Regardless of the outcome of current bills to repeal Prop B, the City Council is supportive of passing an ordinance to give the city authority to inspect local dog kennels. The proposed ordinance changes would update the local regulations for breeders of dogs or cats to mirror Proposition B.
St. Joseph dog breeders may operate on a tighter leash by the end of the year.
The City Council showed support Tuesday for an ordinance that would grant the city authority to inspect local dog kennels. The bill also would update the local regulations for breeders of dogs or cats to mirror Proposition B, which voters approved in November.
Under current city ordinances, the city does not inspect kennels that are inspected or licensed by another agency. The Missouri Department of Agriculture currently licenses and inspects the two breeding kennels within the city limits. No boarding or rescue kennels operate in St. Joseph.
The ordinance, like Proposition B, would require breeders to provide larger kennels for their animals and unfettered access to an outdoor exercise area; would prohibit stacked cages; and would limit the number of animals a breeder could keep in a facility, among other regulations.
At least three bills are circulating in the state Legislature to repeal or reduce the authority of Proposition B.
Rick Smith, manager of St. Joseph Animal Control and Rescue, said the possibility of repeal should not affect the council’s decision.
“Even if the Legislature goes on to revise Prop B, that doesn’t mean you have to change the ordinance,” Mr. Smith said. “We can have stricter regulations than the state.”
Both of St. Joseph’s commercial breeders, Barbara Hoerath and Crystol Malchose, told the council the regulations would harm their businesses. When council member Donna Jean Boyer tried to ask a question, Ms. Hoerath immediately jumped in with the answer.
“So if it’s not repealed by the state ...” Ms. Boyer began.
“... I will move. I’ll have to move out of the state,” Ms. Hoerath said.