1-6-06- The following is a press release from the Sherman Police Department:
Our department has noticed a rise in the number of citizens who sit on business parking lots and either sell or give away animals. This seems to occur primarily with puppies and kittens. This conduct is illegal for a variety of reasons and, effective immediately, the Sherman Police Department will begin enforcing city ordinance and state law statues that this conduct violates. Previously, officers from our agency merely warned citizens to cease this conduct and took no further action. Unfortunately this illegal conduct has spread and resulted in an obvious increase in the number of citizens who sit on parking lots with small animals in hopes of selling them or giving them away. The obvious increase in this activity has caused our agency to reconsider our enforcement action and it has been determined that our agency will now pursue formal charges if citizens are caught participating in this conduct in the future. The primary focus of Sherman police officers will be the enforcement of Chapter 14 of the Sherman City Ordinances. Section 4-1 of this chapter forbids this type of conduct unless it is being performed on property that is zoned for this type of conduct. The majority of this conduct occurs at places such as Wal Mart and Town Center, neither of which is zoned for use by private citizens who wish to sell or give away animals. Furthermore, those who participate in this type conduct on property that is zoned for this type of conduct must have the permit in their possession. Another issue is that of trespassing which may not be aggressively pursued at this time. Residents of Sherman can relinquish an animal to the Sherman Animal Shelter at no charge, according to City Ordinance 2.03.006. Non Sherman residents can relinquish a healthy animal to the animal shelter for a fee of $40.00. Citizens who want to relinquish an animal to the Sherman Animal Shelter can contact them at 903-892-7255. Anyone convicted of violating this ordinance will face a fine, not to exceed $500.00.