County changing animal control rules to limit breeders

Opponents of puppy mills in Bartholomew County scored a victory yesterday, as the Bartholomew County Commissioners took steps to limit the facilities in the community.

The Commissioners gave their first approvals to revisions to the county animal control ordinances yesterday. The new ordinance would repeal the previous law, that has been in place since 1978. The changes included bureaucratic reduction efforts such as removing the requirement for licenses and deleting references to an animal control commission that hasn’t existed for more than 25 years.

The major changes limited breeders of dogs, cats and other non-agricultural animals to having a maximum of 10 unaltered females more than a year old in their facility. That was for owners breeding the animals for future sales of their offspring.

The ordinance also made it illegal for pet owners to abandon their animals in the county. However, shelters and other organizations are allowed to collect feral cats, neuter them and return them to the location where they were found, as a way to limit the spread of feral cats.

The ordinance also increased animal control fines to $100 as a way to make owners more responsible

The commissioners will consider the second and final approval of the ordinance at their August 30th meeting.