January 17, 2008
City dog ordinance requires registrationBy SUE WATSON
The City of Holly Springs has an amended dog ordinance that goes into effect immediately.
Chief Robert Pearson said dog registrations will take place at the police department on North Memphis Street from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday each week.
Officer Tammy Thompson will handle the registration or licensing of dogs.
Pet owners are required to bring their pets’ rabies vaccination tags and a receipt from the veterinarian.
Licenses cost $10 and will be good during this sign-up period until May 31, 2009, he said.
Thereafter, pets will have to be licensed yearly.
Pearson said the tag numbers will identify the owner and address and the date the pet was vaccinated for rabies will be put into a data base. After the first two rabies vaccinations of a small pet, the vaccinations may not be required yearly, but, instead, on a three-year rotation, he said.
After this year, the sign-up will be in June, but the city will begin issuing licenses immediately, he said.
The registration tag and rabies tag must be affixed to the dog’s collar. Lost tags can be replaced for a charge of $5, he said.
The city’s dog ordinance requires dogs be leashed or when kept at home they have to be tied or kept within a fenced area.
After animals are licensed, if they are found loose, the tag information will make it possible for the animal control officer to call the dog owner for their retrieval, Pearson said.
“Hereafter, any dogs at large will be taken into custody,” he said. “And if an officer sees an animal not licensed, we will knock on the door and give the pet owner a warning. Homeowners or renters are responsible for getting their dog licensed.”
The city will charge a fee of $20 plus a fee of $3 a day to return a pet to its owner, if it has been impounded.
Plus, the animal owner will have to show proof the pet has been vaccinated for rabies and licensed before the animal is redeemed.
Officer Lacey Brown has served as animal control officer for 13 years with the city and will be responsible for picking up loose dogs.
Pearson said it is important that the entire community be aware of the new ordinance requirements.
“We encourage people to come in and get their dog licensed as soon as they can,” he said. “Hopefully, this will make the community safer from the standpoints of animal control and disease. We don’t see a lot of rabies, but it is out there and easily contracted from wild animals. And it is easily prevented by dog vaccination.”
Officer Thompson said the department’s most frequent calls regarding dogs are that they are reported to be running loose, tearing up property, knocking over garbage containers, or bothering confined dogs and starting dog fights.
A few calls of threatening dogs or dog attacks are received by the department, Pearson said, and recently an officer had to put a dog down in self defense.
Pearson said it is important for people to call the police department and register complaints if they are threatened by a loose dog.
“I don’t have much sympathy for dogs attacking people,” he said. “When I was a kid, I was threatened by dogs when walking down the street and bitten several times by dogs. A person shouldn’t have to go through that while walking down the street and a kid walking to school shouldn’t have to go through that.”
The amended dog ordinance can be found on page 11 of this section.
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