ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Round Rock city council approved changes to the fire safety requirements for dog daycare facilities following a tragic fire in Georgetown in 2021 that left 75 animals dead.

Any existing animal care facilities in Round Rock that do not have the proper safety requirements in place will have two years to install the changes.

What is required now?

The Round Rock fire department proposed changes to the city ordinances to ensure the safety of animals.

The Ponderosa Pet Resort, an animal daycare business in Georgetown, caught on fire in September of 2021 and 75 animals died. It was discovered the business did not have a fire suppression system or any overnight staffing.

Georgetown changed its ordinances after the fire.

Once the amendment is officially adopted at the next Round Rock City Council meeting on April 13, any new animal care company will be required to install a monitored alarm system.

The changes also require any existing animal care business that adds additional square footage or height to its building must add a sprinkler system. Before the amendment, the ordinance only required a sprinkler system for buildings 10,000 square feet and higher.

The fire department found there are four animal care businesses in city limits that would need to install a monitored alarm system.

The cost of safety

The fire department presented the changes to council on March 23 and provided a cost estimate for installing a fire system.

Fire Chief Shane Glaiser said the approximate cost for a business to install the system would be between $1.50 and $4.00 per square foot. Glaiser said the Fire Marshal’s office reached out to businesses around Round Rock about the changes.

Businesses will have two years after the change to make the proper fixes and installations.

“We want to allow the businesses to be able to budget and kind of be able to forecast pricing for future stays for animals so that it’s not a hard budgetary hit to them,” Glaiser said.