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Animal ordinances in the city of Florence have changed

FLORENCE, Ala. – Residents should be aware of some changes recently made to a host of city ordinances in Florence. The changes stem from the recent overcrowding issues at the Florence-Lauderdale Animal Shelter.

City leaders made a vow in June to make changes at the animal shelter. At the time, 250 animals were being housed in a facility designed for half that.

“We have made about a half-a-dozen changes that were simple; some of them were even just common sense changes,” said Mayor Steve Holt.

Moving forward, unless it’s an emergency situation, those wanting to drop off animals have to call the animal shelter and make an appointment. Shelter leaders say this helps better control how many animals they take in each day.

“Normally what you want to do is make the intake side as difficult as possible and the adoption side as easy as possible, and maybe we haven’t been doing that,” Holt explained.

In an effort to speed up the adoption process and reduce shelter population another change has been made. Instead of having to wait seven days to adopt out a stray, the city cut it down to three business days.

“Sections of our (animal) ordinance were thirty plus years old and we just haven’t updated it,” stated Mayor Holt.

The city council made another major change to the city code, they adopted an ordinance which gives animal owners due process. If a report is made about a neglected animal, Animal Control Officers will work with the owner to make things better before impounding the animal.

Over the next several weeks, shelter leaders say more changes for a streamlined operation will be instituted. Since their overpopulation problems, the animal shelter has been hovering around their maximum capacity of 125.

A certified copy of the new animal ordinances passed by the Florence City Council can be seen here.