ROGERSVILLE — The Board of Mayor and Aldermen passed, on the first of three required readings, on Tuesday, April 10, an ordinance to amend Title 10 Chapter 2 of the Rogersville Municipal Code so it will address “domesticated animals” — not just dogs.

Among other things, the new code section, prohibits Pit Bulldogs within the corporate limits of Rogersville.

After a short discussion, in which Alderman Eloise Edwards asked if the amended code section will cover snakes as well as dogs, cats and other domesticated animals, the BMA members voted unanimously to approved Ordinance No. 4-10-18 on first reading. Edwards was told, yes, the new code section will cover snakes.

The ordinance was not read aloud during the 7 p.m. meeting, but a copy obtained by a Review reporter afterward indicated that the code section now in effect deals only with dogs.

“Whereas, it is deemed in the best interest of the citizens of the Town of Rogersville and in the town’s public welfare to amend Chapter 2 of Title 10 to provide for control of domesticated animals; and

“Whereas, now, therefore, be it hereby ordained: Section 1. That Title 10 Chapter 2 of the Rogersville Municipal Code be, and hereby is, repealed in its entirety, and that the following is substituted as Title 10 Chapter 2 entitled “Domesticated Animals.”

City Attorney William Phillips said the code section concerning domesticated animals had not been updated since about 1952.

The proposed new code section contains definitions. Among them are that “dog” refers to all members of the canine family and “cat” to all members of the feline family.

A “domesticated animal” is defined in the new code section as “an animal that has been tamed and kept by humans as a work animal, food source or pet; especially those species that have, through selective breeding, become notably different from their wild ancestors, to include, but not limited to, dogs and cats.”

Also defined in the new code section is the word “inoculation,” which the code says means “the injection of an antirabic vaccine which meets the standards prescribed by the United States Dept. Agriculture for interstate sale.

“Owner,” according to the new code section is defined as “any person having a right of property in a domesticated animal or who keeps or harbors a domesticated animal, or who has it in his/her care, or acts as its custodian, or who permits a domesticated animal to remain on or about his/her premises.

Rabies vaccination required

The new code section also requires that “prior to June 1 each year, every own of a dog or cat not confined to an enclosed area or on a leash or muzzled, shall cause the dog or cat to be inoculated against rabies by a duly licensed veterinarian. Evidence of this inoculation shall consist of a certificate signed by the veterinarian, a copy of which shall be kept by the veterinarian and a copy of which shall be given to the owner.”

The new code section also requires “serially numbered” inoculation tags issued by veterinarians be displayed on collars or harnesses worn by pets.

Seizure of domesticated animals

In addition, the new code section notes that on, and after, June 2 of each year any dog or cat found by the animal control officers to not be wearing the evidence of inoculation (tag) or for which no certificate of inoculation can be produced, and any domesticated animal found to be in violation of this chapter, shall forthwith be impounded at an animal shelter and the owner shall be subject to a $10 civil penalty.

Confinement of domesticated animals

The new code section also requires owners of domesticated animals that are bitten by another animal that exhibits rabies symptoms to notify the Animal Control Officer and promptly and securely confine the bitten animal for a period of 10 days.

When the officer receives information that a person has been bitten by a domesticated animal, whether vaccinated or not, he shall the domesticated animal confined for a period of 10 days.

The new code section also makes it unlawful for any person having knowledge of a person being bitten by a domesticated animal to not notify the Animal Control Officer or to fail to comply with the orders of the Animal Control Officer.

Animals at-large

The new code section also makes it unlawful to any owner of a domesticated animal to allow it to go into public places, streets, sidewalks, rights-of-way or other public areas in the Town of Rogersville without being under the control of the owner of confined to a leash at all times. Civil penalties will apply for violations.

Pit Bulldogs prohibited

Finally, the revised code section makes it “unlawful for any person to allow any Pit Bulldog … to be located in the corporate limits of Rogersville at any time.”

“A citation may be issued by the animal control officers for any dog the animal control officers initially determines to be 50-percent or more Pit Bulldog or which dog may exhibit aggressive tendencies to human beings or domesticated animals.”

The new code section says the animal control officer’s initial determination that dog is at least 50-percent Pit Bulldog is to be confirmed by a licensed veterinarian within three days of the issuance of a citation.

Owners, or persons having control of prohibited animals (Pit Bulldogs) found inside the corporate limits of the town “shall be deemed in violation of this section and shall be subject to general civil penalties provided in the code.”

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