Changes to animal control ordinance addresses loose dogs, kennels
Published 8:00 am Friday, April 7, 2023
The Fiscal court passed the second reading of amendments to the animal control ordinance at their meeting on March 28. The changes are in response to concerns about loose dogs and about ensuring kennel quality, according to magistrates.
Ordinance 842.0 was enacted April 26, 2016, and it relates to the care, custody, and control of dogs and cats in Boyle County. In the years since its passing, discussions about changing the ordinance have come up several times in response to different issues.
More recently, County Administrator Julie Wagner said that the Danville Boyle County Humane Society requested some of the changes, specifically regarding community cats, their trap-neuter-vaccinate-release program, regulations about found animals, and about releasing animals back to owners.
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The amendments added or updated definitions for things like ear-tipped cat, community cat, dog, etc.
These, along with other additions, make up Ordinance 842.1. The entire ordinance can be read here: Ordinance 842.1 animal control.
Below are some of the major changes made.
The ordinance states, “At no time shall an owner or guardian permit any dog to run at large within the County of Boyle.”
The ordinance defines “running at large” as, “Any animal that is off the owner’s or guardian’s property and is not restrained.” It makes an exception for a hound or other hunting dog which has been released from restraint for hunting purposes, or training as a hunting animal.
Anyone in violation shall, for a first or second offense, be fined between $50 and $100; and for a third or subsequent offense, be fined between $100 and $250, and/or be imprisoned in the county jail for between five and 30 days.
Magistrate Tom Ellis said he has gotten complaints about at least two different packs of dogs running around in his district. He said a pack recently killed a small pet dog.
Owners or guardians shall not permit a dog deemed by a court a “vicious dog” to run at large or appear in public. Anyone violating this rule shall be fined between $100 and $500, or be imprisoned in the county jail for between five to 60 days.
Any owner of a dog deemed by a court a “vicious dog” needs to annually register the dog with Animal Control.
At the time of registration, they need to submit two color photographs of the dog, submit proof of rabies vaccination, proof that the dog has been spayed or neutered, proof of microchip installation or injection into the dog, and proof of the ability to satisfy damages up to $100,000 for injury or death, or for damage to property that may result from the ownership, possession, or maintenance of a vicious dog.
The following addition regarding complaints about vicious dogs was added: “A complaint under this section may be established if an Animal Control Officer has received, from at least two unrelated adults from different residences or from one adult witness with a recorded video showing the alleged violation, a sworn affidavit attesting to the committing of a nuisance pursuant to this subsection or the animal control officer or deputy has witnessed the commission of such a nuisance. Affidavits must come from residents within a 1,000-foot radius of the property where the violation occurred.”
All commercial kennels in the county will now receive yearly inspections by Animal Control. This includes state-licensed veterinary hospitals and clinics that advertise boarding or services other than treatment.
This is to ensure quality care as defined in the ordinance’s section about “minimum care” standards.
Minimum care requirements include having indoor enclosures for each animal housed; those enclosures are to be of an impervious material for easy cleaning and disinfecting; outdoor enclosures must be cleaned daily with a disinfectant; animals occupying the space must be removed during cleaning; within indoor enclosures, each animal shall have sufficient space to move around, and an adequate exercise area; beds or resting benches shall be constructed of impervious material and be kept clean; food shall be free from contamination and be of sufficient quantity; animals shall have fresh water available at all times.
The following regulations were added:
• Building temperatures shall be maintained at a safe and comfortable level, taking into consideration the type, age, and condition of the animals being housed. Ambient temperature must not fall below 40°F for more than four consecutive hours, and must not rise above 85°F for more than four consecutive hours when dogs are present. Adequate ventilation shall be maintained by means of windows, doors, vents, and fans.
• Kennels must be lighted well enough to permit routine inspection, cleaning, and observation of the dogs. Dog areas must be provided a regular diurnal lighting cycle of both natural and/or artificial light, and lighting must be uniformly diffused throughout the facility for the well being of the dogs.
The kennel license fee is increasing from $50 to $100 a year.
All dogs running at large may be seized by Animal Control and impounded at the Boyle County Animal Shelter, which is jointly operated by the Boyle County Fiscal Court and the Danville-Boyle County Humane Society.
All animals of any age which have bitten or scratched a human and which cannot be adequately quarantined or found not properly quarantined may be seized by an Animal Control Officer or peace officer and impounded by the BCAS for any applicable quarantine period.
If an animal is impounded, the owner is responsible for a reasonable fee for board, administration, and medical attention during the impoundment.
An addition to this section is: “The Shelter/Animal Control Director may waive the fees for owners facing economic hardship or other extenuating circumstances deemed appropriate by the director.”
• Any cat with evidence of ownership, such as an ID tag or microchip impounded in the BCAS, shall be held a minimum of five days. If the animal is not claimed by its owner within five days of impoundment, the animal will be transferred to DBCHS for adoption or rescue, or may be euthanized at the discretion of the Director of Animal Control.
An addition: “Cats or kittens without ID or microchip shall be transferred to DBCHS for adoption, rescue, or the Community Cat Program with no mandatory holding period.”
• When any licensed dog is impounded, Animal Control shall notify the owner by telephone, email, Facebook post, and/or notice on the door. Failing that, Animal Control shall notify the owner by certified mail, return receipt requested, within three business days of impoundment. If the certified mail is returned undeliverable, the animal shall be held for at least 14 days.
• There’s a $25 “pick up” or release fee for impounded animals. The pickup fee may be waived for first offense.
An amendment also takes out the section about noisy animals and fines for owners with noisy animals.