Tulsa passes new ordinance for pet care standards.

A new ordinance went into effect in Tulsa on Thursday, setting standards for the care and treatment of pets.

Tulsa Animal Welfare says it prefers to solve problems with education, but if that doesn’t work, violators could have to pay fines and habitual offenders could go to jail.

Under new regulations in Tulsa, pet owners are now required to ensure their pets are clean, well-fed, hydrated, and have access to adequate shelter during excessively hot or cold weather.

Tulsa Animal Welfare says the ordinance applies to cats and dogs, which have seen an alarming number of treatable illnesses and deaths over the past year.

“It’s really about how quickly we can get to them and start giving them the support they need,” said operations manager Colton Jones.

They say the ordinance also prohibits the use of tethering techniques such as choke collars and cords around a dog’s neck. Pets also cannot be leashed between 11pm and 6am

“It’s going to be your coldest hours, but also, it’s mostly when people are sleeping. So, if an animal is going to get off that teacher and it’s not going to be supervised, It will most likely be those hours,” Jones said.

He says the ordinance allows the city to issue citations, but punishing pet owners isn’t the primary focus.

Instead, Jones says teaching pet owners proper care helps prevent any recurrences.

The Oklahoma Alliance for Animals says that most of the time, distressed pets are not neglected, and all that is needed is education.

“I’m not going to say there aren’t people who neglect because there are very few of them, but most of the time we can get it right,” said founder James Suarez.

But it takes a voice to speak.

“Because they can’t take care of themselves. They depend on somebody else to take care of them,” Jones said.

Fines range from $100 to $1,200 depending on the number of fines. Violation can be up to 6 months imprisonment.

Animal welfare officers and police will enforce the ordinance.

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