Tougher animal control laws on the way for Wicomico County

Tougher animal control laws on the...

WICOMICO COUNTY, Md. - "It started out as just changing a few things and it kind of snowballed from there." 

Some minor changes turning into an almost completely rewritten animal control ordinance.

It's something that Wicomico County Humane Society Executive Director Aaron Balsamo didn't expect at first, but says is now a no brainer.

"There's a lot of things that we can do to help the animals out in the county but we can only enforce the laws that are written on the books," explains Balsamo. 

Balsamo says the current code 'Dogs and Other Animals' lacks specificity, especially when it comes to animals outside in inclement weather..  

That's why they are looking to restrict the time your animal can be outside to 30 minutes. 

"We're looking at things we can do with the heat and the cold, restricting how long your dog can be outside in the heat or the cold. Dogs are just as susceptible to frostbite as we are humans, so a lot of it is just different measures we're taking to try and protect the animals in the county." 

Another addition they're looking at adding, what constitutes a dog house. 

Balsamo explains, "In the winter for example, you want to have a wind break on the front entrance of the dog house to prevent the cold winds from coming in and causing issues such as hypothermia frostbite things like that." 

As it stands right now, there's no restrictions like this.

And from the looks of it, the public didn't have anything negative to say about them with no one contesting at the hearing Tuesday night. 

Balsamo explains that adding these measures and others just adds more tools in the animal control officers' toolbox.

"The specificity is going to let the residents of the county have a better understanding of the law, and it's also going to make it easier for my animal control officers to be able to interpret that law and enforce it at the same time." 

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