Pet petition lands on August ballot

KINGMAN - Mohave County voters will be deciding in August whether the county will keep the changes made to the county's kennel ordinances. The Mohave County Elections Department confirmed that the issue will be on the August ballot.

The county approved the revised ordinances in October. The changes to the ordinances included: a better definitions of a kennel, short-term and long-term care facilities; the space and materials that a kennel can be made out of; what kind of medical and adoption/sale records a facility must keep; what type of containers animals can be fed from and more. Opponents to the changes say that they place an undue burden on animal rescue organizations.

In November, Guardian Angels for Pets, the Repeal Animal Ordinance Committee and other animal rescue organizations turned in more than 5,450 signatures to the county Elections Department. In December, the Mohave County Elections and Recorder's offices threw out several pages of signatures because of a notary error. Other signatures were thrown out in January for other reasons. According to the Elections Department, the organizations came up 163 signatures short.

The organizations took the matter to court and a judge ruled last month that 196 signatures on 17 petitions that were tossed out could be counted and the issue was put on the ballot.

It will cost the county approximately $200,000 to run the election, unless, the Board of Supervisors votes to reconsider and rescind the changes. In order to reconsider the item, a member of the Board who voted for the changes would have to bring it back up for consideration. Only Supervisors Tom Sockwell and Buster Johnson voted for the item. District 1 Supervisor Gary Watson voted against it.

Johnson's office said he does not plan to bring the item up for reconsideration. Sockwell's office did not respond before deadline.

The only other item on the ballot right now is an election for the Chloride Improvement District Water Board, said county Elections Director Alan Tempert. Other items could be added to the ballot at a later date.