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Columbia County To Begin Animal Enforcement Services To County Residents

By Noah Walker

Lake City, Fla., – Beginning Sunday, October 1, 2023, Columbia County’s Animal Enforcement Department will begin enforcing all county ordinances and state statutes involving animal control within Columbia County. It is important to note the following in regard to the function of this new Columbia County department:

•Enforcement operations will not overlap animal enforcement by other entities within the City of Lake City

•This new department is not “animal control” nor a replacement for the Lake City Humane Society

•This department’s function is animal law enforcement for Columbia County

     This Department will bring needed assistance for Columbia County residents and entities such as the Lake City Humane society for enforcing laws related to aggressive animals, stray dogs, animal cruelty and any other current animal related laws on record.

     It will be anticipated that animals (dogs and cats) picked up by Animal Enforcement that have a probable owner that can be identified will be held for seven days from the date Animal Enforcement delivers the dog or cat to the facility. For animals, both dogs and cats for which no probable owner can be identified or inferred after the exercises of the staff due diligence, the holding period then shall be four days. These periods are subject to adjustment as provided by county ordinance and state law. For these purposes, it is important to consider micro-chipping family pets.

     During this hold time, animals will also be evaluated to ensure it is a good candidate for adoption and this will be an ongoing process which will be molded hand-in-hand with the Humane Society.

     “We feel that one of the most important jobs we have in this department is community education,” says Tom Wormuth. “We are a resource and would like anyone to call if they have questions about the laws surrounding animals.”

     The new Animal Enforcement Department’s main number is 386-758-3352.