- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. (AP) - The Olive Branch Board of Aldermen has adopted changes to the city’s animal control ordinance that include banning roadside sales of puppies and kittens without permission.

The changes to the ordinance will go into effect in September.

The Commercial Appeal reports (https://bit.ly/1rx2jes ) that for the first time, the city specifies the desire that reasonable efforts be made to first place an animal in a home rather than euthanize it.

The city raised its adoption fee to cover spay and neuter of pets before they are adopted. That way the pets don’t create more animals that might not be wanted.

The adoption fee will be $65 instead of the previous $50. The fee will include neutering and the implantation of a microchip so lost pets can be identified.

Police Chief Don Gammage, whose department oversees the animal control division, said workers had urged people adopting pets to have them neutered, but it was not required.

“We had no way of knowing whether they did it or not,” he said.

Officials also increased the amount of insurance coverage owners of dogs identified as vicious must carry to keep their pets. Instead of $100,000 in public liability insurance, owners must have $300,000 to cover potential bodily injury or property damage in addition to other requirements such as special enclosures.

Roadside sales or free offers of pets like puppies and kittens are prohibited unless the seller is able to present a city vendor’s license, a valid shot record and written permission from the property owner for use of the sale site.

Bryan Dye, city attorney, said having written permission is important since many of these types of sales occur on the weekend outside closed businesses.

Alderman also voted to require motorists to report to police when they hit a deer.

Aldermen let stand the city’s ban on keeping of livestock, such as chickens, in zones other than agriculture-residential areas of at least an acre.

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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, https://www.commercialappeal.com

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