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Boise's new animal code goes into effect

Overhauls to the City of Trees' animal code include a ban on "puppy mills," criminalizing leaving pets in hot cars and outlawing the use of animals in circus acts.
Dogs at the Idaho Humane Society

BOISE, Idaho — After Boise's updated and "compassionate" animal codes were approved by the city council last month, the new codes went into effect on Monday, June 7.

Overhauls to the City of Trees' animal code include a ban on "puppy mills," criminalizing leaving pets in hot cars and outlawing the use of animals in circus acts. 

The changes to city code were speared-headed by councilmember TJ Thompson, who said in a statement that the updated code sets a new "gold standard."

"This represents a complete re-write of our animal code, setting the 'gold standard' for our furry friends and creates a 'compassionate animal code' for our family companions and exotic animal friends that is more in line with Boise's kindhearted values," Thomson said in a statement. "My hope is that other municipalities across Idaho follow suit and adopt these changes to ensure all our furry friends, regardless of where they reside, share the same benefits of a code that looks out for their safety, care, and well-being."

The revamped animal code now prohibits leaving animals inside of cars when it threatens their health, creates a "Good Samaritan" immunity for those who rescue animals from life-threatening conditions, like being trapped in a hot car, after they call 911, and bans the sale of shelter animals at retail stores.

Back in May, the new code was widely supported during a public hearing. Local groups, such as the Idaho Capital City Kennel Club, and national organizations, including campaigns to outlaw puppy mills, testified in support of it.

"There are many parts of this code that reflect not only good practices but truly the emerging best practices in standards of veterinary care, standards for animal cruelty, standards for how a moral, caring, loving and just society treats its non-human, living members," councilmember Patrick Bageant told the Idaho Press when it was passed.