Animal board lauded as first step
By MARK WAITE
The fact there were no dissenters coming up to the microphone to speak against the creation of a Nye County animal advisory board Tuesday was a point of pride for Pahrump Regional Planning Commission Chairman Mark Kimball, who has been a member of an ad-hoc kennel committee for the past year.
Only a couple of members of the public spoke in favor of creating the board to resolve animal disputes and work on a new animal control ordinance.
Zuzana Kukol and Scott Shoemaker, owners of exotic animals who had sharp disagreements over a previous attempt to rewrite the county animal control ordinance, merely watched but didn't speak during the public hearing at the Nye County Commission meeting.
"I'm not fighting this one. I'm agreeing with it. If they get good people on it, it will be a good thing," Kukol said.
"Hopefully, no one will sit on there who wants to ban everything. Hopefully, it's animal people," Shoemaker said.
The advisory committee will consist of seven members to serve three-year terms appointed by county commissioners. It will include two members of the general public and one each representing veterinarians, non-profit humane groups, special animals, animal breeders or handlers, livestock owners or livestock conservation groups.
They will be charged with drawing up revisions to the county animal control ordinance, making recommendations on the care of animals and holding hearings on contested decisions made by animal control.
Animal owners who flunk an inspection of their facilities may also appeal to the advisory board. The board's recommendations would be presented in Justice Court by the animal control officer if a decision is made to shut down an animal facility.
"This group would take a lot of the cumbersome burden off a lot of the questions that get brought forward to the different agencies and the courts," Nye County Emergency Services Director Brent Jones said.
Kimball described the advisory board as a "collegial, educational, community-oriented group" not one to pass judgment. He said they would try to work with people whose animal facilities wouldn't pass inspection.
Nye County Animal Control Officer Tim McCarty said his department wholeheartedly supports the bill.
"They have a voice regarding animals within the county. We see it as also streamlining the system for us which at times becomes a little overwhelming," McCarty said.
The only concern was raised by Sharon Davis, who brought a service dog with her to the table. She said definitions need to be revised on service dogs.
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