ATTACHMENT 3

Roanoke Rapids:

 

From:

"Greg Lawson" <glawson@roanokerapidsnc.com>  Add to Address BookAdd to Address Book  Add Mobile Alert

To:

"amanda arrington" <ssnss4@yahoo.com>

Subject:

Re: Questions on Dog Chaining Ban from Durham County Animal Control Advisory Committee

Date:

Tue, 9 Jan 2007 11:44:17 -0500

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Ms. Arrington,

 

We do have an ordinance prohibiting the tethering of dogs, which I have outlined below for your review.  A violation of this ordinance could result in a $500 fine.  Enforcement is mostly complaint driven, but our animal control officer does patrol for violations.  Our enforcement approach is to educate the first time offender and then follow up to ensure that they are in compliance.  If not, a citation is issued.  Repeat offenders are issued a citation.  We issue an municipal ordinance ticket and if the violator fails to comply with the citation we then go before a magistrate and issue a criminal summons resulting in the violator appearing in District Court.  The municipal ordinance ticket is treat the same as a parking ticket.  It is a civil fine. 

 

Sincerely,

Chief Lalwson

 

 Section 91:22 - Prohibition Against Tethering of Dogs

 

A.                  It shall be unlawful to tether an unattended dog outside of the house

B.                  When on the property of the dog owner, dogs may run loose when attended by a responsible person who can control the dog either by voice commands or by a leash.

C.                  When on the property of the dog owner, dogs may run unattended if kept in a secure area, including a fenced-in area or within an area surrounded by an electronic fence, or when kept in any other structure of sufficient strength and height to prevent the dog from escaping

 

Follow up with Roanoke Rapids:

 

From:

"Greg Lawson" <glawson@roanokerapidsnc.com>  Add to Address BookAdd to Address Book  Add Mobile Alert

To:

"amanda arrington" <ssnss4@yahoo.com>

Subject:

Re: Chaining Ordinance Update/Success

Date:

Thu, 25 Oct 2007 15:11:22 -0400

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Amanda,

 

Our ordinance prohibiting the tethering of dogs has worked very well and we are seeing a high percentage of compliance.  I contribute our success through education and zero tolerance enforcement.  I am comfortable in saying that we are pleased with how the ordinance is working in our community and have not seen any resistance to our efforts.

 

Scotland County:

 

From:

"Larry herring" <lherring@scotlandcounty.org>  Add to Address BookAdd to Address Book  Add Mobile Alert

To:

"'amanda arrington'" <ssnss4@yahoo.com>

Subject:

RE: Questions on Dog Chaining Ban from Durham County Animal Control Advisory Committee

Date:

Wed, 10 Jan 2007 08:57:28 -0500

I hope I can be of help, and yes enforcement is complaint driven. The violators are given 30 days to correct the issue, unless there are other issues that need quicker action. At the end of time with no action I charge the violator with a criminal charge to distract court that has a criminal penalty of up to for first offense of $250, second offense of $500 and a third offense of $1,000 plus court cost. At this point most are in proper enclosure to get a lesser fine on the charge or a PJC, if not the dogs are removed. As of today all that had been charged have enclosed or released to Animal Control their dogs. Yes, we do not use civil fine. We found that civil fine where hard to collect, and sometimes used more money than the find trying to collect, if collected. The judge will give them time to pay, while on probation along with the cost of probation. After all cost and fines are paid the judge can remove them from probation, as in any criminal case. The only problem with this is if the animals are impounded and not released by the owner. Then we keep the animals until the case is over. This is something we are talking to the Chief Judge about.

Our ordinance is on line at scotlandcounty.org.  If you have more questions let me know and I will try to be of help.

I hope this is helps get the dogs off of the chains and into a better life. I have seen too many become dangerous or die on a chain.

