Dog and cat owners will be required to provide shade to their outdoor animals under a proposal that was unanimously approved by City Council today,News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Shannon Sims of San Antonio's Animal Control Department, told Council his officers say plenty of heartbreaking scenes of dogs chained in the back yard or left in a fenced in area baking under the summer sun with nowhere to turn for relief.
He says shade will be added to the list of items which outdoor animal are already required to have.
"Animals are required to have access to fresh air, food, water, shelter, access to veterinary care if they need it, and exercise," he said.
But Sims says some sort of shade needs to be added to that list, whether it is from a tree, an awning or umbrella, or from some other source.
"The animal must have shelter, but also must have a shade structure to provide them with relief from the heat," he said. "The shade has to be separate from the shelter. Those of us who go camping know that if it is 100 degrees, the last place you want to be is inside that tent, when its 100 degrees."
Sims says the shade will become one of what are called 'Section 5 Requirements' for pets, and pet owners could face fines of $300, loss of the pet, even jail time for repeat offenders.