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Monday May 30th, 2016 6:15PM

Gainesville Council moves closer to change in animal ordinance

By B.J. Williams News Director
GAINESVILLE - The city of Gainesville's animal control ordinance is one step closer to lining up with elements in the Hall County animal control ordinance.

Gainesville City Council gave first reading approval to a change in the definition of a "dangerous animal" and a "potentially dangerous" animal.

City Manager Kip Padgett said the addition to the ordinance protects other animals from animal attacks.

"Our current ordinance just has animal on human - it doesn't address animal on animal - so this addresses that, similar to what Hall County's does," said Padgett.

He said because the city contracts with Hall County for animal control services, Council wanted to make sure animal control rules in the city mirrored as closely as possible those in the county. And, he said the city has been receiving reports of dogs attacking other dogs.

"We've had a couple of complaints of dog on dog attacks and Hall County's hands are tied to a certain extent to investigate without this being a part of our ordinance," said Padgett.

There are still some differences in the two ordinances, according to Padgett. For example, the city of Gainesville has a rule against tethering animals, while Hall County does not. Padgett said he anticipates future changes in the city's ordinance to more closely align with the county's rules, although he did not say what those changes might be.

Tuesday's vote was a first reading approval; a final vote on the change is set for later this month.
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