 Larry Herring

Scotland County Animal Control

 

Laurinburg:

From:

"Elaine Modlin" <emodlin@laurinburg.org>  Add to Address BookAdd to Address Book  Add Mobile Alert

To:

"amanda arrington" <ssnss4@yahoo.com>

Subject:

Re: Questions on Dog Chaining Ban from Durham County Animal Control Advisory Committee

Date:

Wed, 10 Jan 2007 09:16:08 -0500

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Hi Amanda,

 

I'm glad your county is considering banning the chaining of dogs.   I am getting a lot of calls regarding this issue so it seems to me that this cruel inhumane way of keeping dogs is finally on its way out.   I will admit that enforcement is a challenge due to the financial status of most of the owners you will be dealing with, but it will be very rewarding in the long run when you start seeing people fencing in their yards and putting up pens.  You might have an increase in dogs being turned into the shelter at first, as well as more being picked up by animal control,  but in the long run it helps to eliminate the constant problem you have with irresponsible pet owners. I find they eventually give up on having dogs.   It also helps eliminate households with multiple dogs tied outdoors, especially the pit bull problem.

 

To answer your questions about enforcement, our ordinance reads that noncompliance may result in the impoundment of the animal at any time, or may result in a fine of $100.00, or both.  I did not want to have to go through the process of taking these cases to court which as we know can be a long process.  I respond to complaints and or my observation of a violation.   If the dog(s) are not in a situation where I think they  need to be immediately removed  (such as tangled chain that can't be corrected immediately or no dog house)  I usually give 2 weeks for the owner to get the dogs off the chain and write a warning notice giving the date of compliance.  I do give extensions of that date in cases such as someone gets paid on the first of the month or say is expecting income taxes etc., if....the dog(s) are being well taken care of except for just being chained.  I feel we have to be understanding of peoples situations unless we just want to fill the shelter up with dogs that will probably be euthanized.  You will know which dog owners you can work with (of course some will give you the run around- thats true with other aspects of our enforcement such and rabies and license compliance), and which ones you might as well just impound the dog(s).    If I write a citation and leave the dog and then they comply by putting the dog in pen, get rid of it, etc.  then  if they do not pay the citation I have to take them to civil court to collect the fine.   I have not done this, if the problem is resolved, then I don't try to collect the money.   If I decide to impound the dog, hey have to pay the $100.00 to redeem the dog (this is what I do in most cases)  If I have impounded the dog(s) and have an owner that is willing to correct the problem by going ahead and putting up a pen or other acceptable restraint I will not charge a fine but will hold the dog(s) for a certain time period at the shelter and give them a chance redeem them.  If after this time period they have not done anything then the dogs are turned over to the humane society for either adoption or euthanized.

 

Amanda I do think the right to impound a dog does give us an important leverage, but you will only be dealing with a small majority of your citizens who do not comply, most people will comply simply  because its the law now. And some will comply with a little push like a warning notice,so even if you don't get the right to impound your banning will still be very effective.  Hopefully you can add the impoundment clause in your new ordinance because this will make it easier for those few that still don't comply with a notice or citation.  As far as who gave Animal Control the power of impoundment, when the article on restraint was drafted impoundment was one of the consequences of violation as well as the $100.00 fine.  And the City Council agreed and passed the new article.   So I would think your city council or county commissioners would also have this power.   Usually by the time I've had to cite someone it is a last ditch effort to get them to comply.    I like the impoundment because it is a quick solution to cases where the animal is not in a satisfactory situation, and improving the lives of these dogs is one of our main purposes for the banning of chaining.

 

Amanda I hope this explains things, its hard to keep it cut and dry, because it seems every case is different.  If I can be of furthur assistance please feel free to contact me, my office number is 910-291-1706.  Good luck   Elaine

 

Telephone conversation with Elaine Modlin:

 

THE LAW: In 1988, Laurinburg passed a law limiting tethering to 8 hours a day. It was difficult to enforce. In 2000, they changed it to one hour and the change made enforcement much easier. The county (Scotland) has the same ordinance as the city. They have a 90 percent compliance rate at this point.  Laurinburg also has restrictions on pens size – 10x10 for smaller dogs, 20x10 for larger. Animal control wants larger requirements, but the city council has not agreed.

