Animal control law: Proposed changes get preliminary OK from Berryville council

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Berryville City Council approved a proposed ordinance revising animal control regulations at its meeting Tuesday night.

Approved on a first reading by title only, the proposed ordinance would replace an existing portion of the city code regarding animals and fowl. The ordinance would increase the annual license fee for an unaltered dog or cat from $20 to $25, decreasing the fee for an altered dog or cat from $7.50 to $5.

It also addresses the confinement of dogs, prohibiting direct-point chaining or tethering of dogs to a stationary object. Dogs may be restrained, the ordinance reads, by a trolley system with one dog tethered to one cable run and each dog having a properly fitting collar.

There must be a swivel on at least one end of the tether, the proposed ordinance continues, and the cable must run 10 feet in length and allow the dog access to the maximum available exercise area, as well as food, water and shelter.

The council also approved proposed Ordinance No. 967 on its first reading. The proposed ordinance accepts the streets identified as Paradise Heights Drive, located within Phase VI of the Paradise Heights Subdivision, into the Berryville city street system. Henry Adams, who has developed the land over the years, was granted final plat approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission at its meeting Jan. 13.

The council voted to enter into a contract with Good Shepherd Humane Society to operate the city animal shelter. The city had previously contracted with the Go East Young Dog organization to run the shelter as a no-kill facility, but Go East Young Dog is being absorbed into Good Shepherd.

Although the city will have to pay Good Shepherd $1,000 a month to operate the shelter, which Mayor Tim McKinney said was at or near the cost that the city formerly paid to operate the shelter itself, he noted that the shelter will remain a no-kill facility as many residents have requested.

"I've had a lot of citizens comment that they like that we are a no-kill facility," he said.

McKinney said the arrangement also will allow the city's animal control officer to focus on enforcement and compliance.

The council's next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, at city hall.

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