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ACS details new shade ordinance, requirement for pet owners

Shade, food, water are some requirements for pet owners

SAN ANTONIO – The city's shade ordinance went into effect Aug. 2 with its purpose to help protect four-legged friends from the unforgiving South Texas heat.

"If you go to a house and it's 100 degrees outside and they don't have a doghouse and they don't have water you're going to be receiving citations. If you go out there and they have a doghouse, maybe they don't have some shade right now I'm going to educate them," Kassi Bennett, ACS District 5 officer, said.

The ordinance requires pet owners to provide shade to pets at all times.

Adequate shade includes tree, shrubs or other foliage, as well as created shades areas like patios, canopies, awnings or pop-up umbrellas.

Bennett, who has been on the job for three years, said she spends her time patrolling the city's West Side fighting for those who don't have a voice.

On Friday, she got a call about from a concerned citizen.

"We got a call for this house because of the dogs outside are without any shelter or shade. They do have a child's playhouse but that's not an adequate shelter," Bennett said.

Despite the pet owner not being present at the time, a notice of the violation was posted on the home's front gate.

ACS said they will be to make sure changes are made. If the pet owner refuses to comply, they may be cited.

"We have civil citations, which start at $300, and that can go to criminal citations, which range in the thousands," Bennett said.

Bennett encourages anyone aware of shade ordinance violations to pick up the phone and call.

"They're going to want to call 311. If they see the neglect like no shade, if it's an emergency and that dog's in distress, they can call SAPD (the nonemergency number)," Bennett said.