Chattanooga Council to vote on Animal Control Board Amendment - WSMV Channel 4

Chattanooga Council to vote on Animal Control Board Amendments

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

An uproar over urban chickens caused the Chattanooga City Council to bypass several amendments to city code that deal with the new animal control board.

The council voted to uphold the ban on chickens in city limits last week, but they've decided to revisit the other amendments at their meeting Tuesday.

Officials with McKamey Animal Center said the amendments up for vote are much less controversial and won't bring a debate like last week, but we could see a change that will help put a stop to animal hoarding.

"Everyone was talking about the chickens, and the rest of the permits didn't get as much consideration as they needed," said Karen Walsh, McKamey Animal Center Executive Director.

If approved, the new amendments will give the new animal control board the authority to authorize and take away permits for businesses like animal dealers, animal performances and restaurants that allow animals in the dining area.

"They are businesses that involve animals that need to be looked at in the community in order to ensure the safety of the animals, and also the safety of the public," Walsh said.

These are all things that required permits before, but if the amendments are approved, McKamey would still send officers out for inspections. They'll just have to bring their findings back to the animal control board for approval.

There is one big change -- the city will vote on an amendment that would require a permit for animal rescuers.

Walsh said it would allow the city to help these smaller organizations get grants.

"Often times those rescuers, their resources are just stretched so far, and they really could use some help," she said.

But it could also help authorities uncover animal hoarders.

"It enables us to be aware what kind of animals are being held in people's homes, and how they're being held so that animals aren't held in inhumane ways, or there's no hoarding situations starting up in the city," she said.

Walsh said she expects council to have some questions, but overall expects these amendments to pass.

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