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The Iredell County Board of Commissioners is having a public hearing on October 6 regarding numerous proposed changes to the county’s animal control laws.  Several of the concerns originally mentioned by the AKC and local clubs have been addressed; however, there remains an unclear definition of “household pet”.

The proposal defines a “household pet” in part as “any animal kept primarily for pleasure, rather than utility…”  Dogs bred and kept “for the specific purpose of working and hunting”, including dogs kept on “bona fide farms, and those licensed as service dogs” are exempt. 

The AKC is concerned that those who may keep dogs for the specific purposes mentioned but are not currently active could be caught in a loophole.  Furthermore, if they have multiple dogs, and they are not all currently being used for specific purposes (such as young dogs not yet being trained, or retired dogs), then those dogs would be subject to the tethering and other requirements in the proposal, but not the dogs currently being used.  This is confusing and could be difficult for a dog owner to comply with, and for the county to enforce.  In addition, it is unclear how the exemptions will be proven. 

There are many other changes in the proposed ordinance for those who own dogs meeting the definition of “household pet”, including new regulations for tethering (defined as when a dog is unattended and restrained by a chain or leash) requiring that the radius of a tethering area must be at least 150 square feet and the tether be at least 10 feet in length.  The proposal would also require that ear cropping and tail docking be performed by a licensed veterinarian.  Read the proposal in its entirety on the Iredell County website.

What You Can Do:

Attend the October 6 public meeting and express any comments or concerns with the proposal:

Tuesday, October 6
7:00 pm
Iredell County Government Center
200 South Center Street
Statesville, NC 28667
Contact the Iredell County Board of Commissioners:

James B. Mallory III, Chairman

Marvin Norman, Vice Chairman

Kenneth M. Robertson, Jr.

Stephen D. Johnson

Thomas Bowles