An animal rescue’s relocation has led Bossier City to create an ordinance for animal shelters.
At the Jan. 29 Bossier City Council agenda meeting, Sam Marsiglia, director for the Bossier City-Parish Metropolitan Planning Commission, told the council that an ordinance was created because there aren’t specific regulations in place for private animal shelters.
“These private animal shelters are becoming popular all over the country, and they just go in a commercial district. It could be near a house or it could be near a business, so we wanted some rules regarding them,” Marsiglia said. “If they’re in a commercial district, we wanted to limit the size of the animals to 30 pounds and under. If they want larger animals, they will go into an industrial or agricultural district.”
The need for regulations was realized after Port City Cat Rescue requested approval to move into a new facility off Benton Road.
According to the ordinance, shelters that are approved in a general business district must keep animals inside only.
When a shelter is located in a residential agriculture district, all animals must be kept separate from an adjoining single-family residences by at least 100 feet.
Keri Mueller, treasurer for the Port City Cat Rescue, said that she is glad that the city is looking into creating zoning regulations for organizations like theirs.
“It was a difficult process for us to be approved for occupancy simply because our city’s code didn’t included ‘animal shelters’ in the zoning code. We agree with the proposal that shelters for small animals housed indoors fit into commercial zones,” Mueller said. “ We’re excited to see the city take steps to fill in the gaps in our zoning code and hope this will lead to better partnerships between our city and privately owned and funded organizations seeking to improve animal welfare in our community.”
Marsiglia said the ordinance will also prohibit residents from running animal shelters out of their homes.
“There are a lot of various things that are popping up, and people are doing them in their houses too, so that’s another reason for the ordinance,” he said. “We don’t want people in a neighborhood opening up one of these in their houses.”
Because the regulation deals with zoning, Marsiglia said his office will enforce the ordinance, with help from animal control.
The city council will vote on introducing the ordinance at its Feb. 5 regular meeting.