County Mayor Shelvy Linville said during the “Full Body” meeting at the courthouse that adhering to the guidelines will require a certain amount “trial and error” as well as some “common sense.”
Commissioners first discussed the guidelines during the “Committee of the Whole” meeting April 5.
During that meeting, Commissioner David Crowder raised concerns about requiring all impounded animals to be spayed or neutered before being released.
The issue, as expressed by Crowder: What if a person’s prized breeding animal gets loose and is picked up and sent to the pound. Would that animal be required to be spayed or neutered before being released?
The answer, according to the revised guidelines approved by commissioners, is no.
Linville said he reworded that portion of the guidelines to add a loophole of sorts to accommodate for the chance that an animal used for breeding winds up in the pound.
To accommodate for such cases, the words “unless otherwise approved” were added to the guidelines, which now read:
“No dog, unless otherwise approved, shall be released in any event from the pound until such dog has been vaccinated, spayed or neutered and a tag placed on its collar. Owner much show proof if animal has already been vaccinated, spayed or neutered.”
Said Linville: “There’s going to have to be some common sense thrown in here too. You just can’t have everything fits all. We’ve got to start somewhere. This is going to be a lot of trial and error. If we start seeing certain situations that maybe need to be changed, we may have to come back [and reword the guidelines to accommodate].
“We’re not going to be looking for somebody’s prized coon hound. We’re basically talking about stray dogs that people drop off. I think these guidelines cover it about as good as we can cover it at this point.”
Said Commissioner Jerry Ray: “The dog pound guy is going to have to make some kind of calls on his own. The dog pound guy is going to have to use some common sense.”
Commissioner Ronnie McDuffee asked Linville for a timetable regarding the opening of the dog pound.
“This is part of it right here,” Linville said, referring to the guidelines. “Then we’ve got to get some equipment and we’ve got to buy a truck. Hopefully we’ll have enough money in the budget to do that.
“If not, then we may have to wait until we do the new budget before we actually start operating it. I can’t give you a date at this point as to when we’re going to start operating it.”
Linville added that it would open “soon” but stressed again that he wasn’t sure “if we’ve got enough money left to buy a truck, pay a salary and do what all needs to be done at this particular point until we do a new budget.”
The motion to approve the guidelines was made by Ray and seconded by Scott Gammons.
The approved guidelines read as follows:
101. Seizure and disposition of dogs. Any dog running at large may be seized by the Animal Control Officer or any law enforcement officer and placed in a pound provided or designated by the governing body. If said dog is wearing a tag, the owner shall be notified in five (5) days and redeem dog by paying a reasonable pound fee, to be fixed by the Pound Committee or the dog will be humanely destroyed or adopted out. If the dog is not wearing a tag, it shall be humanely destroyed or adopted out unless claimed by the owner within four (4) days. No dog, unless otherwise approved, shall be released in any event from the pound until such dog has been vaccinated, spayed or neutered and a tag placed on its collar. Owner much show proof if animal has already been vaccinated, spayed or neutered.
When, because of its viciousness or apparent infection with rabies, a dog found running at large cannot be safely impounded, it may be summarily destroyed by the Animal Control officer or any law enforcement officer.
Whenever a situation exists in the field involving a severely diseased or injured dog, the animal may be transported directly to a veterinarian for immediate euthanasia. If an emergency situation exists, the Animal Control officer or any law enforcement officer may humanely destroy the animal.
102. Euthanasia. Euthanasia shall be performed by a veterinarian only at their facility and the carcass disposed of by means of cremation by the veterinarian.
103. Pound fees. If owner claims their dog from the pound after seizure, the pick-up fee will be waived for the first occasion however a Boarding fee of $15.00 per day will be assessed. Should that same animal be picked up again then a $50.00 pick-up fee will be imposed each time in addition to the $15.00 per day Boarding fee. This will be in addition to the shots if applicable.
104. Adoption Process. Dogs housed at the pound shall be subject to adoption by the general public. An adoption fee of $50.00 will be imposed plus shots, spay or neutering required.