Commissioners make few changes to animal ordinances

A years-long attempt to align two county codes that govern animals and land use culminated in a few changes and elimination of the Nye County Animal Advisory Committee at the last county commissioners’ meeting.

Officials left most of the proposed amendments to Title 6 intact on Jan. 19 as the Nye County Animal Advisory Committee had recommended to reject them earlier.

“This has been quite a journey as all of you will know and everybody behind me has had a huge amount of input into this,” Nye County Emergency Services Director Vance Payne said. “I believe this is the closest that we were going to get to a resolution.”

Officials removed the 18-month period from the definition of a dangerous dog and replaced tier I and tier II multi-pet permits with a permit that is required for 11 or more cats and dogs living on the same property.

The former Nye County Title 6 stipulated that a dog is declared dangerous when on two separate occasions within 18 months, it behaves menacingly to a degree that would lead a reasonable person to defend himself or herself against substantial bodily harm when the dog is off the premises of its owner or keeper, or not confined in a cage, pen or vehicle.

Following the recommendation of Chief Deputy District Attorney Marla Zlotek, commissioners also made definitions of service animals and dangerous dogs mirror the statute.

Additionally, Nye County Sheriff’s officers will be no longer considered Animal Control officers, officials said.

The approved changes will go into effect this month.

Nye County commissioners have yet to consider a list of funding options for the troubled shelter that was put together by the Animal Advisory Committee in November.

At the meeting, Payne spoke about the critical situation at the shelter that has been closed to the public since last summer.

“We are maxed out all the time. The costs have gone up and the funding is going away. The need for a private operator is imperative and I believe that this is a very good looking solution that we have,” he said.

The fine recommendations included a $50 fine for failure to license a cat or dog, second offense punishable by $75, third offense $100 with subsequent offenses punishable by $150.

The recommendations had been reviewed by the district attorney’s office and are expected to be submitted to county commissioners in the future.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at dsokolova@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @dariasokolova77

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