Kenai City Hall on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai City Hall on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Changes made to Kenai animal control laws

Changes to the Kenai Municipal Code relating to animal control were unanimously approved by the Kenai City Council at their Feb. 3 meeting.

Among other things, changes to the code include establishing progressive fines for multiple offenses, providing a citation process that allows animal control to address livestock and to incorporate mandatory court appearances into the city’s fine schedule.

The city will remove mandatory court appearances for first-time violations. In a memo to the council, Kenai City Attorney Scott Bloom wrote that eliminating the court appearances will give animal control officers an opportunity to educate and work with animal owners. Cruelty to animals violations, however, will remain a first-time mandatory court appearance, Bloom wrote.

Mandatory court appearances for first-time violations will be replaced with progressive fines. The first violation fine will cost $50; the second violation fine will cost $100 and the third violation will result in a mandatory court appearance and a fine of up to $500. Violations would need to occur in the same calendar year.

Additionally, the fine for having an unlicensed dog will be increased from $25 to $50. According to Bloom’s memo, the current cost of a non-sterilized dog license is $30.60, meaning it is cheaper for people to pay the fine than for the license.

In regard to livestock, Bloom wrote that giving animal control the authority and management to assess fines for livestock violations “will provide clarity to the public and make enforcement less burdensome.”

The council also approved an amendment that changes language in the corresponding section of city code to the “appropriate gender neutral terms.”

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at

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