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Hamilton County News

Posted on: September 10, 2019

County Commissioners Approve Amendments to Animal Ordinance

County of Hamilton
State of Indiana

Contact: Tammy Sander
Phone: (317) 517-9520

County Commissioners Approve Amendments to Animal Ordinance
Changes Address Extreme Weather & Strengthen Penalties for Neglect 

(NOBLESVILLE, SEPTEMBER 9, 2019) – The Hamilton County Commissioners unanimously approved several amendments to the County’s animal ordinance at its meeting this afternoon.

The amendments include new temperature guidelines to protect animals from extreme weather conditions. They also more clearly define “adequate” food, water, shelter, space, ventilation, and veterinary care as it pertains to domesticated pets. New definitions and penalties have also been added for backyard breeders, puppy mills, and animal abuse and neglect.

“For me this was a pretty easy ‘yes,’” County Commissioner Mark Heirbrandt says. “Our chambers were packed with more than 100 people this afternoon, nearly all of them in favor of the amendments. The overwhelming support of our citizens tells me these changes were long overdue.”

Hamilton County last updated its animal ordinance in 2006. Last winter some voiced concerned about the safety and well-being of animals left outside during a bitter cold snap. The commissioners assembled committee from the Humane Society for Hamilton County and Hamilton County Animal Control Office to reevaluate the ordinance, introduce new guidelines, and more clearly define ambiguous language.

“We believe this is a precedent-setting ordinance,” says Rebecca Stevens, president and CEO of the Humane Society for Hamilton County. “We’ve done our due diligence to develop an ordinance we feel could serve as a best practice for other communities. In fact, we’d like to see this same ordinance adopted by all the cities and towns in Hamilton County.”

The ordinance will be enforceable in unincorporated areas of the County when it goes into effect November 15, 2019. The ordinance, along with an FAQ section, can be found on the County’s website at

Read the Ordinance...
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