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10/5/2010 6:00:00 AM
BOS stuns audience with decision on dogs
Supervisors vote to allow just 2 dogs on properties 1 acre or smaller
SUZANNE ADAMS/MinerDog trainer Roy Hayes of CARENet asks the Mohave County Board of Supervisors to postpone a decision on changes to the animal ordinance Monday during the board’s meeting in Kingman. Supervisors instead approved the changes, including allowing only two dogs on properties 1 acre or less in the county.

Dog trainer Roy Hayes of CARENet asks the Mohave County Board of Supervisors to postpone a decision on changes to the animal ordinance Monday during the board’s meeting in Kingman. Supervisors instead approved the changes, including allowing only two dogs on properties 1 acre or less in the county.

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - Despite pleas from animal lovers and sanctuary owners for another public meeting, the Board of Supervisors passed a more stringent revision of the County Planning and Zoning and Health ordinances governing animal care and kennels than was proposed by a planning and zoning committee Monday.

Pet owners who live on an acre or less of property and outside the jurisdiction of the county's three major cities are now limited to two dogs and four cats.

A special zoning use permit to have more than two dogs and four cats will now be available only to those residents who live on more than an acre.

The change came about after most of the public comments on the issue were made and Board Chairman Buster Johnson expressed concern about the number of dogs the ordinance allowed in a residential area. He proposed changing the ordinance from four dogs to two dogs.

District II Supervisor Tom Sockwell backed the suggestion and made a motion to limit the number of dogs in residential areas an acre or less in size to two. District I Supervisor Gary Watson voted against the changes.

Several people pleaded with the Board to postpone making a decision on the issue and to order another public hearing with the ordinance committee.

Resident Betsy Sim called the revised ordinances restrictive and unconstitutional. She begged for another public meeting to be held. Rescue sanctuaries are not commercial entities and shouldn't be treated as such, she said.

The proposed ordinances would shut down Rescue Unwanted Furry Friends Foundation in Golden Valley and many other sanctuaries, she said.

"It's as if this has nothing to do with animals and everything to do with money," Sims said.

CARENet member and dog trainer Roy Hayes also asked the Board to postpone its decision.

"I would hate to see this done hastily," he said.

Some parts of the new ordinance were good and others not so good, said RUFFF owner Hillary Allison.

"We need a workshop where we can sit down together and toss ideas back and forth," she said.

Kennel and sanctuary owners did get some relief from some of the original proposed revisions to the ordinance. After several animal groups, kennels and sanctuary owners met with the planning and zoning committee that proposed the revisions on Sept. 28, the committee agreed to allow kennels and sanctuaries to use sand instead of pea gravel for kennel flooring and allow chain link fencing with a cement footer to prevent dogs from digging out of their kennels instead of requiring block wall and chain link fencing, Planning and Zoning Commissioner Kristal Gibson told the Board.

Gibson served on the committee that suggested the changes to the ordinance.

The cost of sand to line the kennels and reconstructing kennels with cement footers would put her out of business, Alison said.

Cherie Da Lynn from For the Luv of Paws also said the cost of tearing apart her kennels to put in cement footers would be prohibitive.

Resident Jim Kanelos asked if it wouldn't be possible to grandfather some of the current sanctuaries and kennels into the law, and any additional expansions to the facilities would fall under the new regulations.

The Board eventually agreed to allow kennels and sanctuaries to keep their current structures, but any improvements would have to follow the new codes.

Johnson questioned the use of sand as a way of keeping the kennels clean. Wouldn't sand harbor more diseases and bacteria than pea gravel? he asked.

Da Lynn suggested the use of sand instead of gravel, Gibson said. Federal guidelines also suggest that sand is an acceptable bedding material for a kennel, she said.

Sand is easier to sift and replace than pea gravel, Da Lynn said. The dogs are less likely to eat it as well, she said. Sand is easier on the animals. It is cool in the summer and warm in the winter, unlike concrete.

"This isn't ideal, but it's creating a level (of hygiene) that's much higher than before," said Public Health Director Patty Mead.

Watson asked if veterinarian offices and clinics that board animals would fall under the revised ordinances.

The vet offices and clinics would not fall under the revised ordinances because some of them would not be able to make the changes to become compliant right away, Gibson said. Besides many vet offices and clinics only boarded animals for a short period of time. The real focus of the committee was to solve some of the problems the county had with animal sanctuaries and kennels, she said. The committee was hoping to tackle the vet office and clinic problem at a later date.

