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Dumping animals could be costly
Animal dumping could get costly1.jpg
File photo - photo by Nikki Childers

Dumping animals is illegal, and wrong, and it could cost you $500.

The county’s Health and Welfare Committee is sending a measure to the Warren County Commission that would institute a $10 charge for people dropping off animals at its Animal Control and Adoption Center and level a fine of $500 for anyone who decides that dumping is a better option. 

Animal Control staff will be allowed to use discretion in levying the $10 charge.

The charge for animal surrender, whether stray or owned, has been under consideration for the last couple of months. Newly added was inclusion of a fine for any person who deliberately casts off their pet, instead of surrendering it.

Specifically, the resolutions states:

“That Warren County, TN, hereby implements a mandatory fee in the amount of $500 to be collected per animal when an animal is dumped for the purpose of being discovered by the Warren County Animal Control Center.” 

The resolution also allows the facility to reject acceptance of a pet based solely on its owner’s wish to no longer be responsible for it. 

“Warren County Animal Control shall not accept surrender of an animal by its owner based solely upon the owner’s wishes to no longer care for or maintain said animal. Warren County Animal Control may accept surrender of an animal under extenuating circumstances including, but not limited to, deterioration of owners health, residency changes due to owner’s deteriorating health, and/ or death of owner.”

Also, owners who wish to surrender the offspring of their female dog or cat must show proof that she has now been spayed. 

“Warren County Animal Control may accept puppies or kittens if satisfactory proof of spaying of the mother cat or mother dog has been shown to and accepted by a Warren County Animal Control officer.” 

This stipulation already exists in the facility’s written policy. 

The heart of the resolution, said Health and Welfare Committee chair Blaine Wilcher, requires the public to take responsibility for their pets, requires spaying of female dogs and cats to stem the number of litters coming into the facility each breeding season, and attempts to deter dumping.

The $10 fee will be used with discretion. 

“If this law goes into effect and you call and say ‘I’ve just seen two or three cats over here behind the Dollar Store and they, obviously, have been dumped,” said Wilcher. “I don’t think she’s going to say ‘if you bring them, bring $30’. I don’t think she’ll do that. If you’re someone who continues to bring litters into the facility, and there are people who repeatedly do that, that’s when it would probably be enforced.”

Health and Welfare Committee members unanimously approved the resolution. However, final approval must come from the Warren County Commission.