Hearing Monday On New Animal Rules

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 29, 2014

A amendment animal ordinance will be considered by county commissioners Monday after they hear from the public about the 17-page proposal.
The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the second floor meeting room of the county administration building in Downtown Mocksville. The proposal took up an hour and a half at a recent workshop, and can be read in its entirety by visiting the county’s website, www.daviecountync.gov.
The discussion started in April when residents of one community complained about ongoing problems with dogs.
A dog may be declared potentially or dangerous if: a resident will testify in writing the dog’s behavior; dog bite reports are filed with animal control; actions of the dog witnessed by officers; a declaration from another authority; and other credible evidence.
There are appeal options for dog owners whose animals are declared dangerous.
Those dogs can be held at the owner’s expense. To get them back, the owner would have to prove they had sufficient enclosure to contain the animal; a liability insurance policy of at least $100,000 for damages or injuries caused by the dog; a photograph of the dog; a microchip and number; proof of sterilization; and not be outside the enclosure unless controlled by a person at least age 16 and with muzzle and restraints.
Any potentially dangerous dog without 100 feet of an area freaquented by children may be confiscated.
Fines for violating this part of the ordinance go from a $250 civil penalty and fees, money to pay for impoundment. The fine increases for each offense.
Dogs that are not picked up by the owners, including paying the fines, will be put to sleep if not adoptable. Aggressive dogs are not released for adoption. The animal control director has the final say in those decisions.
The new ordinance re-inforces the ban on wild and exotic animals. Those who can prove they had these animals before 2006 have to meet guidelines and register the animals.
Exotic and wild animals are described as: “An animal that wold ordinarily be confined to a zoo, or one that would ordinarily be found in the wilderness of this or any other country, or one that is a species of animal not indigenous to the United States or North America, known at law as ferae naturae, one that otherwise is likely to cause a reasonable person to be fearful of significant destruction of property or of bodily harm, including but not limited to all: raccoons, sauirrels, ocelots, bobcats, wolves, venomous reptiles and other such animals.” They also include primates weighing more than 25 pounds at maturity, and non-venomous reptiles more than 10 feet in length.