New pet adoption requirements are being proposed as a way to cut down on the number of abandoned dogs and cats in Chatham County, but critics say it would also impact residents’ ability to adopt a pet.
In response to some of the county commissioners’ concerns about the public safety risk posed by strays, County Attorney Jon Hart has submitted a proposed ordinance to address the issue.
The ordinance requires all cats and dogs that are at least six months old be spayed or neutered and for those that are at least four months old to be microchipped in order to identify their owner.
Exemptions would be made if a veterinarian certifies that the microchip would cause serious harm. Also, state registered breeders would not have to spay or neuter their animals, while other owners could request an exemption. Owners who do not comply with the microchip ordinance would face a $50 fine.