CASPER, Wyo. — Partially motivated by concern over animal bites in the city, the Casper City Council adopted a new animal care and control ordinance on Feb. 19, 2019.
The ordinance strengthened rules requiring dogs to be on leashes and required fencing able to “sufficiently control the animal.”
City Attorney John Henley says in a memo included in the city council’s Tuesday June 23, 2020 work session work packet that Casper’s animal control officers have requested a number of further changes to the animal care and control ordinance.
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Statistic regarding the number of animal bites in Casper in 2018 and 2019 from the Casper Police Department are also included in the memo. The police department took on oversight of Casper’s animal protection officers on July 1, 2018.
In the first six months of 2018, animal protection officers received 381 reports of animal bites, but the memo states that the police department “tightened up reporting criteria” after animal protection officers switched over to their department.
In the second half of 2018, animal protection officers responded to:
- 79 animal bites of humans who weren’t their owners
- 17 animal bites of their owners
- 2 animal bites of other animals
The Casper PD says there were 479 total bites in 2018. In 2019, there were a total of 375 bites, down 21.7% from 2018.
Animal protection officers responded to the following reports of bites in 2019:
- 270 animal bites of humans who weren’t their owners (230 in Casper, 40 outside of city limits)
- 53 animal bites of their owners
- 52 animal bites of other animals
The Casper PD says that of the 230 reports of animal bites of non-owners within Casper in 2019, animal protection officers responded directly to medical treatment facilities where an injured party was seeking treatment. Therefore, Casper PD says that a number of those bites may have occurred outside of Casper as well.
In an additional seven instances, victims reported directly to the Metro Animal Shelter and the bites may likewise have originated outside of the city.
The city council will discuss proposed changes to definitions of the animal care and control ordinance on Tuesday. Details of the proposed changes are included in the council’s work packet.