BAINBRIDGE -- Town Council members Richard Cope, Bonnie Osborne and Naomi Barker passed two ordinances at Wednesday's meeting requiring all cats and dogs over the age of six months that are not permanently confined in a building or structure to be sterilized and provides a definition of who owns the pets.
"It's time we moved on with this issue. The county hasn't shown much in the way of moving forward, so we are going to do it," said Cope.
Both ordinances passed on the first reading and go into effect beginning May 1, 2009 if the pass second reading.
The first ordinance acknowledges that Bainbridge has an over population of domestic animals (cats and dogs) and the town seeks to reduce any unintentional reproduction by these animals.
They are requiring all animals over the age of six months that are not confined and can come into contact with other animals to be sterilized unless the owner has certification from a licensed veterinarian that the procedure is not in the best interest of the animal's health.
Ordinance two designates a person as an "owner" if they repeatedly provide care and well being to a domestic animal that has no identification indicating legal ownership by another party.
The term owner may be applied to a person or persons, if evidence is found that an animal has been fed, watered, sheltered, given bedding, groomed, had toys provided and been contained.
The ordinance also allows any police agency to collect evidence of ownership. The exemption to this is a person who harbors a stray, lost or abandoned animal no longer than 10 days and has notified authorities of the existence of the animal. It will be surrendered to an animal shelter after the 10th day.
A third ordinance was adopted on the first and second reading amending a zoning ordinance and map.
"The Planning committee approved this. It should have been zoned commercial in the first place. It's a commercial building," said Jim Nelson, Utility Director.
The property is owned by John and Marie Klein and is part of Lot Number 10 in the original plat of the town. It was reclassified from R2-Residential to B2- Business.
The town council also elected officers. Richard Cope will remain President and Bonnie Osborne will be Vice President.
The Bainbridge Town Council meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m.