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White dog in a yard

Changes to Citrus County Ordinances Regarding Pets

By Meaghan Goepferich Posted on October 27, 2021

The Citrus County Board of County Commissioners and the team at Citrus County Animal Services are dedicated to ensuring Citrus County is a safe and healthy environment for pets and their owners. Recently, there have been updates to the county’s ordinances regarding the regulations for pet ownership.

Changes to County Ordinances Regarding Pets

The changes to these ordinances include:

  • Any unaltered animals turned into the shelter will be sterilized unless the owner can provide documentation of a current unaltered license. If proof of a current unaltered license can be provided, the owner may reclaim the animal, intact, on one occasion. If the animal is impounded on more than one occasion, the unaltered license will be forfeited, and the animal will be sterilized before being released to the owner. Proof of a current rabies vaccination is required for all animals being claimed, or the animal will be vaccinated at the owner’s expense.
  • In addition to the previous requirements of vet clearance and an up-to-date rabies vaccination, animals placed on quarantine after biting a human will be required to be microchipped at the owner’s expense.
  • The cost of unaltered pet licenses has been increased to $75.00 for a one-year license or $225.00 for a three-year license.
  • Rescue groups, breeders, hobby breeders and owners of eleven or more dogs, cats and companion animals shall register annually with the County for $25. Failure to register could result in a $250 penalty.

“Our goal at Animal Services is to create the best possible home for pets here in Citrus County,” said Colleen Yarbrough, Director of Citrus County Animal Services. “This includes advocating for ordinances that provide our partners at the Sheriff’s Office the ability to enforce regulations that will protect these animals, as well as ordinances that prevent an abundance of stray or abandoned animals due to unmonitored or irresponsible breeding.”

Those with questions regarding the new county ordinances can contact Citrus County animal services at (352) 746-8400 or stop by their office from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Tuesday-Saturday.

Please see below for the full verbiage of these ordinance updates:

Sec. 14-33. – Licenses.

Dogs, cats, and ferrets 4 months are older must have a rabies vaccination and registered with animal services. The County pet license is married to the rabies vaccination.  The tag will expire at the end of that period or when the next rabies vaccine is due, whichever is earlier.

Fees are now

1 yr license altered is $10.00

3 yr license altered is $30.00

1 yr license unaltered is $75.00

3 yr license unaltered is $225.00

Section 4. Adoption and redemption of animals.

c. All persons claiming their animal must provide proof of ownership, proof of sterilization, as well as proof of current registration and rabies vaccination if such is required by this  article. Redeemed animals for which sterilization, rabies vaccination and/or  registration is required pursuant to sections 14-33 and 14-34, and whose owner cannot  verify compliance with such requirements, shall be required sterilized and vaccinated by the on-staff veterinarian days prior to redemption. The owner shall be responsible for paying the cost of the vaccination and sterilization prior to redeeming the animal.

d. Exception to the sterilization requirement will be granted to animals impounded for the  first time for reasons other than being stray; first time impounded animals having a  current unaltered license and microchip; animals too young or infirm to be sterilized as determined by the shelter veterinarian

Section 5. Quarantine of animals.

(h) All animals quarantined for biting a person shall be microchipped at the owner’s expense  within 14 days of the end of the quarantine period.

Section 11. Mandatory spay and neuter for cats.

The owner wishes to keep the cat unsterilized and has purchased an unsterilized license and has microchipped the cat. However, if the cat is trapped or otherwise found at large and impounded at animal services more than once, the license will be forfeited and the cat will be sterilized.

Section 12. Article II, Section 14-66, entitled “Registration of rescue groups, breeders, hobby  breeders and owners of eleven or more companion animals,” is added as follows:

(a) Rescue groups, breeders, hobby breeders and owners of eleven or more dogs, cats and  companion animals shall register annually with the County.

(b) The fee for annual registration is $25.

(c) Those registering shall submit a disaster plan and shall authorize animal control to inspect  the location where the animals are kept.

(d) A $250 penalty may be assessed for failure to register.

(e) Law Enforcement personnel are exempt from registration.

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