ORANGE COUNTY, NC (February 12, 2016)— The Board of Orange County Commissioners (BOCC) has approved a Unified Animal Control Ordinance that will become effective March 1, 2016. 

The unified ordinance aims to have a common framework that will govern Orange County’s unincorporated areas, as well as the townships of Hillsborough, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro. 

Historically, there have been three separate ordinances that govern Orange County (including Hillsborough), Carrboro, and Chapel Hill.  The unified ordinance was created to eliminate the confusion of maintaining different ordinances and instead provides a common framework for all areas to work from. 

The unified ordinance took the best language from the current ordinances, gave more thorough definitions and direction, and filled critical gaps that were identified through experience. 

The unified ordinance also creates a new differential between sterilized and unsterilized animals being reclaimed by an owner, a requirement that all reclaimed animals be microchipped, and a spay/neuter requirement for any animals that are impounded three or more times.

The Town of Carrboro has also adopted the the BOCC-approved version of the unified ordinance, effective March 1.  The Town of Chapel Hill previously adopted a version of the unified ordinance and will review the revised and BOCC-approved version at its February 22 council meeting.

The new version of the ordinance and an accompanying set of Frequently Asked Questions will be viewable on the Animal Services Web site at beginning March 1, 2016.