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County to adjust animal control ordinances

A Nye County bill that is set to adjust animal control ordinances will be presented during one of the upcoming meetings of the Nye County commissioners.

Under a proposed document, certain chapters such as reporting of found animals, licensing or accepting abandoned animals could be removed from Title 6 of the Nye County Code. A total of 21 chapters are subject to change, but authorities could incorporate all of the changes, part of them or none.

The issue originated in March when Nye County officials terminated Tails End Animal Shelter's $225,000 annual contract due to the grim budget situation. The move came at a time when the overcrowded shelter received 67 dogs and two cats, the most it had accepted at one time.

Following the closure of the shelter, officials have to change the law since they aren't going to provide services anymore, Nye County Manager Pam Webster said.

"The decision to not fund the shelter caused this ordinance to have to be written," she said.

Nye County Commission Chairperson Lorinda Wichman called proposed changes "the combination of several things."

"My intention is to change by change and set things out of the way," Wichman said. "We will go through each one."

After closing the animal shelter, Webster said officials had to review the ordinance to address how they are going to handle animals.

"And we have found that what we were doing, we had a lot of things in our ordinance that we weren't required by law to do," she said.

"The intent is to scale down the ordinance to only those responsibilities that are required by (state law)."

In addition to that, funding of animal businesses is a budgetary issue, as the county doesn't have the money to operate them, Webster said.

"We would either use other rescues or private rescues or things like that if people want to come in and abandon a dog," she said. "They can't bring it to the county anymore. They have to take it to a private rescue or a private shelter."

Meanwhile, officials said they will set a date, time and location for a public hearing for a Nye County bill during the Thursday meeting.

"This is a very passionate issue for people," Wichman said.

"Any time you talk about animals, you get lots of people coming," Commissioner Dan Schinhofen added.

Webster said depending on the outcome of the meeting, officials could suggest a county shelter.

"Personally, I think that this may be pretty extreme," she said about proposed changes. "This may be hard for the commissioners to approve, because it's so severe, it cuts out so many things.This is going to be very, very contentious."

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