Animal Advocates Say Tulsa City Councilor Broke Promise
Lacie Lowry, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- Animal advocates are upset after a promise by a Tulsa City Councilor.
Jim Mautino wants to change the city's animal ordinance -- and said he'd form a task force to get input from everyone possibly affected by his proposal. That never happened, and he's moving forward with his proposal anyway.
Councilor Mautino did tweak his proposal to address some concerns from animal agencies. But he also added some new things they still don't agree with.
Tulsa city councilor Jim Mautino is trying to change how many animals are allowed in a single household.
"It will all take care of itself. What I did was, in the ordinance where everything was lumped in together, I took and separated out the hobbyist permit," Mautino said.
Tulsa's hobbyist provision currently allows more than three dogs per household for people who have active show dogs, hunting dogs or rescued dogs.
Mautino's latest proposal allows for five show dogs or hunting dogs in a household and they don't have to be spayed or neutered.
However, those dogs can only have one litter a year. Some animal agencies, like Oklahoma Alliance for Animals, don't like it.
"It's a poorly researched, poorly crafted law and it's going to some really unintended negative consequences in the long run and that's what we want to avoid," said Shelli Holland-Handy of OAA.
Rescuers can have five of their own dogs and five rescues, as long as those animals are spayed or neutered and two-thirds of the rescuers neighbors approve.
Holland-Handy is upset Mautino never formed the task force he promised to get input from animal advocates.
"It's disappointing, very disappointing, but we were happy to see a lot of the suggestions we made did make it in to his revisions, but there's still a lot wrong with it," Holland-Handy said.
Mautino believes some people are taking advantage of the hobbyist permit by using it cover up a breeding operation. But he admits he'll likely lose this battle.
"I don't believe I'll have the votes to pass it," he said.
The Tulsa city council meets on Thursdays at 6 p.m. The Oklahoma Alliance for Animals and several other animal advocates plan on attending once again.