(AUGUSTA,GA)The proposed animal ordinance says pet owners will get their animals licensed. If you pet is fixed you’ll pay a one-time five dollar fee, but if they’re not, you would have to pay fifty dollars a year.
“I thought this subcommittee was going to come back with something to prevent all the animals being put down but it’s been turned around it’s become a burden on the taxpayer,” says Commissioner Marion Williams.
But the Field Manager for Augusta’s animal services says this higher fee for unaltered pets would help reduce the pet population at the shelter
“Force these people into getting these animals fixed because that’s the problem,” says Jefferson.
And some commissioners have no problem with the higher fee for pets that are not fixed
“To go ahead and do what they need to do to make sure their pets are taken care of and there’s some control in the animal population,” says Commissioner Dennis Williams.
Another controversial part of the proposal allows Animal Services officers to go on private property without the owner’s permission or a court order to investigate or seize an animal
“If you get a call out and someone says theirs an animal that’s causing problems that ought to be investigated but you can’t have people going on that property just to check,” says Commissioner Marion Williams.
But Jefferson says officers will only go on private property after two legitimate complaints about animals being abused, neglected or are dangerous, and the owner not taking any action.
“Now we can hold that owner responsible because now we’ve been out there twice on the same call the first time they didn’t pay us any attention why do we leave the animal out there to suffer,” he said.
Another tweak for the proposed policy would prohibit the chaining of tying up a dog of an extend period of time it would only be allowed for a short time with the dog’s owner present.
The commission Public Safety committee sinks its teeth into all of this at its meeting Tuesday.