Orange County to review draft animal control rules

09/30/2013 12:00 AM

09/27/2013 6:39 PM

The county commissioners will talk about watch dogs, livestock and stray animals Tuesday during the second half of a discussion about proposed animal control rules.

The goal is to create one set of rules for county, Chapel Hill and Carrboro residents. Some town-specific rules, such as those for nuisance animals and chicken coops, would not change.

The idea is to make enforcement more effective and less confusing for animal control officers, officials said. It also would set up an appeals process for animal-related citations and resolve lingering issues from the 2005 creation of the Animal Services Department.

Other proposed changes would add recovery fees for strays, new rules regulating potentially dangerous or vicious dogs, and requirements for microchipping strays and dangerous or vicious dogs.

County staff also is expected to address questions that residents raised at a June 4 meeting, including:

• When does domestic livestock become a public nuisance?
• How will watch dogs and security dogs be treated in rural vs. urban areas?
• How will the county respond if a trespasser is bitten on private land?

The meeting will be held at the Department of Social Services building on Mayo Street in Hillsborough.

If the Orange County Board of Commissioners approves the draft Unified Animal Control Ordinance, the police departments in Chapel Hill and Carrboro will take it to their governing boards for approval before it’s adopted.

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