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§7-1-14. Custody and care of animals abandoned, neglected or cruelly treated; animals causing public nuisance, health risk or safety hazard; authority of county commission.

(a) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, any county commission may adopt ordinances, rules and regulations providing for the custody and care of animals that have been abandoned, neglected or cruelly treated for the protection of any such animal and to prevent it from becoming a public nuisance or risk to public health or safety or the environment.

(b) Any such ordinance, rule or regulation may require each owner to provide for each of his or her animals:

(1) Adequate food which provides sufficient quantity and nutritive value to maintain each animal in good health;

(2) Adequate water which provides easy access to clean, fresh, potable water of a drinkable temperature in sufficient volume and suitable intervals to maintain normal hydration for each animal;

(3) Adequate shelter to protect the animal from the elements and other animals;

(4) Adequate space in the primary enclosure for the particular animal depending upon its age, size, species and weight which is regularly cleaned to prevent an unsanitary accumulation of urine and feces;

(5) Adequate exercise to assure that the animal maintains normal muscle tone and mass for the age, species, size and condition of the animal; and

(6) Veterinary care when needed or to prevent suffering or disease transmission.

(c) Any such ordinance, rule or regulation may limit the number of animals owned, kept or maintained by an individual, group or organization, whether public or private based on the person's ability to provide for the animals as set forth in subsection (b) of this section.

(d) Any such ordinance, rule or regulation shall provide appropriate penalties for violations and shall authorize humane officers to take possession of any animal that is not properly cared for as required by such ordinance, rule or regulation.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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