"This is just a base for the county to work with the kennels and sanctuaries. We hope this will evolve as time goes on," Gibson said. They also hoped to create a specific area of the ordinance that would govern sanctuaries in the future, she said.

"We're hoping this will provide a guideline for staff. We wanted a harder ordinance, but we also need one that the community can stand behind. It's a good sign that the community is willing to stand behind this," Gibson said "We're trying to give those who are up and running options."

"This is something to start from. It's a step forward. We're trying to meet the public halfway," said Planning and Zoning Commissioner Mehdi Azarmi. He also served on the committee to review the ordinance. "The commission has struggled with this out-of-date ordinance for some time. It's not a complete ordinance, but it can be revisited."

The committee was trying to help create an easier transition from what they have now to what the county would ultimately like to see, Azarmi said. To require all of those changes at one time would mean thousands of dollars of improvements to some of these facilities, money that some of these groups don't have, he said.

"We tried to use some common sense."

Johnson argued that trying to change the ordinance as things went along was silly, that rules protecting the health and safety of the public from disease should be put in place and businesses that couldn't meet the new ordinances would simply have to go out of business.

"I feel we should be strong about this, but this is a good starting point. I think we've sent a strong message for the future," Azarmi said.

Related Stories:
• Supervisors backtrack on dog limit
• Letter: Elected officials are utterly amazing
• Column: Pablo's Arizona adventure
• New law limiting pets may get a second look
• Callous county causes confusion
• Group formed to protect pet owners as BOS considers new ordinances
• Animal groups sound off on proposed ordinance

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, September 22, 2011
Article comment by: Law Warrior Fox

I'm glad this happened! Not everyone who (claim) they love animals are able to actually give proper care to animals in need.
The people who collect the strays of Mohave County with (ONE) acre or less who do not clean up after these multiple dogs, that bark all the time,that dig holes,cause larger problems should not be the neighbors problems either.
The laws should include when the owners who make their dogs stray animals should be held accountable and are not. It is not the animal who should suffer,but those who think they are helping are not at all when they do not take actual care of the animals. They cause health issues for those of us who do care for our animals, it causes garbage for those of us who clean up after our animals,it causes noise for those of us who do not create noise. Just as there are (SINGLE) family homes that have a limit to how many the dwelling can hold,this is not different. If you have a home that can only hold 3 people,there should not be 10 living in the dwelling due to health issues caused by SEPITC systems that can only hold 3 adults! Get a grip Mohave County, do you want your property to be next to a smelly garbage heap? Barking dogs all hours?

Posted: Friday, October 15, 2010
Article comment by: Debra Howe

Buster Johnson and Tom Sockwell must have a personal agenda here. I can't even believe the great city of Kingman would even consider passing this proposal without popular discussion. Obviously something is fishy and it is starting to stink. Perhaps further investigation is in order for you folks in Kingman.

I live in Flagstaff, work with rescues within our state and around the country and I can assure you there is more afoot than meets the eye. I am just ashamed and embarrassed this has hit our great state sneaking across the border to Kingman.

Control of personal freedoms comes in many measures and the insipid guise of "protecting innocent animals from abuse" via limiting freedoms is one very vibrant form. Alas, those of us who obey laws are penalized while the "abusers and misusers" continue unchecked and under the wire. You might recall dog fighting was illegal when Michael Vick was arrested.

And you might consider just how this new law of yours will be enforced. Will animal control be given powers beyond that of your local police to "save the animals?" And what proof will they require to seize your animals? And what happens to your animals, your property, your income, your pets, your freedoms, when you are subjected to animal control? Where will your pets go and who will care for them when they are seized? will you have to put down that extra old dog or cat you are caring for till they cross the rainbow bridge?

Do some research folks of Kingman. Find out what has happened in other communities when a thoughtful Board decides they know whats best for you.
Check out My Dog My Choice on line for information and for goodness sake VOTE! those rascals out. Just who pays their salary?

