Mayor Sandy Stimpson is proposing a series of changes to the city’s animal control laws to help prevent animal cruelty in the city.

The administration is seeking to update the city’s animal shelter ordinance, stiffening the penalties for animal cruelty and banning animal fighting, among other changes.
The revised ordinance is scheduled for consideration by the Mobile City Council at Tuesday’s meeting.

“This ordinance is a direct response to feedback we’ve received from our citizens,” Stimpson said in a statement. “It is an important step not just for animal lovers, but for all the citizens of Mobile as many of these changes affect public health.”

Other amendments include bans on animal hoarding and the sale of animals in flea markets, public streets and right of ways. It also requires pet owners to vaccinate their pets for rabies.

“If we’re going to become the safest, most family-friendly city by 2020, we need to protect our animals as well as our citizens from harm,” he said.

In addition to increased fines for perpetrators, the new ordinance also clarifies the definitions for animal cruelty and neglect, which is often an issue during prosecution.

“Animal cruelty is simply unacceptable,” Stimpson said. “Anyone caught abusing an innocent animal must face the consequences.”