News-Sun file photo County Animal Control Director Darryl Scott will address the county commission Tuesday night with a list of eight recommendations for improving his department that were made by a committee.
published: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Commission to wrangle animal issues
By BARRY FOSTER
SEBRING -- It will be another foray into animal control Tuesday as Highlands County commissioners meet for their November night session.
Commissioners first will look at a new animal control ordinance, which will require owners of dogs, cats and ferrets to have their animals vaccinated for rabies and for the pets to either display tags or be implanted with a chip indicating they have had their shots.
However, there is a proviso that pets might not be mandated to get the inoculation should the veterinarian feel that it could endanger the life of the animal.
As part of the new measure, people would be prohibited from feeding feral animals on public property and those feeding such animals on private property first would be required to obtain permission from the property owner.
There has been some controversy about the practice of feeding stray animals, with the argument being made that those who put out food encourage the growth to the stray cat and dog population.
In addition to proper treatment of pets, the new ordinance includes a "pooper scooper" provision, saying that when walking pets, droppings must be picked up and disposed of by owners unless they have approval from landowners to leave them. County officials say no such approval will be issued for public land.
Animal control officers will enjoy many of the same rights as other law enforcement personnel with the new ordinance prohibiting people from interfering with them. Citations also may be issued for those giving false information to animal control workers or trying to physically wrest their pets away from officers.
In a related agenda item, Highlands County Animal Control Director Darryl Scott will formally present commissioners with a list of eight recommendations made by a committee.
The group was appointed after a number of animal activists came before the commission with concerns about the county's animal control operation.
Some of the items on that list already will have been taken care of before the recommendations are presented, such as the issuance of tags and hold times for animals before they are put up for adoption or otherwise dispersed or disposed of.
Other recommendations include allowing volunteers to assist in the animal control department as well as the hiring of two caretakers.
The committee also has suggested looking into the use of PetPoint computer software and having pictures of the pets released on the Internet two days prior to the end of their hold time to facilitate the adoption process.
In other action, commissioners will receive an annexation report from the City of Avon Park.
They are looking to absorb the Lacey Hills, Tulane Park and Beachfront neighborhood on the city's south side.
vacines (by: L - 11/26/2012)
BTW dogs and cats do not need yearly vaccinces. by law, the only vaccine they need is Rabies, which last 7 years, yearly vaccines are not needed..Wake up people..you are paying $30-40 dollars per shot that is not needed..Step it up Highlands County...do your homework and take charge for all the pets in the county..if you inforce this bogus law..you will be killing cat and dogs..!!
vacines and microchips (by: Linda - 11/26/2012)
How about allowing a 3 year Rabies shot..a one year and 3 year are the same shot...and would be much safer that having the pet given the shot every year. BTW a Rabies shot is good for 7 years......also do not agree with the chip as most dogs already have a chip with info of owner on it etc and another chip in thier body is NOT safe.........Highland County needs to get with the program ....and think what is safe for all the animals that live in this county.!!
Feeding Stray & Feral Cats (by: Lui Matthews - 11/26/2012)
This is America. Surely, if a person has the right to burn the American flag, they also have the right to feed starving cats. If a property owner does not want cats to be fed on their property, they can post a notice and it can be enforced. Isn't it presumptous to assume otherwise? The Humane Society of America and the ASPCA recommend a group or person take responsibility for a colony of cats, feeding them, catching them, neutering them and releasing them. This is being done in many communities. Surely this is more humane and dare I say Christian than starving the cats to death? Possibly then some of the charaties giving food to humans should be made to stop as the charaties are not responsible for the wellbeing, reproduction, illnesses, etc. of the poor.
Feeding Stray Cats (by: Lui Matthews - 11/25/2012)
This is America. If a person is allowed to burn the American flag, they should be allowed to feed a stray cat. Highlands County is an impoverished county. The funds used for this would be much better spent. If a property owner does want people feeding stray cats on their property, let them put up a sign and then let it be enforced. Have some humanity Highlands County.
bannign the feeding of feral cats (by: Judy Spiegel - 11/25/2012)
Adpoting a ban on feeding feral cats will NOT create more feral cats. Cats breed even if they are sick & starved. I would very much like to give some insight to the one concerning the feeding ban on feral cats. This is an important issue that could create great harm to animals that are already put in a bad situation by uncaring people.
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