El Paso Municipal Code: Title 7 Proposed Changes (Pet Limit)

El Paso Title 7 Proposed Changes

Environmental Services has proposed some changes to Title 7 of the El Paso Municipal Code, the section of the local laws that oversee pets and animals in the city. One of the proposals is to place a LIMIT on the number of pets in a household to FOUR.

El Paso strongly is opposed to this proposed change and we have created our position with an alternative proposal in our petition. If you agree with our position we ask you as a member of our community to join us by signing our petition below.


This petition is to address this community’s position AGAINST the proposed limit on pets for each household to be added to Title 7.
On Thursday, April 30, 2015 Environmental Services of El Paso made a presentation at 7968 San Paulo at 5:30 PM. The proposed changes to Title 7 included placing a limit of FOUR pets (dogs/cats, in any combination) on pet owners. The limit proposal’s intent, according to city administrators, is to reduce nuisance complaints by the public and reduce response time to higher priority calls, according to Environmental Services.

We, as a community, feel that this proposed limit is overreaching without merit as Environmental Services provided no qualitative nor quantitative data to connect any public health or nuisance violations with the fact that a home has multiple pets of five or more by itself without other variables.

We understand that it is important that residents of a community have their right to live in peace but is unfair and unethical for a government to place a limit on pets in a home if they are being properly cared for and not creating a noise issue. Enforcing nuisance violations should be the responsibility of the city regardless of the number of pets in a home. Environmental Services states that one reason for delayed response times between calls is due to many officers responding to low priority barking calls. We strongly feel that setting a limit on pets will only create more calls and tie up more officers responding to these calls when there hasn’t been an instance of nuisance violations in the first place.



I, Charlie Moreno, CPDT-KA, as a certified dog trainer, dog behavior consultant, animal advocate, rescuer, and responsible pet owner, feel that a better alternative to limiting the number of pets in a home would be to educate pet owners and complainants. 311 dispatchers and Animal Control Officers can provide helpful information on how to reduce the barking between themselves to reduce the amount of time spent by the city on these calls so they can focus more on animal cruelty, neglect, and true quality of life issues of our animals. Directing the callers to a page on the city’s website that provides resources for the complainant as well a printable materials that can be left anonymously at the pet owner’s home to allow the pet owner to correct the problem without taking up officer’s time and freeing up resources for higher priority calls.

For example:
Sophia A. Yin, DVM, MS, a world renowned author and Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, and Sarah L. Richardson, PhD completed a study for U.C. Davis at Berkeley, California regarding “nuisance barking” in 2004 and it revealed very important information from a scientific standpoint.
The study’s introduction leaves a very important fact:

Between 25 and 30 percent of dogs relinquished to shelters are relinquished due to behavior problems (Salman 1998; Wells & Hepper 2000).

Adding a limit to the number of pets a home does not address the underlying issue of what is causing the problem behavior.
The conclusion of the study suggests that:

because a majority of excessive barking occurs when the owner is home and thus available to reinforce alternate behaviors, because many excessive barkers bark at specific stimuli rather than out of non-specific boredom, and because remote punishment has low long-term efficacy, solutions to excessive barking should focus on helping owners understand the causes of barking and providing them with positive reinforcement shaping procedures that address the specific etiologies” (Yin, 2004).

I hope that government agencies can see how important this is to our community if we want to lead a more positive and progressive community.

Wells DL, Hepper PG. Prevalence of behaviour problems reported by owners of dogs purchased from an animal rescue shelter. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 2000;69:55-65.
Yin S. A remote-controlled positive reinforcement solution to excessive barking in dogs. Animal Behavior Society 2004.

AGAINST El Paso's Title 7 Proposal: Limit of 4 Pets To Each Household


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One Comment

  1. chara says:

    I think there should be limit we have a neighbor with 12 large dogs. The bark and carry day after day forget sleep the barking is ridiculous the man is always yelling with this many dogs the flies and smell from his house is aweful. You can’t op em your windows for a fresh breeze because they stink. My children have hard time napping because those dogs don’t quite. So try buying a house that you spend your life paying for to live next to that. It’s gross and there isn’t enough space for them those dogs need a farm to run on. Foster care of children you need to have a set amount of space per child and these dogs are larger then little kids and they are all cramped into a small space live on my street you would change your mind