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Animal control ordinance may be updated

Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

The Harrison County Animal Control will go before the Harrison County Board of Commissioners on Monday night to read and request the passing of a new ordinance regarding the operations of the facility and the control, care and disposition of animals in the county.

The ordinance goes over the powers the animal control officers have. It also reviews how each animal in the county should be treated by its owner.

For instance, the ordinance says all animals in the county must have proper and adequate food, water, shelter and ventilation sufficient in size to permit the animal to exercise and move about freely. Also, it states that animals confined through the use of rope, chain or cable must have unobstructed freedom of movement of a minimum of 10 feet in an arc of 180 degrees.

The ordinance also goes over animals in vehicles, wild or exotic animals, removal of excrement, public nuisances, property required for housing livestock, abandonment, rabies control and prevention, cruelty and more.

The proposed ordinance also explains the enforcement procedures that will be set forth by animal control. Any person who violates the provisions of this ordinance and who appears at the office within 10 days of the date of the Notice of Ordinance Violation shall either admit or deny the violation.

If admitted, the violator shall pay the applicable civil penalty. This schedule may be modified from time to time by the commissioners of Harrison County. If the person served with a notice of violation fails to appear at the Animal Control Facility within 10 days of the date of notice of ordinance violation having been issued, such violation shall be filed with the Harrison County Superior Court and such violator shall be summoned to appear before said court.

If the person served with a notice of violation timely enters a denial of the violation, the violation shall be referred to the board of commissioners’ attorney and a complaint for violation or ordinance shall be filed on the ordinance violations’ docket of Harrison Superior Court.

Some fees for violations in the new ordinance are similar to those in the most recent ordinance from 2015 and include $50 for a first violation of humane treatment, $20 for a first violation of abandonment and $50 for a first violation of cruelty. Each of the fees increase as the violations continue.