A flyer posted at a store in Los Lunas this past week proclaimed: “DOG OWNERS BEWARE!”
The flyer went on to list its own version of the new animal control ordinance. One statement written was: “They can break down your gate, enter your property, shoot your dog or cat, all without warrant or liability.”
Section 3.1.03 of the proposed ordinance actually reads, “An Animal Control Officer or Sheriff’s Deputy, who reasonably believes that the life or health of an animal is endangered due to cruel or inhumane treatment, may apply to the district court for a warrant to seize the animal.”
Chairman Judy Babcock of the Valencia County Animal Control Advisory Committee said the flyer totally misrepresents the proposed animal control ordinance.
“They are taking snippets out of it and blowing it out of proportion,” said Babcock. “The purpose of the ordinance is to make people responsible for confining or restraining their pets and to keep them from reproducing without intent, and defining what is minimal care for their companion animals,” Babcock said.
Those wanting a copy of the proposed animal control ordinance can obtain one from the county clerk at the courthouse on Luna Avenue.
Those interested in learning more about the ordinance can attend the next advisory committee meeting on Thursday, June 20, at 1 p.m. at the courthouse. The second public hearing on the ordinance will be on June 25 at 6 p.m. at the courthouse.
“Maybe people will actually go out and read the ordinances,” Babcock said. “People are in a panic from this flyer. It’s a fear tactic.”
Babcock has been involved with the county shelter for the past year and a half. Babcock, who is responsible for putting the dog adoption pictures in the paper, said she doesn’t want to see any more dogs and cats euthanized.
Last week, 156 dogs and cats were euthanized, including puppies and kittens.
“There are purebred puppies and animals in there,” Babcock said. “We don’t have the space or funding to keep them.”
About 74 percent of the dogs taken to the shelter are euthanized. That’s down from the previous 94 percent, Babcock explained.
“We can’t do any more,” Babcock said. “We have to stop them from coming in the front door. The only way we can do this is to make people responsible for the pets they have.”
Last week, there were 21 animal adoptions – the most adopted in a one week period within the last year and a half, Babcock said. She also said animal adoption alone is not enough to solve the animal over-population problem.