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Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
9:03 PM Sun, Dec. 09th

New cat, dog rules go before Mohave County voters

Like a golden retriever with a slimy tennis ball, changes to the Mohave County Kennel Ordinance have returned and will be on November's general election ballot.

The Board of Supervisors approved the controversial changes in October 2010. In one month, local animal rescue organizations collected more than 5,450 signatures to force the issue to the ballot box.

The changes will not go into effect unless voters approve them.

The changes were an attempt by the County Planning and Zoning Commission to meld ordinances from three different county departments - Environmental Health, Planning and Zoning and Animal Control - into one main kennel ordinance for both cats and dogs.

The most controversial change added "long-term facilities," or animal sanctuaries, to the list of organizations required to get a kennel permit.

The owners of several sanctuaries protested that some of the changes were unnecessary and others were so expensive that they might be forced out of business.

Some of the new requirements included using sand, pea gravel or cement in outdoor kennels, providing bathrooms that drain into approved septic systems for volunteers, stainless steel food and water dishes, larger kennels and a rule stating staff spend at least 15 minutes a day taking care of each animal.

Facilities would also be required to keep the records on each animal for two years. Those records would have to be available for inspection by any employee from Mohave County Development Services, Public Health or the Sheriff's Office.

According to the new ordinance, county staff is allowed to make exceptions for facilities that have a current health permit, as long as that permit was issued before the Board of Supervisors approved the new ordinance.

A publicity pamphlet detailing the changes to the ordinance can be found at the Mohave County Elections Office, 700 W. Beale St.