By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
Recent actions by the City of Monticello have led to the requirements that all residents living inside the city limits must now have each of their cats or dogs microchipped, or pay a $20 fee per animal to register it with the city. Local veterinarians in Jefferson County charge $35 to $60 to implant a microchip.
In June, the City Council passed Ordinance 2014-01 which states that no person may own or harbor a dog or cat older than four months unless the animal is current on rabies vaccinations and is either microchipped or registered with the city. The animal must wear the registration tag on its collar at all times.
By way of comparison, what are the pet regulations concerning Madison and how do they stack up?
In late 2011, the Madison County Commission passed the Excess Animal Habitat, which applied county-wide, limiting the number of cats and dogs per household, based on the amount of acreage with each household, but the ordinance applies only to adult cats or dogs eight months of age or older.
As far as numbers for the average pet owner, households with 1.5 acres or less may have ten or fewer cats and dogs. 1.5 to 2.5 acres may have 20 or fewer, and 2.5 or more acres may have 30 or fewer. The ordinance also covers stables and takes hobby breeders into consideration, allowing them to breed up to two litters per calendar year, or 19 dogs and cats per household per year.
Animal sanctuaries and shelters within the county limits must obtain an Excess Animal Habitat permit from the county, conform to a list of regulations for animal health and safety, allow periodic inspections and renew their permit each year.
The 26-page ordinance took effect Jan. 1, 2012, and according to County Attorney Tommy Reeves, it has worked very well and has not been amended since.
City Manager Tim Bennett said he was not aware of any city ordinances dealing with limits on pets within the city limits.