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Sat, Dec. 07

County animal, kennel rules on Tuesday agenda
Rescue facilities, owners of multiple pets impacted by revised health, zoning codes

KINGMAN - The Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing concerning the new health and zoning codes for the care of animals and kennels in the county Tuesday.

The hearing will take place during the regular meeting which begins at 9:30 a.m. in the County Administration Building, 700 W. Beale St.

According to a copy of the code attached to the Board of Supervisors' agenda, licensed veterinarian clinics and animal hospitals are not considered kennels and do not fall under the new health and zoning codes.

The new codes, if approved, would apply to residents who have five or more animals on their property for either personal or commercial purposes, including animal rescue facilities.

The new zoning codes, which are different from the health and animal control codes, redefine what a kennel is and what the differences are between a residential and a commercial kennel. It also defines a cattery as a place where 10 or more cats, four months of age or older, are kept.

Another change in the zoning code is a new permit that would streamline the zoning use permit process for residents who would like to keep between five and 10 animals - cats, dogs or a mix of the two - on their property.

Instead of having to apply for a zoning use permit and then having to appear before the commission and then the Board of Supervisors for approval, all a resident would have to do is apply for a special over-the-counter limited zoning use permit, County Planner John Montgomery explained to the Planning and Zoning Commission in August. In order to qualify for the permit, a resident's property would have to be at least half an acre in size, he said.

Residents have raised concerns about the new zoning permit making it too easy for a neighbor to have a bunch of barking dogs.

The new permit would have to be renewed annually and could be revoked if more than 51 percent of the neighbors within 300 feet of the property complained or if the Health or Animal Control departments found that the property was a nuisance, Montgomery said. A public hearing would be held before the Board of Adjustments to determine the outcome of the complaint, he said.

Anyone wanting to keep more than 10 animals on their property would have to go through the complete zoning use permit process and appear before the commission and the Board, Montgomery said.

He warned that the new ordinances dealt only with land issues regarding pets. They did not deal with the health or welfare of the animals. Anyone applying for the new zoning permits would have to also meet the requirements of the Environmental Health and Animal Control departments, he said.

Environmental Health and Animal Control have also been working on new health codes for kennels. Their suggestions will also come before the Board on Tuesday.

Suggested

requirements

Some of the suggested new health code requirements for kennels:

• House cats and dogs separately.

• Have one quarantine area to house sick animals for every 10 animals at the kennel.

• House puppies and kittens separately from adult animals, unless they are still nursing.

• Have kennels keep medical records on all animals at the facility and have the animals wear a collar with their rabies tag.

• Outdoor animal facilities would have to be built with materials that are impervious to moisture.

• Have dog runs with floors that are impervious to moisture that slope and drain into a septic system. The drainage system must be able to handle daily cleaning and prevent cross contamination between animals.

• Have a bathroom with adequate hand washing and toilet facilities available for staff. Temporary or chemical toilets are not allowed.

• For short-term non-residential care facilities, more than 15 adult cats or 20 kittens can be housed in a 10-by-15-foot room. For long term-care facilities, the room must be three times that size.

• Have one litter pan for every three cats or five kittens.

The requirements also include security, cleaning and waste disposal requirements and more.

The owners and members of several animal rescue groups have raised concerns about the new codes, especially the cost to implement some of the requirements and the fact that the new health code does not include a spay or neuter ordinance.

The new codes come on the heels of Rescue Unwanted Furry Friends Foundation, an animal rescue located in Golden Valley, being cited in April for operating a kennel without a license and being over the county's limit of four dogs without a kennel license. RUFFF was granted a six-month zoning use permit by the commission in July.

A copy of both the zoning and health codes can be obtained by calling the clerk of the Board at (928) 753-0731 and asking for the backup materials for items 59 and 60 on Tuesday's Board agenda.

The Board will also consider:

• Rescinding the donation of two senior program vans to the Kingman Old Timers Chat 'n Chow program and donating the vans to the Kingman Senior Nutrition Center Site Council. Chat 'n Chow declined the vehicles in July 2009. The site council will try to sell the vehicles.

• Approve the sale of retired motor vehicles and miscellaneous property at public or internet auction. The items up for auction will be posted on the county website, www.co.mohave.az.us, under the "department" tab on the "Procurement" page.

• Setting a public hearing to consider establishing a 15 cent per page copy fee for court information packages and forms.

• Accept a $12,435 grant from the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records department for a newly developed center for blind and visually impaired children at the Kingman branch of the Mohave County Library.

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