Last updated: January 30. 2014 9:23PM - 663 Views
By Anthony Gonzalez agonzalez@civitasmedia.com

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The town of Elkin is out reminding residents who harbor animals of the responsibilities required by owners through existing ordinances.

A spike in recent activity pertaining to animal complaints have been received by town officials.

“Due to various and recent calls from our citizens about this matter, there is a general misunderstanding about what the roles of all persons involved in these matters (i.e. complainant, pet owner, town/police, county animal control, etc.). We feel it is our responsibility to clarify and provide additional information to the public so as to mitigate and minimize any confusion,” said Lloyd Payne, town manager for Elkin.

Per the town of Elkin, any animal that commits any nuisance, as defined and/or stipulated in the Elkin Animal Nuisance Ordinance, upon the private property of another person or property belonging to the town of Elkin, is criminally and civilly responsible and accountable for the acts of his or her animal.

The Elkin Animal Nuisance Ordinance states, in part, no dog will be at large within the town unless accompanied by and under the control, through the use of a leash, rope, chain, cage or likewise device, of the owner or a responsible person at all times.

Feces deposited by the dog on any street, park or other public or any private property must be removed by the owner or responsible person.

Dogs and cats are required to be vaccinated annually against hydrophobia. They must wear a collar on which is prominently displayed a current vaccination tag and identification tag stating the name and address of the owner or responsible person of the animal.

The Elkin Recreation and Park Facilities Ordinance states, in part, that it is unlawful for any dog not controlled by a leash to be on the Municipal Park at any time.

Violations should be reported to the Elkin Police Department by either mail, electronic communication or phone, stating the nuisance being created by the animal.

The Elkin Animal Nuisance Complaint Form is available on the town website at www.elkinnc.org. Once on the town’s website, on the right side of the page, a link has been provided for the “Code of Ordinances for the Town of Elkin.” This will take visitors to another page entitled “Town of Elkin, North Carolina, Town Ordinances,” click “View Code.” The code dealing with animals is listed in “ Title IX: General Regulations” under Chapter 94.

Upon proper notification of any violation by a complaining party, and before a citation is issued, all persons violating any part of the Elkin Animal Nuisance Ordinance shall be notified of the violation by the town police department.

According to policy, the violator shall be given a copy of the ordinance.

The contacting police officer shall explain the ordinance to the violator. The violator will have 24 hours in which to correct the violation or nuisance once he or she has been given a copy of the ordinance and an explanation of the violation by the town police department.

If the violator does not correct the violation within 24 hours after he or she has been duly warned, the police department shall issue the violator a citation for violating the ordinance.

In the event there is a second complaint made to the Elkin Police Department chief concerning the same animal and nuisance violation, the violator will be issued a second citation for the nuisance violation and the nuisance animal will be impounded by Surry County Animal Control as soon as possible at the request of the Elkin Police Department.

Violators may retrieve their animals from Surry County Animal Control after compliance with all policies and regulation stipulated by Surry County Animal Control.

Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 336-835-1513 or follow on Twitter @NewsGonz.

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