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Hillsborough may put more bite in pet rules

By LINDA GIBSON

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 24, 2000


Dog owners will have to scoop that poop if a proposed pet ordinance is adopted by Hillsborough County commissioners next week.

The county's current pet law, which also governs pet owners in Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City, hasn't been updated since 1981. The proposed law sets minimum care requirements ranging from transportation to sterilization for owners of dogs, cats and ferrets.

As proposed, it includes these provisions:

Owners must clean up feces deposited by their pets anywhere but on their own property. There is no such provision in the current law.

Dogs riding in the back of pickup trucks must be tethered or confined so they can't jump or fall out.

Cats allowed outdoors must be sterilized and wear rabies tags or have a microchip, tattoo or ear tag identifying their owners. The current law doesn't require outdoor cats to be sterilized.

Anyone selling more than 20 cats or dogs a year must buy a $25 permit and have facilities inspected once a year either by Animal Services or by a veterinarian. There is no such requirement in the current law.

People complaining about a nuisance animal no longer have to obtain a notarized affidavit from an unrelated neighbor making the same complaint before an Animal Services officer will investigate. Other evidence, such as a videotape, can be substituted.

The proposed ordinance can be viewed on the county government Web site at www.hillsboroughcounty.org. From there, click on "departments" and then on "animal services."

A public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday at 6 p.m. on the second-floor auditorium of the County Center, 601 E Kennedy Blvd.

Recycler hauls away pile of 17,000 tires

Despite its name, Metro Recycling Inc. wasn't recycling any tires, officials said Friday.

The corporation at 2707 E Second Ave. was piling them nearby on CSX Railroad property to cut costs, according to the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office. On Friday, officials announced that a two-year investigation had produced an illegal dumping charge, a third-degree felony, against Metro Recycling six months ago.

As part of an agreement with the state, Metro Recycling hauled the massive, vermin-ridden heap of about 17,000 tires to an east county landfill, where they were hacked up and buried.

The company may also face fines of several thousand dollars, said Craig Clendinen, chief of special prosecutions at the State Attorney's Office.

Investigators with the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office could tie the company only to several dozen discarded tires, Clendinen said. But when faced with charges for those tires alone, Metro Recyling agreed to foot the $25,000 bill to remove all the tires, sparing taxpayers the expense.

"That's the beauty of the settlement, that they're going to clean up the entire pile," Clendinen said.

No one at Metro Recycling could be reached for comment. Clendinen said the company has another location in Tampa where it was supposed to transport the tires for recycling. It recycles plastics, as well, he said. -- KATHRYN WEXLER

Pedestrian killed crossing boulevard

TAMPA -- A 53-year-old man was struck and killed when he tried to cross the 800 block of Martin Luther King Boulevard on Thursday about 11:30 p.m.

Police said Robert M. Weaver Jr. was crossing the middle of the block from the south.

Weaver, of 805 E Ida St., had successfully crossed the eastbound lanes of Martin Luther King and was trying to walk across the westbound lanes when he was struck by a 1996 Saturn.

No charges were filed against the driver of the Saturn. -- KATHRYN WEXLER

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