The Board subsequently held a public hearing on May 22, 2017, to consider amendment to Ordinance No. 2004-58, known as the Animal Control Ordinance. Animal Services Director, Tim Maguire, made a presentation to the Board which included statistics about tethering and the process for complaints.
Though some citizens in attendance desired to ban unattended tethering completely, the Board members expressed concerns about how it would be enforced, as well as whether or not a ban would cause an increase in the number of animal surrenders to the shelter. After much discussion, the Board voted to amend the Ordinance to state that owners may leave a dog tethered outdoors on their property for a reasonable period of time not to exceed twelve (12) hours in a twenty-four (24) hour period and that a dog may never be left tethered or unattended on vacant or abandoned property. The Board directed Nassau County Animal Services to begin a campaign to educate the public about alternatives to tethering and to notify residents of the new twelve (12) hour rule.
The Board requested that Animal Services begin tracking tethering complaints they receive and to provide them with an update every three (3) months. Updates were provided at the August 23 and November 27, 2017 meetings. At the November 27th meeting, the Board created a fact finding committee consisting of County Manager, Shanea Jones, County Attorney, Mike Mullin, and Animal Services Director, Tim Maguire. They were directed to hold a series of meetings in the county to provide information to the public on tethering and to hear the opinions of the general public. The committee will gather the information they receive and will bring it back to the Board of County Commissioners at a future date.
The committee will be holding their first of a series of meetings on Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at the Multi-Use Facility located at 543350 US Highway 1, Callahan, FL 32011. The public is invited to be present and be heard. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations in order to participate should contact the office of the ex-officio clerk to the Board (904) 548-4660 or Florida Relay Service at 1-800-955-8770 (v) or 1-800-955-8771 (TDD) at least seventy-two (72) hours in advance to request such accommodation.
County Manager's Office