Animal Code Update

The City of Boise is a city of avowed animal lovers. However, our City Code relating to animals and pets has not kept pace with changes over the years. In 2020 Idaho was ranked 48th out of 50 in animal protection laws. Boise City Council Member TJ Thomson has worked with the Idaho Humane Society and others in the community to bring forth the following updates that have shown success around the country in protecting and improving the lives of animals.  

The city will be gathering public input on the proposed changes until March 30, 2021. Fill out the form below to provide your input.   

General Enforcement:  

  • Clarifies city code related to dog licensing, rabies vaccinations and service animals  
  • Updates non-commercial kennel licensing code in terms of number of animals and the licensing process  
  • Amends the role and processes for the animal enforcement agency  
  • Changes vicious dog to ‘dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs’ and rewrites the approach and process for such animals 
  • Updates regarding animal nuisance to better address issues such as barking dogs to clarify standards  

The update also includes changes around animal cruelty and abuse.  Those proposals include: 

  • Creates a definition for ‘animal hoarding’ and adds it as a form of animal cruelty
  • The ‘cruelty to animals’ provision is amended to better define various types of animal cruelty and to assist with better enforcement 
  • Expands the list of prohibited animals and prohibits exotic animals from being displayed or used in a circus or animal act show 
  • Adds a section addressing feral cats and cats-at-large intended to humanely control the feral cat population 
  • Creates a new section to prohibit the sale of non-shelter dogs and cats at retail pet stores as well as the transfer of such animals on public property 
  • A section to prohibit leaving animals unattended in cars under weather conditions that endanger their wellbeing and creates a “good Samaritan” immunity from penalties, damages, criminal penalties and civil liability for those who rescue animals from life-threatening conditions 

Proposed Changes (PDF)

Updated Animal Code (PDF)

pretty dog in grass

Provide Input

Comments are now closed. Please join the public hearing on Tuesday, April 6th to learn more about the animal code update.

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