Coweta approves new provisions on animal control
There were a number of changes to the Coweta County Animal Control Ordinance approved by county commissioners Tuesday night. Those changes included certain provisions for impoundment, humane treatment, tethering animals, transporting them and an additional requirement for commercial animal establishments.
The ordinance amendment pertaining to impoundment now gives the county ownership of impounded animals after three days as opposed to the previous seven day time period. County Public Information Officer Patricia Palmer on Thursday said the change from seven days to three days allows for earlier adoptions.
A new provision to the ordinance involves humane treatment. The ordinance section states that proper shelter for an animal includes a structure appropriately sized for the animal and consisting of four sides, a roof, floor and an opening for ingress and egress. The structure must also be adequate for protecting the animal from harsh weather.
Perhaps as controversial to some as any of the new amendments to the ordinance is one that essentially prohibits tethering animals on property. Animals cannot be tethered to a tree, fence, dog house or other stationary object unless the tether is on a trolly system of at least 10 feet in length.
Additionally, even if those requirements are met the animal cannot be tethered to a trolly system for more than four hours a day nor can the animal be tethered between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The ordinance also states that the owner or keeper must be on the premises during the time that the animal is tethered.
“Animal control will work with people to allow them time to make the changes they need to make, as long as the animal is healthy,” Palmer said.
Another new provision to the ordinance that will present a significant change to some animal owners states that no person driving a motor vehicle shall transport any animal in the open back of a vehicle unless the space is cross-tethered to secure the animal, unless the space has been enclosed or is protected by a secured container that will prevent the animal from being thrown, falling or jumping out of the vehicle.
Also included in the amendment was a provision that humane societies and rescue groups obtain a business license. Palmer said there will be no charge for the business license if the organization is a non-profit.
Coming in the near future will be the consideration by commissioners to adopt a spay/neuter provision that will require that an adopted animal go through the procedure, at a cost to the owner, prior to the adoption.