FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Fort Smith Board of Directors voted unanimously on Feb. 7 to approve an ordinance prohibiting the transfer of animals within the corporate limits of the city.

According to a press release from the Fort Smith Police Department, violating the ordinance is a misdemeanor and will result in a $600 fine.

The release says the ordinance will take effect on March 7 with the original ordinance remaining in effect until then.

The ordinance says “no person or entity shall sell, trade, offer as gift, or give away any animal at any location in the corporate city limits of Fort Smith.”

The release says the prohibition applies to both transient merchants and holders of temporary use permits.

The release says there are exemptions to the ordinance.

The first exemption pertains to a retail animal sales business operated from a permanent physical location owned or leased by the business.

The second exemption pertains to home occupation location which provides animal ownership transfer activities solely from a permanent physical location owned or leased by the home occupation, properly issued a home occupation license after approval in accordance with the UDO and holding a properly issued business license.

Any for-profit or nonprofit government entity operating an animal shelter in accordance with the city which provides animal ownership transfer solely from a properly zoned permanent physical location is also exempt.

A person or entity holding and in compliance with a breeder license that provides animal ownership transfer solely from the permanent physical location of the kennel is also exempt.

The last exemption pertains to a resident who owns an animal and transfers ownership because of an inability or absence of desire to care for the animal. Any second or subsequent transfer of ownership of an animal during the period of six months from the date of the initial transfer can be deemed proof of acting in the course of business.

The release says no person or entity can transfer ownership without first vaccinating the animal.

According to the release, keeping or raising small domestic animals for commercial purposes in residential zones is also prohibited.