Board approves amendment to animal shelter ordinance

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to amend the county’s ordinance regarding animal care in an effort to clarify the terminology of what is proper shelter for an animal.
After hearing testimony from Animal Advocates of Pearl River County member Brenda Nirenberg in February, the Board worked with the advocacy group to write an amendment that would be both feasible for animal owners and satisfies the need to protect the animals.
Under Section 13(b), the new amendment reads, “No person shall confine or allow his/her animals to remain outside without access to appropriate shelter that protects the animal from the elements of wind, water, heat and/or cold and allows the animal to remain dry and warm. Proper and necessary or appropriate shelter for an animal is shelter that is intended, designed, modified or constructed to shelter an animal from the elements of wind, rain, heat and cold. Dry bedding shall be furnished in cold weather.”
Board members in attendance unanimously approved the amendment. Board President Sandy Kane Smith was absent.
Nirenberg also discussed separate animal rights issues with the Board during Monday’s meeting, puppy mills.
Nirenberg said other states have protections where breeders must register and have a license to breed dogs and cats. In Pearl River County, Nirenberg said the group conducted several rescues from local breeders where dogs were being severely mistreated.
She also mentioned taking the matter one step further and instating a mandatory spay and neuter ordinance to curb overbreeding.
Nirenberg volunteered to research ordinances from other counties concerning licensing breeders and present her findings to the Board.
“When animals are abused, people are too,” Nirenberg said, holding up a poster board depicting the link of abuse.
She said that by taking better care of animals and strongly enforcing ordinances like the newly passed animal shelter rule or instating breeding regulations, people will begin to realize they are being watched and will in turn take better care of their fellow man.
The amended ordinance will take effect after 30 days of publication, County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said.
In a separate matter, the Board discussed a complaint raised by the Anchor Lake Homeowner’s Association claiming heavy cement trucks are crossing the paved road over the lake’s dam and causing damage.
Pearl River County Sheriff David Allison said a deputy went to the area in reference to the problem, and initially told the association it was a public road and the department could not prevent the trucks from crossing the dam.
However, after speaking with Lumpkin, Allison said the county discovered the road was actually private, despite being paved by the county in recent years.
County Engineer Les Dungan recommended putting a weight limit on the road to protect the county’s investment.
Yet, District II Supervisor Malcolm Perry said the county couldn’t enforce the weight limit in one area, when it’s not doing so in other parts of the county.
The Board approved a motion for Board Attorney Joe Montgomery to research the county’s role in the matter, and whether it has the authority to intervene between the cement trucking companies and the homeowner’s association.

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About Julia Arenstam

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