Own 3 or more dogs? Tville modifies permit process

TPD's animal control to issue permits
Apr. 29, 2014 @ 03:06 PM

A change to city ordinance puts a dog ownership permit under the umbrella of Thomasville Police Department.

City Council on April 21 approved an amendment that requires residents who own three or more dogs to acquire a permit. The $25 a year permit can be obtained at the police department instead of the city clerk's office in a move designed to make it easier on Chair City dog owners.

“We didn't change any of the rules or the nut and bolts of the resolution,” Councilman Neal Grimes said. “We just tried to make it a little bit simpler for the public.”

Last year, TPD added another animal control officer to assist Jack Bingham, who had been the department's lone animal control officer for years.

If any complaints come into the department regarding the number of dogs on a specific property, either Bingham or animal control officer Candi Lewis can handle the situation rather than involving the city clerk's office.

“If we get a complaint, we'll go out and see how many dogs are on the premise and verify if they have the proper paperwork for rabies vaccination,” said Bingham. “If they do, they'll need to get a permit and we usually give them between seven and 10 days to comply with that ordinance after they're warned. If not, they can be charged.”

Chief Jeff Insley said council made the recommendation because animal control officers are connected to the public and can better serve dog owners who may require the permit.

“They are in touch with the community more,” Insley said. “They would know if they need or don't need a permit. If one is needed they can assist in getting it. We'll set up the process where we can get the permits issued and everything will be on record.”

Animal control officers also will ensure that  the animals are being treated humanely.

“If we get a call that John Doe down the street has five dogs, most of the time we've already made contact with the owner on premise,” said Bingham. “We'll inspect the conditions, the dog houses, and make sure the space confined, is clean and hazard free.”

Insley said the process is fluid and will develop as the department enforces the ordinance. The amendment is to Chapter 10, Article II, sections 10-36 and 10-37.

Permits are available at the police department, 7 W. Guilford St.

Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or duke@tvilletimes.com.