Article Comment 

Pet owners face new regulations


Tim Pratt



Pet owners in Starkville could soon face some new regulations.  


The Starkville Board of Aldermen is considering amendments to the city''s animal control ordinance which, among other things, would limit the amount of time domesticated animals can be restrained outdoors. The existing animal control ordinance does not address animals being restrained or "chained up" in yards for lengthy periods of time, but an amendment aldermen are considering would only allow pet owners to tether their animals to an outdoor permanent fixture for up to three hours over any 24-hour period.  


"There are several instances where this is becoming, I''d say, a nuisance in different parts of the city," said Ward 5 Alderman Jeremiah Dumas, who introduced the amendments to the board Tuesday night. "I know there are some (instances) in Ward 5. There are others within the downtown district that I''ve seen just walking around."  


The board is still working out kinks in the amendment. Ward 3 Alderman Eric Parker inquired whether the amendment would apply to dogs attached to "zip lines," or running lines, which gives animals more room to roam.  


"I think that''s up for discussion," Dumas said. "That''s a good question and ... that''s something we''ll have to look at." 


During a public hearing on the amendments Tuesday, city resident Patrick Nordin, of 205 Louisville Street, said he was in favor of regulations which would improve living conditions for animals in town. 


"Back when the temperature dropped to below 18 degrees a few weeks ago, I was walking my dog and it was about 8 o''clock at night, and there were two dogs chained to a tree in a back yard," Nordin said. "These dogs are permanently chained in that back yard. Their entire life is spent on a chain. That''s a real problem. No dog should have to spend their entire life on a chain." 


Another proposed amendment states pets shouldn''t be left outside in temperatures below 32 degrees unless they have access to a climate-controlled area. The existing ordinance also has the 32-degree barrier, but doesn''t include the climate-controlled option, which gives pet owners "a little leeway," Dumas said.  


Some people have interpreted the existing ordinance to mean city residents can''t take their pets outside at all if the temperature drops below freezing, Dumas, and that was not the city''s intent.  


The third and final amendment designates annual dog licensing and registration fees residents pay to the city can be used for the advocacy and expenses associated with the Oktibbeha County Humane Society''s spay and neuter program. 


Aldermen will hold a second public hearing on the animal control ordinance amendments during its March 2nd meeting in City Hall. The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. 


In unrelated business Tuesday, the board interviewed eight people for the vacant seat on the Starkville School District board of trustees and invited five candidates back for second interviews Thursday night at the Sportsplex. Candidates for the position included John Campbell, Ann Carr, George Chandler Sr., Walter Conley, James "Cubby" Harris, N. Eric Heiselt, Michael Remotigue and Susan Tomlinson. 


Carr, Conley, Harris, Heiselt and Tomlinson were invited back for the second round of interviews Thursday. Mayor Parker Wiseman said he expects the board to nominate a candidate for the school board position after the interviews Thursday night.




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Reader Comments

Article Comment JC commented at 2/17/2010 3:54:00 PM:

Perhaps the pets should be required to wear uniforms.


Article Comment Columbusguy commented at 2/18/2010 12:57:00 PM:

perhaps you should be chained to a tree naked when the temperature drops to 18 degrees and see how you like it.


Article Comment jim mosier commented at 2/18/2010 2:41:00 PM:

You can judge a society by the way they treat their pets. America still has a way to go, if it truly wants to be considered a great society in the annals of history. This is a start.


Article Comment Paladin commented at 2/23/2010 4:21:00 PM:

I think it is cruel to dress animals up. It demoralizes them and makes them hot. I say we add on an ordinance that says the government has the right to come in your house & check to see if your animals are being dressed.

Also, animals deserve to have at least 3 meal options. It is a shame that people buy a bag of dog food and expect the poor animal to eat the same thing day after day.

While we are at it, I know my neighbor uses water from the water hose for his dog. I couldn't believe it wasn't filtered! Oh the humanity!

Government, Save us and our pets! Please, tell us how to live!

Oh, and by the way. My German Shepherd has no problems sleeping outside. When I've tried to keep her inside, she scratches on the door to go out - even when it was snowing. She never scratches to come back in unless she's hungry. But, I guess Alderman Dumas knows better than I.


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