Animal boarding businesses in Round Rock may soon be subject to additional safety requirements pending action of city officials.

In response to a November 2021 fire at the Ponderosa Pet Resort in nearby Georgetown, Round Rock city staff are currently working on a possible ordinance requiring the addition of sprinkler systems and carbon monoxide detectors for existing businesses that board animals, Fire Department Chief Shane Glaiser said during a Jan. 24 packet briefing.

"There's no question sprinklers are really the way to go," Glaiser said. "But we're also looking at how to enforce this on businesses that are already existing without putting a big financial burden on them."

Glaiser said the requirement would impact existing businesses with facilities 10,000 square feet and larger if approved. These existing businesses would be expected to comply with the new requirement within two years under the current iteration of the proposed ordinance, to allow for budgeting and completion of the update, Glaiser said. Should the ordinance be approved, any new businesses offering the boarding of animals for more than 24 hours would be required to have a sprinkler system and carbon monoxide detector regardless of the facility's size.

These amendments to the city's existing ordinance governing pet boarding would also have clear exclusions for veterinary facilities, pet owners renting residential property and agricultural facilities.

The potential requirements will not be formally posed to the City Council until a future meeting, City Manager Laurie Hadley said.

This is an ongoing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.