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Carrboro makes progress on unified animal ordinance

Orange County Animal Services Director Bob Marotto said no tremendous changes would be made in the unified ordinance, but just a creation of consistency.

“This is just putting the ordinances of towns throughout the county side by side and seeing how they deal with issues like rabies and nuisance violations,” he said.

“Then taking the best aspects of these ordinances and combining them in a way that is flexible and coexists across the county.”

Marotto said making adjustments to the ordinance will be a collaborative effort among county municipalities.

“It is very important in the process for us to make sure the towns have the opportunity to review the unified ordinance,” he said.

Marotto said residents should remember this is not a uniform, but unified, ordinance.

“Municipalities will be able to keep the unique aspects of their ordinances, such as Carrboro’s livestock and wild animal laws that would remain intact,” he said.

This aspect of Carrboro’s ordinance is covered in Article 3, prohibiting the feeding of deer, for example.

The unified ordinance would not change specific aspects of Carrboro’s personal animal ordinance that makes the town unique.

“The discussion is not so much the meat of the ordinance itself,” Chaney said.

“It’s about removing aspects that are common with other municipalities in the county to move in the direction of a unified ordinance.”

Chaney said the new version of the ordinance would help clarify protocol for Animal Control officers.

She said it would also make animal services policies more uniform regarding animal control procedures.

“This ordinance would be a way to make it easier for Animal Control to know what they can or cannot do,” she said.

“The ordinance just makes it clearer for everybody involved.”

Alderman Damon Seils said these changes will not have major effects on pet owners in Carrboro.

“We have contracted with Orange County Animal Control for years, so people will not be seeing changes in enforcement,” he said.

Seils said the ordinance will maintain each town’s unique features and that the unified ordinance is still in the draft phase.

Chaney said this is just the first step in a long process of drafting the ordinance.

“My expectation would be at least another month before we see it come back in final form,” she said.

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