WJTV News Channel 12 - Animal control reviews ordinances and strategic plan

Animal control reviews ordinances and strategic plan

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New animal control ordinances are in the works for Pitt County. The public want rules that keep dogs on leashes and one that stops people from tying animals to trees or posts.

But without the necessary funding, those efforts are restricted. "There’s five full time staff. We all wear many hats. We work the field and the shelter,” Animal Control Director Michele Whaley said. 

The Animal Control Advisory Board is asking for additional staffing and funding to help their mission. On Monday they presented their strategic plan to the county commission. 

"We've worked very hard in the last 11 years on our live release rates and decreasing euthanasia, but without the proper space and proper staffing, it's a concern of mine we can't focus on adoption efforts.” Whaley said.

Also in the plan are request for additional ordinances. The advisory board is calling for a leash law and anti-tethering ordinance. It would keep loose dogs on leashes and prevent owners from tying up their dogs for too long. But Whaley says there are consequences. "A leash law would drastically compromise our shelter space as far as enforcement is concerned, and you have to have enough bodies out in the field to respond."

In our reporting we also discovered the need for an animal limit. A couple of months ago, we found a backyard breeder with 40 animals.
However that issue didn't make the public's list of recommendations. "It does come up from individual citizens but it wasn't as overwhelming as the animal containment, anti-tethering and lost and found system.” 

Whaley said she would be surprised if the animal limit discussion didn't hit the table soon. On Monday the commission voted to hold a workshop in February to discuss the specifics of the strategic plan.
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