By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
Members of a local animal rescue organization and county residents expressed their concerns about the need for a county ordinance to enforce the vaccination of dogs and issues that may arise from the animals running loose.
The spread of parvo and rabies are just two of the threats that could impact our area if a county vaccination ordinance isn’t developed and enforced, said Kathi McClelland, Paws and Claws Animal Rescue coordinator in remarks Friday before the Quay County Commission.
McClelland said the commission should to look into reviving Ordinance 44, an animal ordinance that was passed and rescinded by the commission in 2008.
There also needs to be language to address dogs at large, said county resident Rebecca Biffle, who explained that she has animals on her property that are kept in pens but there is no ordinance to address menacing dogs that may harass or harm her animals.
Ordinance 44 was rather large document with several requirements that the residents appealed, said District 1 Commissioner Sue Dowell. She said the ordinance was a nine-page document that contained many requirements. She said one option is for residents to develop an ordinance that best suits their needs and present it to the commission.
“There is a state statue in place regarding animals at-large but we wanted clarification from the commission on enforcement of that statue,” said Sheriff Russell Shafer.
Shafer said he has spoken with the district attorney’s office about enforcement of the ordinance and also wanted to address the commission about funding and personnel to enforce the ordinance. He said the issue of who would fund the housing and euthanasia of animals needs to be clarified.
Shafer said another issue is the lack of a penalty section included on the statute. He said there would need to be a penalty to enforce on those who violate the ordinance.
“The best thing to do would be to look into the state statute to determine if it could best serve the county or if a new ordinance needs to be developed,” said Commission Chairman Franklin McCasland, adding that the rescue group could look at ordinances from surrounding counties and see if they could be adapted for use in our county. He said the development of a county animal ordinance needs the input of its residents.
Other items, commissioners:
• Renewed the USDA/Wildlife Services Cooperative Program Services.
• Received third-quarter DWI statistics from Andrea Shafer, county DWI administrative assistant.
• Approved the purchase of five fiberglas water tanks for the Bard/Endee fire departments for $44,925.
• Approved the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission Partnership Agreement.
• Approved the submission of the 2017 Fire Protection Fund Application.
• Rescinded the County open fire burn ban; commissioners encouraged residents to call the county central dispatch center to report a controlled burn and not to conduct a controlled burn during red flag conditions.
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