Washoe County Regional Animal Services has added a third public forum where citizens can provide their thoughts about proposed changes to the County’s ordinances that govern how public safety and animal protection in our community is enforced. The three public forums are:

Saturday, Jan. 22nd from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Washoe County Regional Animal Services Center (RASC) at their facility located at 2825 Longley Lane. Staff will be available to offer tours, demonstrate new technology which enables pet owners to claim their pets 7 days a week (even on holidays), as well as receive input and answer any questions citizens may have about the proposed ordinance changes. The Nevada Humane Society, the County’s partner and neighboring tenant in the building, will also be on hand with lots of adorable animals available for adoption.

Tuesday, Feb. 1st from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Washoe County Health District Conference Room at the Washoe County Administrative Complex, 9th & Wells, Bldg. C. (Note venue change from previous location.)

Friday, Feb. 11th at 1:00 p.m., Washoe County Health District Conference Room at the Washoe County Administrative Complex, 9th & Wells, Bldg. C. (the newly added forum)

Can’t attend any of the three public forums? There are other ways you can comment on the proposed ordinance changes:

* Comment online. Just by visiting the County’s website at www.washoecounty.us, you can let us know your thoughts on the proposed ordinances as well as read what your fellow citizens have to say about them. Click on the “read more” link on the cute photo of the dog and cat located on our website’s frontpage.
Attend A Meeting. Any proposed ordinances must be read into public record at a County Commission meeting twice before being adopted. Citizens who wish to comment on these particular proposed ordinance changes may attend the County Commission meetings for the first and second readings of the amended ordinance. The judicial process changes to the ordinances are scheduled on the BCC meeting of January 25th, and February 8th ; and the general changes on March 8th and March 22nd . Please check our website to view the agendas which are posted the Thursday before the actual meeting.

What are the proposed changes? In addition to giving citizens lots of choices on how they can comment on the proposed changes to our animal services ordinances, we obviously want citizens to know about them first, and we’ve made that easy for you too! Just go to the main page of our website at www.washoecounty.us/animal and click on the links to “Fast Facts and/or the actual draft legal language.

In general, the proposed changes will allow your Washoe County Regional Animal Services staff to better ensure public safety and animal protection. The specific changes involve twelve categories which are dangerous dogs, exotic animal permits, dog variance permits, kennel and cattery permits, animal control officer powers and duties, found animals, animal cruelty, tethering, dog licensing, redemption of impounded animals, definitions and miscellaneous modifications and civil penalties. Please visit our website for more complete descriptions of these proposed changes, or call Washoe County Animal Services Center at 353-8900.

A separate but related issue is the current operating agreement Washoe County Animal Services has with the Nevada Humane Society. This agreement will be reviewed by the Board of County Commissioners at their February 22, 2011 meeting. Again, the agenda for this meeting will be posted to www.washoecounty.us by the Thursday prior to the meeting.