County will have hearing on new ordinance about feeding large animal carcasses to domestic animals

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 17, 2021

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday will hold a public hearing about an ordinance change that would outlaw the feeding of large animal carcasses to domestic animals in Rowan County.

Bob Pendergrass, director of Rowan County Animal Services, said that the decision to create the potential new ordinance came after his department received a complaint. Pendergrass declined to say exactly who and what the complaint was specifically about, but said that there was nothing in the current county rules that allowed Animal Services to properly address the problem. He’s hoping to change that with the new ordinance.

“We felt like, in order to address this complaint, we’d propose an ordinance and come up with input,” Pendergrass said.

The new ordinance would make it “unlawful to intentionally feed whole large animal carcasses to domesticated animals in public view.”

Before commissioners consider approving the ordinance change, the county is hoping to receive feedback from the public during the Tuesday meeting.

“We encourage input from citizens, because that’s the purpose of the public hearing,” Pendergrass said. “We’re there to listen.”

Pendergrass said staff tried to word the proposed ordinance as specifically as possible so that it wouldn’t have any unforeseen impacts on hunters or people who do feed their dogs or other pets carcasses. The intent of the ordinance, he said, is to prevent the feeding to become a spectacle or to attract any unwanted scavenging animals.

Pendergrass said he’s had conversations with representatives from the Sporting Dog Association, Wildlife Resource Commission and other similar animal and wildlife organizations to discuss the potential rule change.

“It’s not something that has come up before,” Pendergrass said. “Our goal is not to impede anybody from doing something that they need to do, but to prevent a public nuisance issue and address the attraction of scavengers and things to the situation.”

In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, the commissioners meeting will be held on Tuesday afternoon at 6 p.m. in the J. Newton Cohen Sr. Room on the second floor of the Rowan County Administration Building. Limited in-person seating is available. The meeting will also be broadcasted online The password is 011921. The meeting can be joined by phone by dialing 602-753-0140, 720-928-9299, 213-338-8477.

In other meeting business:

  • Assistant County Manager Randy Cress will present commissioners with a workable timeline for implementation of the tasks from the Matrix Study that was received following their findings in April 2020 and the follow-up presentation in September 2020. The Matrix study was conducted as a way for commissioners to audit the county’s development approval process and determine ways to make it more efficient.
  • Commissioners will consider a request from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office for the agency to apply for a local law enforcement block grant for fiscal year 2021. The grant is for $24,500 and requires no county matching funds. The Sheriff’s Office proposes to use $4,000 of the funds to purchase a tactical throw phone to be used in incidents involving barricaded suspects or hostage situations. The agency proposes using the other $20,500 that would come with the grant to buy rugged push bumpers to patrol cars to prevent damage to the cars if an officer is involved in a crash with a deer.
  • Commissioners will consider a request from the Department of Environmental Management to apply for a Community Waste Reduction and Recycling Grant that would allow the county to purchase a stationary materials compactor. The compactor would improve materials management at two existing solid waste convenience centers. The grant’s value would not exceed $30,000 and Rowan County’s match would not exceed $5,000.
  • Piedmont Skydiving is requesting that commissioners approve plans for the company to purchase and install an alternate building structure because the original building structure that was approved is on backorder.

About Ben Stansell

Ben Stansell covers business, county government and more for the Salisbury Post. He joined the staff in August 2020 after graduating from the University of Alabama. Email him at

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