The proposal approved Tuesday spells out how citations will be issued for stray or animals running at large, incessantly barking dogs, bite cases and animal cruelty.
“Basically, it’s everything we already do, it’s just written out,” said Unicoi County Animal Shelter Director Jessica Rogers.
The proposal defines stray animals or animals running at large as “Animals found loose/not secured or not under the immediate control of a competent person.”
If an animal control officer is able to contain an animal deemed stray or running at large, the officer will check the animal for a rabies tag, name tag, tattoo and microchip after it is brought to the shelter. If the animal has any type of identification, animal control will make “every reasonable effort” to notify the owner.
If animal control is unable to contain an animal, a warning will be issued to the pet’s owner. Three warnings will result in the issuance of a citation.
An owner will be entitled to resume possession of an animal collected by animal control upon payment of required fees made within 72 hours of notification by an animal control officer, excluding weekend and holidays. If contact is made with the owner during the three-day period, the animal may be held in the shelter up to seven days.