Posted: Sunday, October 10, 2010
Article comment by: Answering 12

Boy! I could only get thru a dozen comments before I had to throw my 2 cents in...
Unbelievable, how some people throw away their liberties so quickly. I guess they simply don't understand that if we don't stand up for each other, there will be no one left to stand up for YOU!
Nevermind what your personal likes and dislikes are about your neighbors dogs, etc.
THE ISSUE IS NOT about your pet peeves, (pardon the pun).
Maybe someone already pointed this out...but remember when we were ALLOWED to discipline our children with good spanking????
Not any more.....
Because some sick abusive idiots went overboard, now we have another law that goes overboard in the other direction.
Same thing with this new dog law.
2 dogs per acre, huh? When was the last time these... BOS were outside to look at how much property a 1/2 acre, or 1/4 acre really is????
I swear, this BOS have absolutely no common sense whatever! Their drunk with power!

Posted: Saturday, October 9, 2010
Article comment by: az mac

been there, done that
I was at most of the meetings and the last one they changed the date and I missed it. It was changed so most people would not be there. Yes I know that Sockwell made up the rule at the last moment. Watched the meeting on the internet. One of the other of the BOS said he took a phone survey and the people said two was enough. I know he lied.
Go here to watch the meetings

Posted: Saturday, October 9, 2010
Article comment by: What Constitutional Rights?

@ Jerry,
The BOS and county officials don’t care about the Constitution. I watch a video by Luca Zanna that was filmed recently6in front of the county administration building in Kingman. There were two men attempting to pass out copies of the Constitution and the county’s security guru came out and told them they had to stop passing them out our they would be arrested. This is an example of our rights heading out of the county on an old school bus like many of the customer service jobs being outsourced. Oh I forgot, we don’t have any rights as far as the BOS and King Ron Walker is concerned.

Posted: Friday, October 8, 2010
Article comment by: Jerry J

A lot of animals will be put down due to this...a lot! Aren't there 100 other more important things that could have been accomplished in this county before screwing around with this nonsense? A**HOLES!!!

Posted: Friday, October 8, 2010
Article comment by: Constitution Constitution

Too bad that Dogs&Cats rights fall under the constitution but your's DO ! "It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." Daniel Webster

Posted: Friday, October 8, 2010
Article comment by: been there, done that

@ az mac....

"Where were all you people when the meetings were being held????? Once laws are made it is very hard to change them. When you sit at home and depend on someone else to do it, you get what they want to give you."

This is very true. However, the ordinance as presented said nothing about limiting the number of dogs to 2. This change came about after all those there had spoken, and Mr. Johnson commented that he didn't understand how people could take care of more than two dogs. Mr. Sockwell picked up on that comment, and placed a motion to limit the number of dogs to 2, which was seconded by Mr. Johnson. Never, at any time, was the public permitted to comment on, or even aware, that this change would be included.

Mr. Johnson and Mr. Sockwell knew what they were doing. Screw the people.

@ those stating that two are would you like it if the idiots decided that no dogs would be allowed. Would you be so vocal for the new ordinance then?

This law is now on the books. But this law can be repealed. IMO, it would bode well for it to be repealed at the next supervisor meeting which, I believe, is on October 18th.

@ M. Ghost Dancer....your comment in another forum was interesting. This person would have to be from outside Mohave County, though. You never know who is in who's pocket. I'm imagining 'mental anguish' and 'emotional distress' would be good for a start. Then you could tag on medical bills caused by this outrage (heart attack and stroke come to mnd). Probably would be good to do it individually, and then collectively.

Posted: Friday, October 8, 2010
Article comment by: The Rifleman CYA

Weapons permitted, Full Force Peaceful march on both Stockton Hill and, Beale street exits, showing possible Kingman prospects, and possibly hurting local business. Which in turn bites the BOS. Angry Business Owners will and can turn this Good ole boy club around. Then we can all join the TIOTA club. This is our town assoc.

Posted: Friday, October 8, 2010
Article comment by: Sharon L

This is stupid. The BOS should concentrate on limiting the amount of junkies, "Sanford and Son" boarders, I'll kept and behaved children, and other problems in the community.

Please tell me of any dog who has done the following? Left their puppy in a hot car to die? Left their puppy in a hot car at Walmart? Drove drunk? Arrested for spousal abuse? Applied for welfare? Is an illegal alien? Cooks meth in their kitchen? Shoplifts from Target? Escaped from our "DUI" jail to go on killing people? Etc.

Is a dog owner is going to be an a$$, they are usually that way with all other things.

If they limit dogs, can I now get 15 alpacas, 3 horses, 1cow, 8 goats, 20 chicken/roosters, and 6 peacocks to run around my property? The sound and stink alone will out do any 4 dogs.

