Monday, June 4, 2012

County Commission ponders possible solutions to animal hoarding incidents

 Wes Venteicher

In response to animal hoarding concerns, the Park County Commission is considering what level of responsibility county government — and taxpayers — should bear for neglected or sick pets.
A Wednesday commission discussion focused on potentially requiring rabies vaccinations for pets in the county. The discussion followed meetings the commission has held in recent months on the topic of animal hoarding.
Local animal advocates have referred in commission meetings to one or more isolated instances of animal hoarding in the county. Animals who live in unhealthy environments — such as those often created by hoarding — can become sick, Vicki Blakeman, Stafford Animal Shelter Executive Director, said at the Wednesday meeting. 
“These situations are a greater risk for the spread of disease,” including rabies, Blakeman said.
Park County Civil Deputy Attorney Shannan Piccolo said at Wednesday’s meeting she had researched relevant laws in Montana and found no basis for creating an ordinance to directly prohibit animal hoarding.
As an alternative to a hoarding ordinance, some Montana counties have adopted ordinances requiring owners of a given number of animals to be licensed as kennel operators, Piccolo said..."  More

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