Animal lovers spar over proposed Davidson County spay-neuter law

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DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- Tuesday night, the Davidson County Commissioners meeting was packed with animal owners, breeders, advocates and lovers looking to sound off about proposed changes to the county's animal control ordinance.

"We need regulation on all the Craigslist sellers, backyard breeders and the people who bring in litter after littler of puppies to the shelter and then keep the mother and don't get them altered," said Sue Rogers at the meeting.

Like many other Piedmont Triad counties, Davidson County is dealing with a massive cat and dog overpopulation problem. The proposed ordinance includes strict tethering laws and also requires all dog and cat owners to spay and neuter their pets.

Commissioners say enforcement of the ordinance would focus on owners who are repeat offenders and contributing to animal problems in the county.

"It fixes a penalty for people who have animals that violate another part of the ordinance that don't have their animal spayed and neutered," said Commissioner Fred McClure.

The ordinance also gives Animal Control Officers more power to enforce the animal ordinance.

But breeders, hunters and others in the county don't agree that the government should mandate what citizens do with their pets.

"NC state law says your animal is your property. We don't need more laws telling you what you can do with it when you are doing it the right way by the law that's here now," said Adam Buckner.

County commissioners decided they need to go back over the proposed ordinance before voting. They will take it up at their meeting in March.

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