When considering a new family member there are several things to consider. One of the first considerations are the ordinances in your city. Here in Columbia, there are several ordinances to which you must pay close attention.
First you must decide what type of pet you want to have and see if there are any ordinances that prohibit that type of animal. For instance if you are considering an Exotic animal, you should think twice. Most exotic animals are wild animals and should remain wild animals. Even though the breeder says they have been domesticated, they still have the wild heritage that will most likely develop later in their life. The City of Columbia has an ordinace that prohibits the personal ownership of most exotic animals as they feel they can be dangerous to the community. If you are found to have an exotic animal in your posession you will be required to surrender the animal and pay the impoundment fees. Check Ordinance No 11910 and Ordinance No 18576 for additional details on exotic ownership.
Another ordinance you should be aware of is one that requires all cats and dogs over the age of three months to be licensed. The license fee for each dog or cat is $5.00 from the time you own the animal up to one year. After that the feel increases to 10.00 for a period of less than two years. The fees continue to rise the longer you have your pet, so check out Columbia Cod of Ordinances Sections 5-28 and 5-65.
One additional thing to consider prior to obtaining your cat or dog is how you plan on controling your new pet. Many people feel it is ok to let their animal out to roam for a little while. They think this gives the dog excercise and freedom, however there is an ordinance here in Columbia that states your pet should remain on your property at all times. Unless of course you are taking them for a walk on a leash or are in one of Columbia's designated dog parks. Now there are several ways to assure this ordinance is met; underground fencing, hard fencing, a kennel and yard stake outs. Many people do not believe in staking their pets out on a lead so it is a matter of preference. Remember if you do stake out your dog it should only be for short periods of time and be sure to provide plenty of food, water and shelter. If you are caught allowing your pet to roam freely into your neighbors yard you can be issued a summons to appear before a judge, be fined and pay a boarding fee, should your dog/cat be picked up by animal control. You must provide proof of ownership and proof of rabies vacination before your dog/cat will be returned.