County updates animal control ordinances

By Nick Kovatch on October 7 at 1:49pm

Morgan County Commissioners updated the county’s animal control ordinance this morning.

Commissioners say the ordinance hadn’t been updated in several years.

George Cox is an officer with Morgan County Animal Control and represented the agency at today’s Board of Commissioners meeting.

“Our new ordinance just puts a little more teeth into the penalties of the dangerous and vicious dogs,” says Cox. “It was a real gray area prior. Now we’ve got it where we can do what we need to do with a dangerous or vicious dog without having to have it happen several times with neighbors grumbling over it.”

The fine for first offenders violating the ordinance is $25. The fines increase by $50 after each subsequent violation with a maximum of $250.

Dr. William Jay Hudson, who oversees the Animal Control Program, sat down with the Morgan County state’s attorney’s office to revamp the ordinance. Cox says they looked at other ordinances in neighboring communities before drafting a new one in Morgan County.

“We used the Department of Agriculture and Illinois state statutes, along with the Macopuin County and Sangamon County ordinances just to get a rough draft and we fine tuned it from there,” says Cox.

The new ordinance goes into effect immediately.