Preliminary cost for canine-control ordinance surfaces -

Preliminary cost for canine-control ordinance surfaces

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - The cost of a canine control ordinance surfaced at Monday’s Pitt County Commissioners meeting and it's a significant increase. For weeks people have expressed concern for roaming dogs and the threat they pose to the public.

On paper, it would keep dogs restrained; it would make it unlawful for a dog to be at-large, hunting dogs being the exception. Any pet owner permitting a dog to be at large shall pay a civil penalty of:

1)     First Violation: $50 plus shelter reclamation and boarding fees
2)     Second Violation: $100 plus shelter reclamation and boarding fees
3)     Succeeding violation: $250 plus shelter reclamation and boarding fees

The holding time will also be extending from 72 hours to 120 hours.

Commissioners seem open to the idea of a canine control ordinance, but the expansion comes at a cost.

Instead of paying $339,049 for Animal Control, the county would have to dish out $953,681. The Animal Control Advisory Board says the increase is necessary to pay for a larger facility (6,000 sq ft.), 5 more workers and a one-time start up cost ($130,350) for new officers.

Beth Sanchez, a concern citizen and likely candidate for the Pitt County Animal Control Advisory Board helped draft the ordinance. On Monday, she told commissioners it's time to move forward. "I believe today is the day, it's now that I hand over the canine control ordinance to the board of commissioners."

Several components of interest---but not included in the ordinance is an anti-tethering component and a licensing fee for anyone with a dog.

Cost is definitely an issue and commissioners are thinking about phasing these regulations in. Nothing has been voted on yet.

Commissioners say they are waiting for scheduled budget workshops to make a decision. The Sheriff’s Office and Department of Social Services are asking commissioners for more money too.
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