Animals shall be under sufficient physical restraint (leash, cage, fence, etc) at all times. An animal is exempt from being under physical restraint if a responsible adult (18 years old or older) is physically outdoors and directly adjacent to the animal on the land where the owner of the animal resides, and the animal is obedient to that person’s commands. (Section 8-2031). First offense is a $50 fine; second offense - $75; third offense - $150 and animal must be placed continually in a proper enclosure); fourth offense $150 and seizure of the animal.
An animal is considered to be a public nuisance even if it is properly restrained if it has dangerous or destructive propensities; habitual barking or other noisemaking; or interferes with the use of public streets, sidewalks, or other public areas. (Section 8-2022).
Animals in heat shall be confined in an enclosure that will not allow the animal to come in contact with or attract other animals (Section 8-2015).
Animals over four months old shall be vaccinated against rabies and wear a collar with a vaccination tag and the owner’s name and address are displayed. $50 fine.
To report violations: Call the Rutherfordton Police Department at 287-5062 if any of the following conditions exist:
- An animal is unrestrained and running at large and the owner is known.
- An animal is destroying property or exhibiting dangerous behavior (such as injuring another animal).
- An animal is interfering with the use of public streets, sidewalks, or other public areas or exhibits other nuisance type behavior such as habitual barking.
- Cruelty to an animal is suspected or an animal has been abandoned.
- An animal is injured, wounded, or diseased and suffering (after hours call 911).
- An individual is bitten by an animal (after hours call 911).
Ordinances are applicable ONLY to domesticated animals. For problems involving a wild animal, please contact North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Enforcement Division at 919-707-0030.