At large dogs provision unchanged

Published 4:18 pm Thursday, December 17, 2015

After hearing from the public, county supervisors in Cumberland unanimously rejected a staff-recommended change to county code that would have allowed for a more liberal rule regulating dogs running at large.

The rejected ordinance change stated that dogs may not run at large April-June of each year, according to County Administrator and Attorney Vivian Seay Giles, meaning they could run at large during other months. The county’s current ordinance stipulates that dogs may not run at large except from November-February of each year.

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Supervisors adopted other revisions to the ordinances as recommended by the county’s animal control officer and Giles.

Five people spoke against “any extension of the running at large time period” during the Dec. 8 public hearing on the code amendment, Giles said.

“His recommendation is that we have the same as Buckingham’s [ordinance],” Giles said of the animal control officer’s proposed changes before the hearing, “which is that dogs have to be confined April, May and June of each year. And then the other recommended amendments are just to clean up our ordinance. There’s some erroneous code references to the state code. …”

According to the amended ordinance, “Run at large refers to a dog that is roaming, running or self-hunting off the property of its owner or custodian and not under its owner’s or custodian’s immediate control.”

“I’m just recommending amending it so that it looks more like the state code because that’s what we have to go by anyway,” she said of other proposed changes in the ordinance.

“Any person who permits his dog to run at large or remain unconfined, unrestricted or not penned up during the period specified shall be deemed to have violated provisions of this section,” states the ordinance.

The adopted ordinance prohibits any hybrid canine from running at large in the county anytime of the year.

“It shall be unlawful to own or posses a hybrid canine unless such hybrid canine is kept and maintained in a pen or enclosure. …,” the ordinance states.

According to the ordinance, a hybrid canine “means any animal that is or can be demonstrated to be a hybrid of the domestic dog and any other species of the Canidae family. …”

The ordinance also specifies the licensing fees for dogs. A county license for one dog is $4, for a kennel of one to 10 dogs is $30, for a kennel of 11 to 20 dogs is $40 and for a kennel of 21 to 50 dogs is $50.

The ordinance also addresses the treatment and regulations of dangerous dogs, vicious dogs and service dogs.