City code shows when and how to call city's animal shelter for removing strays
According to city ordinance, if an animal is in your possession for more than 7 days it becomes your responsibility. But, turning the animal over comes with a price.
A Chattanooga man contacted Channel 3 after he says city animal officers asked to him to foot the bill for reporting a stray dog. Turns out, city code is very clear about how, and when to call the city's animal shelter about removing a stray dog.
Dominic Brown said this is the second time he's called McKamey Animal Center to remove a stray dog from his property. The third call came with a bill. It wasn't because he reported the animal; it's because of when he called for help.
Dominic Brown said he named the dog Oreo. The dog hangs out at his house and plays in his yard. He's willing to put out water for the Pitbull mix, but stops there. ”I put water out to keep him from dehydrating but I don't put food out for him.”
Brown insists the pup is not his. He called McKamey Animal Shelter to report the stray over a week ago. The agency was willing to pick up the dog, but not without a price. “I don't feel like I should have to pay $45.00 for a stray. That's McKamey’s job.”
When McKamey officers came to pick up Oreo, Brown says they told him he'd have to pay a fee. According to city ordinance, if an animal is in your possession for more than 7 days it becomes your responsibility and then turning the animal over comes with a price. “If you have had that animal in your custody or care and you've been feeding it for 10 days that animal would be considered your pet. It falls under the owner,” said the Executive Director of McKamey.
McKamey Executive Director Jamie McAloon said the purpose of the ordinance is to prevent people from dumping unwanted pets. She said it's important to report strays immediately, instead of waiting. “If you don't report that animal, they're likely to get hit by a car, attacked by another animal. It's important to report that animal,” said McAloon.
Brown claims the dog hasn't been around that long, despite telling McKamey officers the dog at one point belonged to his brother. “We didn't have the dog longer than a day and a half. We made a call after putting the ad on Craigslist. No one has responded. It's McKamey's problem.”
A problem Brown said he's not willing to pay for. “They can come and get it. That's their responsibility. Otherwise, you want to know the truth? I really don't care what happens to that dog,” said Brown.
After we contacted McKamey Animal Shelter about the unwanted pup, officers went back to Brown's house. They removed Oreo from the location. They also found another dog in the backyard with no shelter and quote -- scabbed ears. Brown has 24 hours to provide vet care, or that dog will be taken as well.
For more on what you need to know about reporting stray animals in Chattanooga, click here.