Parking lot
 pet sellers
 will need 
city permit

Expect to see fewer people selling or giving away dogs and cats from the backs of pickup trucks in parking lots around town this summer after Grand Junction City Council added teeth to an ordinance concerning the practice.

Those who want to sell pets in public spaces first must obtain a permit from the Mesa County Animal Services, which ensures the seller has obtained approval from the business to be on its property. A permit also provides proof that the animals have been seen by a veterinarian and are current on all vaccinations.

Councilors decided at Wednesday’s meeting to approve of the additional wording to the ordinance after learning that Mesa County Animal Services and Grand Junction Police Department receive multiple calls about people concerned about the welfare of the pets for sale. Buyers report unknowingly purchasing pets that are sick.

Often those pets purchased on impulse are relinquished by their owners to the county’s shelter, at a burden to the taxpayers, Mesa County Animal Services Director Penny McCarty said.

Permits are free. However, if a seller has not obtained a permit, Mesa County’s Animal Services can impound the animals after a second offense.

“If we can stop these people from giving away kittens in front of Walmart, we can help the problem,” said Val Mazrin, president of the cat advocacy group and shelter, CLAWS.

Changes to the ordinance also allows Animal Services to impound animals when their owners are wending through the criminal proceedings after being charged with animal cruelty and neglect. Also, animals that are considered to be habitual offenders, or impounded for a second or more offense, will remain impounded during the course of a proceeding.

In other news, councilors:

■ Approved the Grand Junction Police Department to purchase 70 Tasers for $75,938 from Taser International. The department’s stun guns purchased in 2006 no longer are under warranty by the manufacturer. The police department is replacing its 70 oldest Tasers this year, and plans to replace its remaining Tasers in 2014. Grand Junction Police officers have been using Tasers less over the years, according to a five-year comparison in their 2012 use of force summary. The report shows officers used Tasers 88 times in 2008, but used the weapons 50 times in 2012. In 2012, 22 suspects were injured by Tasers and four officers sustained injuries from the stun guns.

■ Approved the purchase of a Leach compressed natural gas refuse truck for $218,921 from Western Colorado Truck Center. The price reflects the cost with its trade-in value. The vehicle was the second most inexpensive after a $208,410 bid from Grand Junction Peterbuilt. Grand Junction city staff recommended councilors approve purchasing the vehicle from Western Colorado Truck Center because it has a low entry cab design for easy access; it is considered the best value based on maintenance costs; and the Leach body is under warranty by a local vendor. Over the 10-year life of the vehicle, the city would realize a total savings of $83,300 by purchasing compressed natural gas vehicle compared to a diesel model, the city calculated. However, the compressed natural gas vehicle costs about $40,000 more than its diesel counterpart.

■ Approved spending $127,338 to purchase a lead containment trap for the firing range at 27 1/4 Road used by the Grand Junction Police Department. Lead remediation from bullets used at the range should ensure the facility does not face fines or closure of the range by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. According to city staff, 27 agencies use the firing range and lead has not been remediated from the area in its 50 years in operation.

The system will be purchased from Action Target in Provo, Utah. A total of $140,000 is budgeted for the project.


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