Lee commissioners pass new rules in animal ordinance

Author: mike walcher
Published: Updated:

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- County commissioners passed a new animal control ordinance Tuesday, reversing some controversial laws set in place last February.

The previous rules required breeders to get a county certificate and be subject to surprise inspections of their kennels.

Some people told commissioners in a public meeting Tuesday that they believed those requirements are reasonable.

“When the puppies are being offered for sale on a street corner, that person should have to produce a breeder’s certificate,” said one resident.

“There are people out there who own dogs and cats that have no business owning the animals,” said Ann Meyer, member of the Lee Alliance for Responsible Dog and Cat Owners.

The new rules also weaken the mandatory spay and neuter requirements. People who shelter unwanted pets, disagree with this portion of the ordinance.

“We’re referring to other shelters and rescues in the state, that in itself should tell everyone that the population is so out of control here, we can’t even take care of it ourselves. We have to depend on other counties,” said Jerri Howard with the Animal Refuge Center.

The new rules would also outlaw tethering of dogs and prohibit a driver from transporting dogs in the back of open trucks without a harness.

Commissioners approved the new set of rules with only one board member voting against the ordinance.

“Our shelters are overflowing now with stray dogs and cats, I think we could have done a better job with spay and neutering,” said Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass.

Lee County will have an animal services advisory committee to inform commisioners on how the new regulations are working.

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