City confirms new animal control ordinance
By Jefferson Weaver, The News Reporter
Whiteville’s newly rewritten animal control ordinance goes to exhaustive lengths to modernize an important part of the city’s code, and holds a few surprises for some animal owners in the city and extraterritorial jurisdiction.
The ordinance was passed at last week’s City Council meeting, after having been previously tabled to allow city officials, Animal Control and the Columbus Humane Society to polish a few details. At the April 24 meeting, Buzzy Stafford and Janet Hinson of the Humane Society praised the new ordinance, and thanked the city for taking the time to clean up the rules.
City Manager Darren Currie explained to the city council that some of the city’s old rules were unclear, contradictory or even out of compliance with state law. City staff has been working on a complete rewrite of the city’s code for more than a year, and the animal control section was one of the most labor-intensive portions of the code.
Among the new requirements in the ordinance is a rule to bring local laws in line with state rabies laws. All pets are now required to display rabies tags in Whiteville. Tags are supplied with rabies vaccination receipts, Currie explained, and dogs and cats must have their tags visible or face being picked up by Animal Control.
“We are not going to be out picking up every dog and cat that isn’t displaying a rabies tag tomorrow,” Currie said. “This is a state law, and tags do help reunite animals and their owners when the pets get lost.”