Following months of delay, a draft of an ordinance that would stiffen penalties for animal cruelty and neglect, establish an animal shelter and a city run sterilization program, received its first reading Saturday before the Cuenca cantonal council.
Proponent of the ordinance and president of the local animal health commission, Gabriela Brito, said she hoped that the proposal will proceed quickly to a second reading before the council and will be voted into law. “We are happy that we have finally made it to this stage and have worked hard with several government and private organizations,” she said.
“We hope the ordinance will be presented for final consideration in two weeks and that it will be passed and sent to the mayor for his signature,” she added.
According to Brito, the ordinance establishes a management system for domestic animal issues that is currently lacking.
The ordinance will establish several services that will be phased in over a period of about a year. Among the provisions is one requiring pet owners to tag their animals. The ordinance would also establish city veterinary services, including an animal sterilization program.
A shelter for neglected animals will be established at a date to be determined.