If I can't have my 4 dogs to protect me, I guess I need to run down and buy more guns to fend off the druggies and illegals.

Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010
Article comment by: Billy The Kid

GOOD LAW GOOD LAW, should go back where ever he/she is from, the BOS needs to pull their heads out of there butt, quit letting the good ole boys run this town, and quit acting like Obama, one idiot is enough! So people who have had pets for years and those pets are part of their family, maybe their only family, now they have to get rid of them? I don't think so!

"A word to the wise ain't necessary, it's the stupid ones who need the advice"

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is to try to please everyone"

God put us on this earth to live and idiots like the BOS make it harder everyday!

Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010
Article comment by: sao sao

Sorry you nazis! I concider my dogs are like my children and I'm not going to make no "Sophie's choice" as to which ones I keep. It was legal when I got the four of them and I won't give them up now--no matter who I have to fight. Someone made the comment that the new limit is good because dogs in his neighborhood bark at night when the teekers walk around then instead of picking on citizens who have obeyed the law and take care of their pets why doesn't Kingman go after the tweekers and gang bangers who are causing the problems. Mohave County has their priorities messed up.

Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010
Article comment by: Me Again

So, I thought a bit more about this last nite. Over the years
my car - robbed w. alarm on, damage done for them trying to get in w. it locked and lots of things taken
my truck window broke out - rummaged thru nothing taken but window still needs to be replaced
my mom's truck - 2 windows broke out - insurance didn't cover it
my mom's bedroom window - bullet thrown thru and broke
my mom's storage sheds - broke in to at least three times
my mom's car - gas siphoned out, robbed, change, various items (twice)
my mom's house - robbed and a tweeker standing in her bedroom when she woke up!!!
my mom's neighbors blew up their kitchen cooking meth
my mom's four neighbors ABANDONED their property and well, to put it nicely - it looks like ______ (insert what you like)
my neighbors - robbed, windows broken out of their car three times (and he's a doctor so this ain't a bad area of town I live in)
my mom's neighbor (butler) - house burned down - arson -
guess what??? NOT ONE DOG is a suspect in any of these things. An Animal Rights Activist LAWYER could have a field day with this County. I hope one gets a notice about some of this. There are ALREADY laws in force for when someone doesn't 1) license their dogs 2) dog's bark or run loose - those laws are already in place and good people go to jail every day for 'dog at large' - 1000 fines, etc. Now, before your readers who want to defend the County by saying I'm arguing about this 'cause I've got too many dogs, I DON'T!!! This is like any other type of thing that has happened in our history - if people don't stand up - eventually they'll come for YOU - and your children too - wait, 'til they tell you how many of those you can have - like in China.

Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010
Article comment by: NRADY DIFF

After reading all of this and all of the other news and complaints about dogs, barking, and pooping. Ya know maybe if someone would get up and look they may prevent someones home from being robbed or a person from being jumped. But I suppose that would make to much sense. there are laws for the complaints, one dog can bark constantly as well as 4,5 or 10. One dog can be destructive and vicious. So this limitation prevents nothing. Enforcing the laws that are in place might. Also the permits are just another way to line the pockets of this BOS. Which should be get the BSO! Also do they have pets? Do their kids, grandkids have pets? I wonder. I want to be left alone and my pets. People are the problem not the dogs!! But they get killed.

Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010
Article comment by: 1 2

I am an animal lover and feel for people that are having to give up there pets but, I also feel that more than two dogs on a small piece of property is too many. I think that the people who do have more than two dogs, that have those dogs registered with the county, should at least be able to keep those dogs for the remainder of the animals lives. Taking an animal and possibly putting the animal to sleep because no one wants to take the animal is not right, that is the pet owners fault for having one too many animals. If the animal is being taken care of properly and is spayed or neutered let the animal live where it has been. I agree with the new law because one dog barking constantly, day and night is enough, let alone 4 dogs. I agree with Very Good Decision Decision's comment, if responsible pet owners would have stepped up and taken care of things and controlled there animals, and animal intake this would have never happened. Things happen and things change, the only thing you can do is thank the people who ruined it for you.

Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010
Article comment by: no name

Maybe now people will see that the b.o.s. does whatever they want regardless of the public's approval and that they need to be ousted.

Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010
Article comment by: az mac

Where were all you people when the meetings were being held????? Once laws are made it is very hard to change them. When you sit at home and depend on someone else to do it, you get what they want to give you.

Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010
Article comment by: Very Good Decision Decision

Most of the People who have complained here in have two dogs, or more .
Here is the other side of the problem.......

I live in a residental subdivision on 1/2 acre lots and in the
the houses across the street and the houses that surround my home by common block wall boundry of property lines , their are a total of 15 dogs in ajoining propertys .
Their have been many sleepless nights from all these dogs barking for the hell of it !, let alone the constant nusance noise of dogs barking through the day light hours ....

Their is good reason That The BOS have passed a new dog ordanace in Mohave County.

Most owners of these dogs where I live, have turned a blind ear to their dogs barking all damn night .

Alot of you people who think you should unite to protect yourselves and your presious pets , might want to unite to address other peoples problems that have sufferd from living near pet owners whom do not care about the quaility of life of others that have to live near them . In other words , clean up your own houses first , then go to the county board of supervisiors with positive problem addressing results, rather than empty threats
of everything from wingnutt violence to protests .

The BOS have to take into consideration all residents who live
in Mohave County, not just animal rights advocates ...
People get up and go to work , come home and should be able to eat dinner and be able to sleep at night with out having to have the peace disturbed from un attended barking dogs all night .
A little self policing may have gone a long way to have prevented this whole problem from ever surfacing ......

Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010
Article comment by: Scorpion Lover

DOG LICENSE! This is how the county keeps track of how many dogs you have, and you're paying them to do it. Don't license your dog. You also had more than two dogs when they passed this law, which means you are legal non-conforming. Don't do anything rash. Vote out the BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.

Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010
Article comment by: WE THE PEOPLE{ME} THINKING

Hmmmm you know a smart person would turn
this into a land use issue and use the oct,13,2010 p.z.meeting to voice your concern!
its your property! right! its your land right!
sure its a long shot! opps i shounldn't have of said that!! just take the chance show up and say something.the general plan is also a statment of public values,What is it that you value?anyways its just an idea,too bad we don't have a {call to the public}anymore,to bad you all gave it up without a fight!
its a shame only a handful will show up on oct13,2010,p.z.meeting on beal st.county blding, don't ask them if you can just do it!!

Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010
Article comment by: Gail Lucas

Throw the bums out!!!

Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010
Article comment by: Gail Lucas

Throw the bums out!!!

Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010
Article comment by: Sue City Sue

@-julie julie
You have the wrong mindset on this issue. It is we that need to move the BOS out of town, permanently. This way we can continue to live in the location of our choice, in our totally devalued homes.

After we kick out the BOS, we drastically change the salary structure.

@-Richard Null
There is a valid reason some people hide behind a pseudo name - it is called RETRIBUTION!

Take a trip to our library and read the book titled "Victim Condemned" by author Patti Lewis.
ISBN:9781419618895Item info: 4 copies available at Kingman, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu City, and Valle Vista.

Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010
Article comment by: I Foresee a REVOLUTION!!!!! !!!!!

I am absolutely disgusted by the BOS (bunch of s***) and every person who agrees with this atrocious law! Buster Johnson and Tom Sockwell are k9 NAZIS. Applause to Gary Watson however for his rightful vote!

What's next? A limit on the number of children or resident to each parcel of land? When I first moved to this county I was impressed and proud of the community and family centred way about running things. Was it always this much of a tyranny or have things changed just recently? The county says "we'll cut the funds to feed our seniors" and " Lets round up the dogs and tell THE PEOPLE how many critters will suit them". What's next? What else do they have in mind to trample on our LIFE, LIBERTY AND HAPPINESS?

At least Gary Watson cares about the people , it seems. And I guess Buster & Sockwell are keen to public detest and resentment. How many patriots and animal lovers live in this town? How many of them would vote out the k9 NAZIS in a heart beat? SAY I .

We need a REVOLUTION! We need to band together and protect our community and liberty from the criminals who are wreaking havoc on our security and freedom ( the tweaker burglars as well as the politicians who have anything less than We The People on their agenda!)



WE can fight this!

Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010
Article comment by: Web User

Is this really a problem? i mean as long as the people that will enforce this new law have graduated from Kingman schools chances are they can not count to 4 anyway Lets spend some time worrying about education and maybe some of the drug problem or job loss that's going on and quit worrying whether i have 3-4 dogs in my back yard

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