Woman in violation of dog ordinance

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, August 21, 2012

One Brundidge woman is really experiencing the dog days of summer as she’s learned she may have to give away several of her dogs.

Right now, Rhonda Ivey, who lives on Boyd Street, is in violation of the city’s dog ordinance that limits the amount of pooches on one property to three. Ivey is currently housing 10 dogs, she said.

There is a provision in city code that does allow a person to keep more than three dogs if they build a kennel. But a dog owner must seek city approval around the dog ordinance, first.

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Ivey went before the Brundidge City Council with kennel plans on Tuesday, but learned she’d have to wait a bit longer before she gets an answer to whether or not she’ll be allowed to keep the dogs which she calls “work dogs” that are bred for show.

Among the factors to be considered – noise.

On of Ivey’s neighbors present at the meeting called the dogs a “noise nuisance” that happens “off and on all day from the time they are put out until after dark.”

Ivey countered that there are other dogs that bark in the neighborhood, not just hers. But the neighbor stood her ground saying that 10 dogs make much more noise than three.

Ivey explained to the council that two of the dogs belong to her daughter and will be moving out at some point. She also said three dogs were puppies and would go to their permanent homes in October. Only five of the dogs on her property are permanent residents.

“We will have a litter every now and then,” Ivey said. “But we don’t breed every time one goes into heat.”

Ivey said she breeds the dogs when requested by others who’d like a show dog or for hog hunters.

At question, too, is the welfare of the dogs. One council member asked if 10 dogs be cared for on that property safely. And the dogs are tethered by heavy chains for a portion of the day for what Ivey calls “exercise.” She said the dogs pull weights during show competitions and the tethering is not abuse and merely provides practice. Sanitation is also an issue that was brought up at the meeting.

The city council tabled the decision on whether or not they will allow Ivey to construct 10 by 10 kennels to keep the dogs, or whether she’ll have to follow the city’s ordinance and only retain three of the animals at her home.

City council members wanted time to visit the property and hear from neighbors themselves.

Also at the meeting, City Manager Britt Thomas said that the city is on track with its budget, so far this year. He also reported that postcards are being mailed to city residents to help clarify where they should vote in next Tuesday’s municipal election.