The Volusia County Council June 7 adopted a brand new animal-control ordinance that prohibits acts that would end in ache, struggling or dying to canines, cats and different pets.
“This has been a long time in coming,” Council Member Billie Wheeler mentioned.
“Ten years,” mentioned Karen Clark, a longtime member of the county’s Animal Control Advisory Board.
As nicely as spelling out commonplace provisions for licensing, maintaining and caring for home animals, selecting up stray animals, and coping with harmful canines, the ordinance allows extra well timed intervention to go off animal mistreatment.
“The best thing is that you don’t have to wait 10 to 15 days to save a starving animal,” Clark mentioned.
The ordinance applies solely within the unincorporated areas of the county and contained in the cities of Edgewater and Oak Hill, which contract with the county for animal-control companies. Otherwise, cities should make their very own animal legal guidelines.
“We hope this ordinance will be a model for the cities,” Council Member Danny Robins mentioned.
Primary factors of the revised law embrace:
— No long-term tethering or chaining of canines or cats
— Nuisance animals, corresponding to canines that bark repeatedly and disturb neighbors or that create unsanitary or harmful situations, are the duty of their homeowners
— An animal now not wished might not be merely deserted.
— The proprietor of an animal might not depart it in an unattended car with out enough air flow, particularly on a scorching day, and with out water.
— If somebody sees an animal confined or struggling inside a locked automobile, he/she might forcibly enter the car to take away the animal, with out being held civilly liable for any injury to the car.
“Nobody leaves a child in a car to die on purpose,” County Chair Jeff Brower mentioned.
“The reality is, sometimes it happens,” county Animal Control Director Adam Leath mentioned.
— Caregivers for feral-cat colonies are not required to safe pet licenses for the animals, however should lure cats older than 12 weeks for sterilization, and so they should make sure the animals are vaccinated in opposition to rabies yearly.
— No individual might declaw cats, besides a veterinarian who deems the removing of claws “necessary for therapeutic reasons.”
— Unless achieved by a veterinarian, cropping canines’ or cats’ ears or reducing off their tails, is prohibited.
Violations of the ordinance are punishable by a fantastic of as a lot as $500.
Leath adopted up relating to the restrictions on clipping animals.
“You are removing an appendage of the animal and can create pain and suffering,” he advised the council.
Leath mentioned his company is working to scale back animal overpopulation by providing low-cost spaying and neutering of cats and canines, even for animals whose homeowners reside in cities.
In reality, Leath added, through the previous quarter, 38 p.c of the individuals coming to the county’s cellular pet-sterilization clinic had been from the cities.
“We average about 30 surgeries per day,” he mentioned. “That will be increased to 60 after we get our new mobile unit in August.”
Leath hailed passage of the ordinance, which was authorized by a unanimous vote of the County Council.
“Today is a big day for animals,” he mentioned.
“Animals are family. They are part of the family. They are not property,” Jeannine Colletti, one other member of the Animal Control Advisory Board, mentioned.