Previous Item Print Next Item

December 7, 2017 City Council Regular Meeting
Motion to Repeal and Replace Part 9, Chapter 5 of the Animal Control Ordinance to Address Menacing Dogs and Regulate Breeding Practices

Chatham County Animal Services, which serves the entire county, including Savannah, has begun a process to overhaul the community’s animal regulations to implement common-sense principles for the health and welfare of pets. The changes are being implemented in two phases. The first phase primarily addresses the licensing, enforcement and breeder practices primarily related to dogs. The second phase primarily addresses cats.

In May 2017, the Chatham County Board of Commissioners adopted changes to its Animal Control Ordinance that were recommended during Phase One of this process, related to dogs. Chatham County Animal Services has requested that the Savannah City Council adopt parallel changes to ensure consistent enforcement across its jurisdiction.

The proposed changes, as detailed in the attached draft ordinance and summarized during the November 9, 2017, Council Workshop, would:

  • Define a bite versus an attack to help identify dangerous dogs
  • Define a menacing dog
  • Stipulate that a menacing dog must be spayed/neutered and microchipped at the owner’s expense before being returned to the owner
  • Stipulate that a dog that does not pose a threat but has been impounded three times is considered menacing and must follow the same provisions as a menacing dog
  • Prohibit tethering but allow the use of overhead runs under specific conditions
  • Prohibit unlocked retractable leashes at permitted events
  • Define adequate outdoor shelter
  • Restrict backyard breeding of mixed-breed dogs
  • Require that owned cats that are allowed outdoors must be spayed or neutered so not to contribute to the overpopulation of feral cats. Cats living indoors are no subject to this provision.
Financial Impact
Review Comments
Draft Animal Control ORD Revisions 2017.pdf
Agenda Plus