Enhanced Animal Control Regs Move Ahead In Worcester

SNOW HILL – Legislation to enhance Worcester County’s animal control regulations continues to move forward.

The Worcester County Commissioners last week agreed to introduce a text amendment that would strengthen local animal control laws. Various county departments partnered together to draft the changes after concerns were raised regarding a dog breeder in Pocomoke.

“We found our codes were lacking,” said Commissioner Josh Nordstrom, a vocal supporter of the changes. “I’m optimistic we can do most if not all we set out to do.”

Chief Animal Control Officer Glen Grandstaff presented the commissioners last week with a text amendment that would enhance existing animal control regulations. Grandstaff said the proposed amendment would clarify and increase existing standards, addressing issues like shelter provisions and commercial kennel recordkeeping requirements, among other things.

The proposed amendment also called for a reduction of the stray hold period to three days rather than the current 10 days. Grandstaff said that would free up kennel space, since dogs wouldn’t have to wait so long before they could be rehomed. He said it would also help keep the agency from having to euthanize good animals when stray animals came in.

Commissioner Ted Elder said he’d rather see a five-day stray hold to give owners a chance to reclaim what could be a lost pet.

“We put three in because that’s generally the standard now,” Grandstaff said, adding that his department would be open to adjusting it to five days.

Commissioner Chip Bertino said he didn’t want to see a dog euthanized sooner than 10 days.

“Ten days is fine the way I see it,” he said. “There ain’t no coming back from putting Fido down.”

He added that he had no issue with allowing a dog to enter the adoption queue in less than 10 days, but he didn’t want to see it potentially euthanized in three days.

The commissioners agreed to reword the amendment so that the period before euthanasia was left at 10 days.

Following last week’s meeting, Nordstrom said he was glad to see the legislation moving ahead.

“Hopefully we’ve worked out something everyone can agree on,” he said.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.