Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Dallas Ordinance Prohibits Animals as Auction Items

Springtime is a prime time for nonprofits and schools to host fund-raising events, so this is a good time to remind everyone that it is illegal in the City of Dallas to offer puppies, kittens or any live animal as auction prizes.

Last summer the Dallas City Council passed new ordinances to improve the quality of life for animals, including Sec. 7-7.6, which makes it illegal to sell, exchange, raffle, auction or give away—or offer to sell, exchange, raffle or give away—any live animal as “a prize; an inducement to enter a place of amusement or a business establishment; or an inducement to participate in a charitable fund-raising event.”

Here’s what happens at so many charity events that have auctioned animals in the past: You’re at an event, feeling generous, supporting a cause you care about—maybe enjoying a drink or two. Suddenly you see the cutest puppy EVER! Caught up in the emotion and cheered on by your friends, you make the high bid—after all, it’s for a good cause. You get home, reality sets in, and you have a living, breathing puppy to care for. What were you thinking??

The reasoning for the new ordinance is simple and makes perfect sense to animal-welfare organizations: Adopting a puppy or kitten should be a thoughtful, deliberate decision—not one that’s made at the spur of the moment or as an emotional response. It’s a lifetime commitment that requires a great deal of time and financial resources.

While some nonprofits and schools may be upset to learn of this new law, it’s a good thing for the animals!

For more information about all the ordinances concerning animals in Dallas (tethering, intact animals, dogs in pickup truck beds, pet limits and more), go to

-Jonnie England
Metroplex Animal Coalition