Columbus aims to protect pets and owners with ordinance - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Columbus aims to protect pets and owners with ordinance

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Sabine Stull with Animal Ark Rescue Centers says the rules are: "To keep your animal close by to make sure, you know, that they are secured at all times."

Stull says that is the goal of Columbus' Animal Ordinance; to promote responsible pet ownership.

The official document defines responsible pet ownership as providing living conditions for the pet, controlling the pet so it does not become a nuisance to the community, and keeping the animal current for rabies and city registration tags.

Stull claims the majority of owners follow these rules here in the Fountain City.

"It's the four to five percent of the population that is not really taking care of their animals. That's why they wind up here," she adds.

The Columbus Animal Ordinance states that it is unlawful for owners to leave pets unattended without a leash or chain within the city limits. Dog or cat owners who live in rural or agricultural areas are exempt from this law, and owners are responsible for making sure the pets do not leave the limits of the owner's property. Stull says these restrictions leave some animals neglected and in her care.

"Some cases such as young dogs coming in with embedded collars. We had one puppy that had actually been kept in a closet by someone, and it was half starved," explains Stull.

A note at the bottom of the document says all violations of the Animal Control Ordinance are subject to $1,000 fine, imprisonment of 90 days, or both. It also says that state law violations are subject to more severe penalties.

While the ordinance does not spell out the protocol, if a violation happens in a threatening way, it does urge complainants to call 911, or the county's administrative office at 706.653.4512.

View the full Columbus Animal Ordinance document here: http://www.columbusga.org/PublicWorks/Animal_Control/pdfs/ordinances.pdf

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