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Animals may get to ride along
Dogs may be able to ride in the back of a pickup truck in the city of Brunswick after all - just not in a manner that could be deemed unsafe by police.

It's an alternative to an outright ban on any animal riding in back of a pickup that is not enclosed when entering the city limits, as initially proposed by the city commission.

Commissioners, agreeing at their meeting Wednesday to send the alternative to the county for review, have been discussing revising the ordinance since late January.

The proposed revisions follow an intergovernmental agreement on the division of a Local Option Sales Tax that gave the county animal control responsibilities within the city.

The city's ordinance was last updated in August 2004.

City officials ran into problems with completely banning animals from riding in the back of pickup trucks.

City and county lines aren't always clear and because the rule doesn't exist in the county, pet owners may unknowingly find themselves in violation, and animal enforcement officers could have a difficult time telling when a driver is not following the ordinance, Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering told commissioners at a meeting earlier this month.

The city ordinance has been rewritten to give officers wider discretion.

Drivers can't transport or confine animals in any way that could be inhumane.

The cruelty to animals portion of the ordinance has been strengthened to allow officers to use their judgment when dealing with animals that could be housed in cramped conditions or tethered unsafely.

"If an officer sees a dog in the back of a pickup truck that appears to be in danger, he would be able to pull that truck over and address that issue," said Mayor Bryan Thompson.

The proposed changes are being sent to the Glynn County Police Department and the Glynn County Commission for review before adopted by the city.

The goal is to align the city and county policies to become as similar as possible.

In other business the commission:

* Approved having a commemorative bench installed at Overlook Park in memory of the late Ernie Bishop.

* Approved allowing advertisement of bids for repaving of all streets in the College Park subdivision.

* Approved alcohol licenses for Pride of Brunswick Lodge No. 745, 1528 Amherst St., and NMI Enterprises, 1603 L St., dependent on approval by the Brunswick Police Department.

* Reporter Nikki Wiley writes about government, business and other local topics. Contact her at nwiley@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 321.



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