Hogansville passes new ordinances governing strays, rabid animals

Published 11:30 am Thursday, February 18, 2021

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The city of Hogansville voted during Monday night’s council meeting to approve two new ordinances for pet owners in the community. 

The first amends the current ordinance for public nuisance animals located within the city.

The ordinance is being amended by adding a new Section 10-37, to be entitled “Enforcement and Penalties for Public Nuisance Animals.”

Under the new ordinance, it will be unlawful for any person to own, possess or otherwise be in custody of a “public nuisance.”

Any person found guilty of an offense of this ordinance will be punished in accordance with the city code.

The second ordinance that was approved is expected to prevent the spread of rabies within the city.

The ordinance stated that all dogs, cats and ferrets shall be vaccinated by four months of age and revaccinated as recommended by the current Compendium of Animal Rabies or by a licensed veterinarian according to the type of vaccine. 

Animals that may not be vaccinated for health reasons at the direction of a licensed veterinarian or under the suggested age will be required to wear a collar with identification tags when off the property of the owner.

Ferrets are not required to wear a collar and tag; however, the owner, caretaker or veterinarian must provide proof of vaccination upon demand.

The ordinance also stated that in the event an animal bites a human within the city limits, such animal shall be placed in quarantine for ten days.

The quarantine may take place at the animal control facility, a kennel in a veterinary hospital or commercial boarding establishment or, upon proof that the animal has received proper inoculation to include rabies vaccination, at the home of the animal’s owner.

The ordinance added that if clinical signs are suggestive of rabies, the animal should be immediately put down, tested for rabies and the exposed person notified.

Additionally, any stray or unwanted dog, cat or ferret which bites a person may be disposed of immediately and the head submitted for rabies examination.

Also during the meeting Monday night, the council voted to create a policy and procedure for the naming or renaming of a park, street, structure or geographical feature within the city. 

The created policy will guide name recognition and establish and ensure its uniform application. 

City Manager Jonathan Lynn said that the city is sometimes approached by residents, groups or organizations regarding naming of streets, parks, monuments, buildings and the lake. 

It has created confusion in the past due to Hogansville not possessing a policy regarding how to handle those requests and how to properly complete such a request.

The only budgeting impact the new policy will have is applications for requests will require a $50 non-refundable fee. Unless there is an agreed upon cost shared by the city, all costs are to be the responsibility of the requester based off estimates gathered by the city manager.