious puppies and kittens can easily fall in and drown.
  • Living/Family Room
  • Place dangling wires from lamps, VCRs, TVs, stereos and phones out of reach. You can place the cords through PVC pipes to prevent the pets chewing on them.
  • Keep children’s toys put away.
  • Put away knickknacks that are valuable to you or understand that pets can easily knock things over. If it is important to you, don’t leave it out.
  • Block any spaces where your vacuum can’t fit but a pet could.
  • Remove dangerous items like strings, pins, yarn, etc.
  • Move houseplants–many of which can be poisonous–out of reach. This includes hanging plants that can be jumped onto from other nearby surfaces.
  • Put away all sewing and craft supplies–especially thread and yarn. If ingested, these items can obstruct cat or puppies’ bowels, sometimes requiring extensive surgery to reverse.
  • Secure aquariums and cages that house small animals, such as hamsters or fish, to keep them safe from curious paws.

Garage/Basement

  • Most garages contain too many dangerous chemicals and unsafe items to be an acceptable animal site. Your pet should never be housed in a garage.
  • Move all chemicals to high shelves or behind secure doors.
  • Clean up all antifreeze from the floor and driveway!!! One taste can be lethal to an animal!

Bedrooms

  • napBedrooms are not ideal situations for a new companion. If scared of the new environment, animals can hide under beds and are hard to coax out. In worst case scenarios, dogs and cats can burrow into box springs or mattresses where it can be nearly impossible to get them out.
  • Keep laundry and shoes behind closed doors (drawstrings and loose buttons can cause major problems).
  • Keep any medications, lotions or cosmetics off accessible surface (like the bedside table.)
  • Move electrical and phone wires out of reach of chewing.

Other Potentially Dangerous Situations

  • Closet and bedroom doors
  • Open doors to the outside
  • Open dryer doors
  • Open cabinet doors
  • Computer wires
  • Folding chairs
  • Potted plants

Whatever room you choose to make your companion’s new home, make sure that it is easily cleaned. Carpet and other soft surfaces can harbor disease and it can be difficult to clean up accidents on carpet, especially when they seep into the carpet pad. Bathrooms and other areas with tile, hardwood or other impermeable surfaces are ideal places to house your new companion.

 

PREPARING YOUR YARD

poolIf you have a fenced in backyard, check that there aren’t holes in the fence or any other escape route. Do NOT leave your dog in the backyard without your supervision. You will be amazed what little holes a big dog can get out of or what tall fences a dog can jump! Never leave a dog unattended or unwatched outside. Most of all please don’t leave your dog on a chain outside; after all, he came home with you to be your companion.

Information courtesy of PetFinder and tailored for OAA.