In an effort to bring the county animal control department in line with state regulations and provide for a more effective operation, the Stokes County Board of Commissioners approved a number of changes to the county’s animal control ordinances Monday.
The new ordinances provide definitions for dangerous dogs and potentially dangerous dogs, provide guidelines for dealing with dangerous or nuisance dogs, and clarifies procedures to reduce the risk of rabies.
Under the ordinance, dangerous dogs are defined as a a dog that has, without provocation, killed or inflicted serious injury on a person, is determined to be a potentially dangerous dog by an animal control officer, or is owned or harboured for dog fighting.
Potentially dangerous dogs are now defined as a dog which has bitten a person resulting in broken bones, lacerations or hospitalization, killed or inflicted serious injury on a domestic animal, or approached a person when not on its owner’s property in a vicious or terrorizing manner.
The ordinances also give animal control officers the ability to require nuisance animals to be secured in an approved kennel or tether system when outside and prevents owners form selling, giving away or moving nuisance animals without 24 hour notification to the Stokes County Animal Control Department.
County Manager Rick Morris said animal control officers would assess the danger of nuisance animals on a case by case basis, but that picking up strays would be limited by the available space in the county shelter.
“It does not matter how big of a nuisance it is, if it is going to overload the shelter, we can’t take it in,” said Morris.
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.