Craven County Sheriff reminds owners to take extra care of pets during cold weather

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Many pet owners live with the misconception that because their pets have a coat of fur, they can tolerate the cold better than humans. This isn’t necessarily the case. Like us, these fur-coated creatures are used to the warmth of indoor shelter and cold weather can be as hard on them as it is on us humans. Whatever your viewpoint on winter, one thing remains certain: it’s a time when our beloved pets need a little extra care.

Leaving an animal in the cold is unacceptable. If you see something, please report it. Be their voice! You can always remain anonymous.

In an effort to educate citizens in Craven County the following are ordinances related to cruelty to animals and proper care all pet owners must follow to be in compliance.

Chip Hughes
Craven County Sheriff

Craven County Animal Ordinances (Ord. of 1-16-2018)

Sec. 6-152. – Cruelty to animals.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to abuse, molest, torture, torment, deprive of necessary sustenance, beat, mutilate or kill, wound, injure, poison, abandon or subject to conditions detrimental to its health or general welfare any animal, or to cause or procure such action.

(b) Animal cruelty investigator(s) may be appointed by the board of commissioners as provided under G.S. 19A-45. An animal cruelty investigator has the responsibility for carrying out the defined duties of an animal cruelty investigator as mandated by G.S. ch. 19A, art. 4. If appointed, an animal control officer may be requested to accompany the investigator on animal seizures.

(Ord. of 1-16-2018)

Sec. 6-153. – General welfare.

All animals shall be kept and treated under sanitary and humane conditions, and it is unlawful for any person to violate any of the following provisions:

(a) Provision of adequate food.

All animals, unless otherwise indicated in this article, must be given at suitable intervals, at least once in a 24-hour period, a quantity of wholesome foodstuff in a container suitable for the age and species of the animal and sufficient to maintain a reasonable level of nutrition. Such foodstuff shall be served in a receptacle, dish or container that is physically clean and in which agents injurious to health have been removed or destroyed to a practical minimum.

(b) Provision of adequate water.

All animals must have a ready access to a supply of clean, fresh, potable water, provided in a sanitary manner.

(c) Provision of adequate shelter.

Animals must be provided with adequate shelter to reasonably protect them from the elements and from the weather at all times. It shall be within the discretion of animal services to determine what constitutes adequate shelter. The shelter shall be provided with a sufficient quantity of suitable bedding material consisting of hay, straw, cedar shaving, or the equivalent during winter season. Animals must be provided access to a shaded area other than its primary shelter during summer season. This section does not apply to aquatic animals or livestock and other large animals which are normally pastured or otherwise live in the open.

Examples of inadequate shelter include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Underneath outside steps, decks and stoops.
(2) Underneath houses.
(3) Inside or underneath motor vehicles.
(4) Inside metal barrels (provided, however, plastic barrels are adequate shelter).
(5) Inside cardboard boxes.
(6) Inside temporary animal carriers or crates.
(7) Shelters located in flood-prone areas or areas that lack a suitable method of draining so as to eliminate excess water or moisture.
(8) Shelters surrounded by waste, debris, obstructions or impediments that may endanger an animal.

(d) Provision of proper medical treatment for animals.

An owner of an animal must, at all times, provide the animal with adequate veterinary care and must take steps necessary to protect the health of the animal.

(e) Prohibition on leaving an animal in a closed motor vehicle, etc.

Leaving an animal in a closed motor vehicle or other enclosure for such duration or at such temperatures as an animal control officer deems harmful or potentially harmful to the animal is prohibited.

(f) [Female dog in estrous period.]

It shall be unlawful for any person owning or having possession, charge, custody or control of a female dog to allow that dog to be tethered or at large during its estrous period. During this period, the owner or person having possession of the dog must restrain the dog in an enclosure in such a manner that will prevent the dog from coming in contact with a male of its species. This section shall not be construed to prohibit the intentional breeding of dogs on the premises of the owners or keepers of the dogs involved.

(Ord. of 1-16-2018)

Sec. 6-154. – Prohibitions as to tethering.
No animal shall be tethered, except as follows:

(a) Tethering devices shall be designed and utilized in a manner to prevent choking, strangulation, and injury. The tethering device shall be connected to the animal by a buckle-type collar or a body harness made of nylon or leather. Choke chains, ropes, and wire are prohibited methods of tethering.

(b) Tethering devices shall:

(1) Be not less than ten feet in length, nor less than four times the animal’s body length;
(2) Have swivel hardware at each end to prevent tangling; and
(3) Not weigh more than one-eighth of the animal’s body weight, without the prior written consent of Craven County Animal Control.

(c) The area within which an animal is tethered shall be a minimum of 150 square feet, and large enough for the animal to assume any normal body position including standing, sitting, lying and walking. The area of tethering shall be free of accumulated waste so that the animal shall be able to walk or lie down without coming in contact with the same. Drainage shall be provided in the area of tethering to eliminate excess water or moisture.

(d) The area within which an animal is tethered shall not be located in areas that would allow an animal to either hang or strangle itself on a stationary object, taking into account the length of the tether and height of objects.

(e) In no event may an animal be tethered for a period of time or under conditions that an animal control officer deems harmful or potentially harmful to the animal.

(f) Notwithstanding any of the other provisions of this section, none of the following animals may be tethered:

(1) A sick, injured and/or diseased animal.
(2) An animal less than six months of age.

To report animal cruelty or neglect contact Craven County Animal Protective Services at Animal Protective Services (252 639-4256 or the Craven County Sheriff’s Office at 252-633-2357.

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