New Wicomico County Animal Regulations Take Effect Saturday - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

New Wicomico County Animal Regulations Take Effect Saturday

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WICOMICO COUNTY, Md.- After being passed by the Wicomico County Council back in October, the county's new animal regulations officially go into effect Saturday, Jan. 19. The old regulations were repealed, and the new are aimed at strengthening animal welfare throughout the county.

It was in March of 2018 when police had to step in an intervene on a farm in Hebron.  Police said 25 dead horses were found on the Cherrywalk Road property and about 100 other horses had to be removed from the farm.  It was just a few months later that the county council voted to make significant changes to the county's animal regulations.

"The horse investigation from March of last year did discover some loopholes, said Wicomico County State's Attorney Jamie Dykes.  "And that's what I think the county council was trying to address when they passed these ordinances."

Dykes went on to add that the new regulations are a great step in the right direction towards better enforcement of animal cruelty laws.  From a law enforcement perspective, part of the new regulations give police more power when it comes to dealing with animals at-large, not just dogs.  Police said they had reports of horses running loose from the farm in Hebron quite often.

"One of the glaring weaknesses of the past ordinance was, especially when we dealt with at-large animals, we'd get complaints of at-large animals all the time, the only thing we could address was if a dog was at-large," said Lt. Tim Robinson of the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office.  "Now, the new ordinance pertains to any animal at-large."

Robinson said that does not mean police are going to come out and issue citations each time that an animal gets loose. However, the new regulations allow authorities to be proactive and ensure the situation does not become a nuisance.

Other new additions to the animal rules include tighter regulations on tethering an animal as well as protection of animals in harsh weather conditions like extreme cold or heat. 

To read all of the new Wicomico County animal regulations, follow this link: https://wboc.images.worldnow.com/library/4906279a-ff70-4e1d-80d2-8594fc3233af.pdf

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