Washington, D.C. Considers Numerous Changes to its Municipal Animal Care Ordinances

The “Animal Care and Control Omnibus Amendment Act of 2021” would make numerous updates to the District of Columbia municipal regulations concerning companion animals. It would: 1) authorize animal control vehicles to operate emergency lights and sirens when responding to life-threatening animal emergencies; 2) enable the Washington Humane Society to recover costs incurred boarding animals during a pending criminal or other proceeding; 3) prohibit declawing of cats; 4) require pet stores to offer only rescue animals; 5) ban the ownership of dogfighting tools and equipment; 6) criminalize bestiality; and 7) require family law judges to make joint or sole custody decisions that reflect the best interest of the animal in cases of divorce.