Davidson County Commissioners vote on new animal ordinance

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LEXINGTON, N.C. -- Davidson County Commissioners voted five to one on a new animal ordinance at its meeting on Tuesday.

However, because it wasn't a unanimous decision, they will have to wait until next month until a decision is made.

Before a vote was made, people stepped up to the podium to share stories and express their opinions to commissioners about an updated animal ordinance brought to the table.

“But listen to your hearts and just listen to the facts that people that are in the rescues and at the animal shelter and out there every day on the streets fighting for these animals,” said a resident who went to the podium to speak during the public hearing.

“I feel like the shelter is putting a Band-Aid on the problem and I just think that there just needs to be some kind of laws in place to hold more people accountable,” another person said.

For more than a year, a committee has worked to change the existing ordinance.

Changes include not having mandatory spay/neuter laws.

However, if pet owners violate the new ordinance they will have to get their pets spayed and neutered or pay a fine.

It also recommends allowing tethering to continue. The chain must be longer than 10 feet and done safely and humanely.

“I feel like no one thing is going to solve the problem of unwanted cats and dogs are presiding in our Davidson County Animal Shelter. However, everything starts with one step and that's what we are doing here tonight,” said Lillian Koontz, Davidson County public health director.

Commissioners will make a second vote on this Dec. 12.

If there's a majority that votes yes on this it will pass.​

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