New Animal Neglect Law Carries Stiff Penalty

CLEVELAND (AP) - The Cleveland City Council is giving pet owners a choice: take care of Rover or go to jail.

The Council approved a measure Monday night that makes neglect of dogs, cats and other pets a crime that carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail.

It also imposes a temporary limit of four adult dogs or cats per household. That limit will expire in six months unless the council figures out a way to exempt responsible breeders.

The law says that pet owners must provide clean bowls and enough food and water for pets to maintain normal growth and weight.

Animals kept outside must have shelter, and pet owners are required to give animals a chance to exercise. They also must take pets to the vet when needed.

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