Animal ordinance up for commission vote

The Quay County Commission will vote on a proposed animal ordinance during its regular meeting Sept. 7.

The commission meeting has been moved to 9 a.m., Sept 7 from Sept. 10, said County Manger Richard Primrose.

Primrose said one of the items which will be on the agenda for that meeting is Ordinance 44, which will outline the county's animal control policy. He said the commission previously approved the introduction of the ordinance for the publics viewing before the meeting.

This is a project which the commissioners have been working on for a year or more, said Brad Bryant, commissioner.

Bryant said there has been no animal control ordinance for county residents. As a result, cases of animal hoarding and dumping have resulted in the county sheriff's office having to fall back on state statutes.

Bryant said in the past, if there was an issue with dogs being at large or causing a problem, the person reporting the problem would actually have to file a police report before anything could be done. He said with an ordinance in place citations can be issued immediately for violations.

However, some animal owners are questioning and are upset about the proposed ordinance.

"This ordinance has a good base; it just needs some tweaking in order to be more effective", said Rebecca Biffle, county resident.

She said the ordinance would penalize owners of animals at large, but a dog would only have to be off the owner's property, regardless of the circumstance, to be deemed at large.

Biffle added that she moved to the county so she could own multiple dogs, but part of the ordinance would require a kennel permit, at a cost of $50 a year, for more than four animals more than four months old.

Also, Biffle said, the permit would require an inspection by the sheriff's office beforehand and consent for follow-up inspections — basically, Biffle said, giving deputies free access to property on their own schedule.

Bryant said the ordinance is not targeting any one resident or group of residents. He said it's goal is to help.

Primrose said there is a public comments section during the beginning of the meeting in order for residents to express their concerns and questions.

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