A newly-revised animal control ordinance will go into effect August 1 for all dog and cat owners in the unincorporated areas of Walton County. The ordinance will not impact dog and cat owners within the cities of Paxton, DeFuniak Springs or Freeport unless the individual municipalities adopt the ordinance for their cities, nor does it reference pet owners of any other kind of animal. It only applies to dog and cat owners.
Emergency Response Director Ed Baltzley, who oversees the county’s Animal Control operations, says the revised ordinance, passed by county commissioners on July 8, is more definitive on the definitions of nuisance animals, pet dealers, fees and penalties related to impounded dogs and cats and pet owner violations. “This newly revised ordinance is a step in the right direction,” he says, “because our animal control officers can now take statements from witnesses of ordinance violations and protect residents from dangerous animals.” He says the revised ordinance also provides more protection for dogs and cats from animal abuse.
Some of the new rules in the ordinance are: “It shall be unlawful and a violation of this ordinance for any person to transport a dog or cat in an open-bed truck or other similar vehicle from which the animal can easily escape, unless the animal is confined in humane manner inside a locked animal carrier, or unless the animal is restrained by a minimal of two tethers, with one tether being affixed to each side of the vehicle, and both tethers being attached to the collar or harness of the animal.”
“It shall be unlawful and a violation of this ordinance for any person to transport a dog or cat in an open-bed truck or other similar vehicle when the temperature outside is above 90 degrees or below 40 degrees”
“It shall be unlawful and a violation of this ordinance for any person to leave a dog or cat in an enclosed vehicle trunk.”
“It shall be unlawful and a violation of this ordinance for any person to leave an unattended animal in an enclosed vehicle without climate control or proper ventilation.”
To review the entire ordinance, visit the county’s website at www.co.walton.fl.us or call Animal Control at 850-8928186.