FAYETTEVILLE – Cumberland County rewrote its code on animal ownership in Monday night's board of commissioners meeting. The county has long had issues with animals, particularly dogs.
"We are complaint-driven right now and we're going to try to be better than that," said Cumberland County vice chairman Jimmy Keefe.
In an effort to curb those complaints, homes on lots smaller than a half acre will be limited to three dogs while apartments and condos can only have two dogs. However, any dogs registered with the county by July 1 will be grandfathered in and not subject to the limit.
There are many other changes to the county's new animal code, but the most contentious during Monday night's session were those relating to fees.
"My concern is, and some of the other veterinarians, that some people may not be able to pay for the vaccination and the tax at the same time, so they don't get the dog vaccinated," said veterinarian Dr. Joe Burks.
Burks thinks that could increase rabies cases.
"The more unvaccinated animals you have running loose, the more rabies cases you're going to have," he said.
Animal Control director Dr. John Lauby says nearly 10,000 dogs and cats are euthanized in Cumberland County every year. With numbers that high, he says something had to be done.
"Those people that are coming in that don't have money to pay for the license, they have 30 days from the time they get their rabies vaccination to get a license. They should be able to get $10 together in 30 days to buy a county license," Lauby said.
Fayetteville City Council is expected to adopt the same ordinance Monday.