Chatham Co. leaders to consider several changes that will impact pet owners

Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 4:08 PM EDT
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CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Chatham County Animal Services is proposing several changes impacting pet owners.

Commission had its first reading of some of those changes on Friday.

As changes could be underway for pet owners, the director at Chatham County Animal Services said one of the biggest changes would be a fine for residents who leave their pet in a car when it’s over 79 degrees outside.

Animal Services Director Dr. Jake Harper says sometimes they get calls daily with people complaining about dogs being left in cars unattended. It can be very dangerous – Dr. Harper says even when the air conditioner is on.

“There are times where it starts getting warm, we get five to six a day. It’s amazing that people just don’t realize that they shouldn’t be keeping their dogs in their car,” Dr. Harper said.

Another change described in the ordinance that county commissioners are set to vote on in the coming weeks is if a lost dog is brought to animal services twice, the pet is required to be spayed and neutered before coming home.

Right now, pets have to be spayed and neutered after three times being dropped off at Chatham County Animal Services.

“Seventy percent of the dogs we get in the shelter are not spayed or neutered. They usually come in once. Sometimes they come up twice and allowing that third time just seems a little too much so we’re backing it back to twice,” Dr. Harper said.

Harper said there are other changes listed in the ordinance. The full ordinance is on their website.

He says fines vary by case for these proposed changes but can be as high as $600.

There’s a chance for residents to voice their opinions during the second reading of this ordinance. It’s expected to take place in two weeks at the next county commission meeting.

Commissioners will vote on this ordinance at this meeting as well.