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Taking aim at pet population
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Health and Welfare Committee chair Blaine Wilcher says he plans to propose a measure which requires pet owners to have their animals spayed or neutered to avoid problems associated with too many dogs and cats.

Warren County government could soon be considering a resolution aimed at reducing the number of unwanted animals roaming the streets.

Commissioner Blaine Wilcher plans to propose a spay and neuter ordinance-resolution for cats and dogs.

“I have been researching and working on this,” Wilcher said. “This is a rough draft. It is by no means complete. I’m asking for our legal counsel to review and make any corrections, if needed. My plan is to propose the pursuance of this in committee. If it passed, then move forward.” 

At this time, the measure states that “no person shall own, harbor, or keep within Warren County, a cat or a dog over the age of 6 months, which has not been spayed or neutered unless the cat or dog is exempted from the provisions of this section …” 

The following animals are exempt:

• Dogs documented as having been appropriately trained and actually being used by public law enforcement agencies for law enforcement activities, or such cats or dogs designated as breeding stock by and appropriate agency or organization approved by the director of Warren County Animal Control and Adoption Center after consultation with knowledgeable professionals.

Dogs that have been appropriately trained and actually being used as a service dog, such as a guide dog, hearing dog, assistance dog, seizure alert dog, or social/ therapy dog, or such dogs designated as breeding stock by an appropriate agency or organization approved by the director of Animal Control after consultation with knowledgeable professionals; 

Dogs documented as having been appropriately trained and actually being used by search and rescue agencies for search and rescue activities, or such dogs designated as breeding stock by an appropriate agency or organization approved by the director of Animal Control after consultation with knowledgeable professionals;

Dogs or cats certified by a licensed veterinarian as having a health reason for not being spayed/ neutered;

Dogs which are appropriately trained and actually being used for herding of other animals, or as livestock guardian dogs, hunting dogs, or such dogs designated as breeding stock by an appropriate agency or organization approved by the director of Animal Control after consultation with knowledgeable professionals;

Dogs or cats boarded in a licensed kennel or a business, which boards such animals for professional training or resale;

Dogs or cats which are registered with the American Kennel Club, the Cat Fancier Association or other recognized registry or trained and kept for the purpose of show, field trials or agility trials. 

Dogs or cats whose owner has obtained an unaltered animal permit issued by the license-collecting agent of the county, or any successor agency authorized by law to issue said permit.

An unaltered animal permit fee is a one-time cost of $200. Each permit allows no more than one litter per female dog in any 12-month period and no more than one litter per domestic household in any 12-month period. 

Warren County Animal Control officers would be in charge of enforcement. Persons found in violation of the ordinance could be subject to a $50 fine plus court cost. Each day that any violation of this ordinance continues may constitute a separate offense. 

No date has been set for the ordinance to be presented to the county’s Health and Welfare Committee.