11/26/07 — Mount Olive Town Board discuss rules on animals

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Mount Olive Town Board discuss rules on animals

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on November 26, 2007 1:45 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Having already taken action against packs of wild horses, Mount Olive Town Board members are now setting their sights on other animals causing disturbances around town.

Chickens, goats and vicious dogs, beware.

Despite Town Attorney Carroll Turner's plea to dismiss the issue, several board members and newly elected Mayor Ray McDonald said they plan to take action on some level.

"Really, I think you would be better off to do nothing," Turner said earlier this month. "What are we going to do?"

Many of those in attendance at the meeting had a laugh.

But District 1 representative Kenneth Talton said the issue of animals roaming in town yards is not a laughing matter.

Chickens and goats might be a simple eyesore or health issue, but vicious dogs on chains makes it difficult for code enforcement officers to do their jobs, he said.

"For a lot of people in District 1, this is a real issue," he said. "I guarantee if you took the planning board in a van and take them down through some areas of the district, you could see definitely some of the concerns they have to live with. I don't think it should be put to rest. It's a real issue."

McDonald, who will be sworn in as the town's mayor at the board's December meeting, agreed.

The dog issue, in particular, is troubling.

Talton suggested a potential change in ordinance to limit or prohibit particular animals inside the city limits -- or perhaps handling issues on an individual basis.

But one thing is for certain, he said.

Elected officials need to take a look around -- and not just in their own districts.

Only then, he said, will progress be made.

"Go to these areas," he said. "See what these residents are talking about."

It is not yet clear whether or not the board will discuss or take action on the issue of goats, chickens and other nuisances at their next meeting.