 

ENFORCEMENT: 1hour time limit verified by sitting and watching. Violators are given a two week warning notice in general, but animal control uses discretion and will give some situations more time if the dog is in good condition. Violation results in a civil citation and $100 fine. They do have the power to impound dogs and feel this has been an important tool.  Most people comply with the law by putting up a pen. The Humane Society has provided some pens to those who cannot afford it. Those that don’t comply and have their dogs impounded must

pay shelter fee, vaccinations, etc. to get the dog back. Sometimes the shelter fee is waived. About 25 % reclaim their dog and the rest are better off anyway.

 

PHASE IN: The city had a one year education period before enforcement began. They educated the community through fact sheets, newspaper, radio, posters, etc.

 

RESULTS OF ORDINANCE: Overall decrease in cruelty cases, cut down on pit bull problems, decreased dog bites, and helped with overpopulation (penned dogs are not as easy to get pregnant). Prior to the law, 50% of bites before were from chained dogs. No dramatic increase in surrenders and no real problems with people turning their dogs loose.

 

PUBLIC REACTION: Positive– most people think chaining is cruel. Those that don’t agree are those whose dogs are not well taken care of anyway.

 

New Hanover:

 

Subject:

Re: Questions on Dog Chaining Ban from Durham County Animal Control Advisory Committee

To:

"amanda arrington" <ssnss4@yahoo.com>

From:

jmcneil@nhcgov.com  Add to Address BookAdd to Address Book  Add Mobile Alert

Date:

Tue, 23 Jan 2007 14:02:54 -0500

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Hi Amanda

 

We began implementation by use of warning notices.  The violators


Were given two months to correct the problem of tethering their dog in the yard.
Warning notices were used for several years.  Then we decided it was more than enough
time to start writing citations.  The fine is $250, which we are more than happy to
void if they make arrangements to keep the dog in alternate restraints.  The preference
is that the $250 be used to build a fence or purchase a pen/kennel versus paying our
agency.  In our experience, the violators is more likely to comply, if fines are levied
against them.  
The citation may be appealed in-house through a hearing examiner that we contract out
with (a local attorney).  Unpaid citations are sent to our legal department, where
they act as a collection agency for us.  County government agencies have the ability
to garnish income tax returns of residents on unpaid debt = debt set-off.  We support
a position in legal that does this service for us.

 

 The ordinance is indeed complaint-driven.  However, we only write

 citations if the infraction is viewed by an officer.  We have an

 appeals process for all citations written, so they are free to follow these same procedures.  Our county legal department handles fine collections for us, including sending offenders in to debt set-off.  The ordinance does not make allowance for removal of the dogs, if they do not comply.  Most people are agreeable to taking corrective measures.  Sadly, you will always have a few that refuse to follow any laws you enforce.

 

Let me know how else I may be of help to you.  Call me if you need to,

 And let me know the outcome.

 

Take care, Jean

 

Telephone Conversation with Dr. Jean McNeil

 

THE LAW: Prohibits tethering. Recently amended to add “attended” to the law so that dogs can be tethered if their owner is present. They enacted a ban as opposed to time limits on tethering because time limits are difficult to enforce because they would have to rely on a neighbor’s testimony.

 

WHY ENACTED: County felt that tax dollars were being wasted responding to chaining complaints. Also enacted because of the cruelty issues Dr. McNeil and her officers were seeing. The county also wanted to promote a higher standard of pet ownership.

 

ENFORCEMENT: Violation of the law results in a civil fine. Violators have 60 days to correct the violation, if they do, the fine is cancelled. If the fine is not paid, it is sent to the county legal department for collection. As a government agency, the county can garnish a person’s wages. New Hanover does not have the power of impoundment. They do not take people to court; the enforcement is handled in house by the legal department.

 

PHASE IN: New Hanover had a two year education period during which only warning notices were given. Dr. McNeil felt that two years was too long.

 

RESULTS OF ORDINANCE: The law has resulted in very few dogs being surrendered. Neglect calls have decreased. They get about 30 tethering related

complaints a month. Some dogs probably have run loose but those are the people who have no desire to be responsible pet owners.

 

PUBLIC REACTION: Support within the county. Majority of opposition has come from elsewhere.