On Thursday, September 21, 2023, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners will hold a second public hearing and may vote to enact significant changes to the county’s animal ordinance. Among its many provisions, the proposal would establish new licensing and registration requirements both for breeders and for and individuals who sell/transfer just two dogs or cats. Also, both those who sell and those who purchase/receive a pet would have their personal details included in public records.
As of the date/time of this alert, a copy of the proposed ordinance that clearly displays all stricken and proposed new language has not been made publicly available. As a result, residents who may be impacted have not had the opportunity to review or respond to new language that was added after a public hearing was held in August. Residents are urged to immediately contact county commissioners and ask that they DO NOT ADVANCE this overreaching and confusing ordinance, particularly until the public is afforded an opportunity to review and comment on the amended proposal.
The proposal would:
- Require every person in the county who transfers for consideration two pets and who is not licensed by the Georgia Department of Agriculture to register with the county, comply with numerous requirements, and submit detailed reports and veterinary records. Based on the information received by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the proposal does not specify whether it would apply to two transfers in a year or in a lifetime.
- Require hobby breeders in the county who are not licensed by the state to register with and be regulated by the county.
- Require individuals in the county who do not hold a Georgia Department of Agriculture license to register each litter of cats, dogs, and rabbits with Forsyth County Animal Services and provide mandated updates of the disposition of the litter.
- Require certain individuals who sell/transfer cats and dogs to provide Forsyth County Animal Services with the name, address, and phone number of the person who purchases/receives the pet; vet records; sales price; and other details, which would be public record. It is unclear if individuals outside the county who obtain a pet from a breeder or seller in the county would have their private information included in public records.
- Impose additional requirements on the transfers of cats and dogs under 16 weeks of age, unless transferred to an animal shelter or sterilized.
- Impose new pet sterilization requirements for certain animal control offenses.
- Enact new nuisance animal and at-large animal laws.
What You Can Do:
- Contact county commissioners prior to the meeting to state your concerns and ask that they do not approve the proposed animal ordinance:
District 1: Commissioner Kerry Hill, 678-513-5881, firstname.lastname@example.org
District 2: Commissioner Alfred John, 770-888-8878, email@example.com
District 3: Commissioner Todd Levant, 678-513-5883, firstname.lastname@example.org
District 4: Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills, 678-513-5884, email@example.com
District 5: Commissioner Laura Semanson, 678-513-5885, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Attend the public hearing on September 21, 2023, 5:00pm, 110 East Main Street, Suite 220, Cumming, GA 30040, to voice your concerns and ask that the ordinance not be approved. The number of speakers during the public comments portions of the meeting is limited to ten at the beginning and ten during the second portion. The speakers are selected on a first come basis and will be heard in the order in which they signed up, with the exception that Forsyth County residents will be allowed to address the board first, with non-county residents to follow until the allotted time for Public Comments has expired. Each speaker is limited to three (3) minutes. Click here for additional information on procedures for public comments. Click here to view the meeting agenda.
Contact AKC Government Relations at email@example.com for more information.