In previous drafts of the ordinance, wolf/dog hybrids, African cat hybrids, small primates, and snakes over 8 feet in length would have been banned by the County. However, the County has decided to offer a registration program for the continued ownership these animals. In order to keep these animals, owners will be required to have these pets microchipped and registered with Animal Services and Control. Owners will also need to maintain proper enclosures, veterinary records, and liability insurance in case of accidental bites. To offset the additional cost to taxpayers, there will be an annual registration fee. Owners do need to register these pets prior to February 1, 2016, or may risk losing the opportunity to keep these animals under the exemption.
Also updated in the new Ordinance is an expansion of the requirements for tethering household pets. This update includes increasing the minimum length of the tether to 10 feet (previously eight feet), as well as defining the maximum weight of chains, and the minimum area available to the tethered pet.
Mirroring the state law under the North Carolina Veterinary Practices Act, the new Ordinance also specifically prohibits surgical procedures on household pets, unless performed by a licensed veterinarian. Such prohibited procedures include tail docking, ear cropping, castration and declawing/dew claw removal.
The full text of the Ordinance is available on the Iredell County Animal Services below.