July 16, 2019 Minutes
ANIMAL MATTERS HEARING BOARD
FOR CHARLES COUNTY, MARYLAND MINUTES OF MEETING
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
The regularly scheduled meeting of the Animal Matters Hearing Board for Charles County, Maryland, was convened by the Chairperson at 6:00 p.m. in the County Commissioners Meeting Room, Charles County Government Building, with the following Board members.
Maria Padgett, Chair
Matthew Cook, Vice Chair
Sgt. Travis Yates
Bill Van Blarcum
Shanee’ Major-Kelly, Associate County Attorney
Jesse Bungcayao, Clerk
Samantha Knott, Paralegal
A quorum was declared based upon the presence of a majority of the appointed Board Members;
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the Animal Matters Hearing Board for June 18, 2019 were approved and adopted.
File No. 19-20 – The case of Henry Leurs against Comer Plummer was called. Testimony was heard from Mr. Leurs and Mr. Plummer. Mr. Leurs alleged that Mr. Plummer was in violation of Section 12.4.A.6 of the Charles County Animal Regulations for his dog “Rocco.” Mr. Leurs submitted to the board one aerial photo of the two properties marked as Complainant Exhibit #1.
Mr. Leurs testified that Rocco barks incessantly at random times throughout the day.
Mr. Plummer testified that he was not aware that the dog was such a nuisance to Mr. Leurs and has taken measures to prevent the nuisance from occurring to include: the use of an anti-bark collar and using a boarding service for the dog when the Plummers are out of town.
Ms. Christi Montgomery made a motion to find Mr. Plummer in violation of Sections 230.4.A.6 but not to assess a fine since he has taken appropriate measures to correct the nuisance. The motion was seconded by Mr. Matthew Cook and with all members voting in favor, the motion was passed.
File No. 19-18 – The case of Michael Foster against Paul and Lynn Walters was called. Testimony was heard from Mr. Foster and Mrs. Walters. Mr. Foster alleged that the Walters were in violation of Sections 12.4.A.1 and 12.4.A.2 of the Charles County Animal Regulations for their cats. Mr. Foster testified that the Walters’ cats are a nuisance, have damaged his child’s outdoor playset and he has also found dead cats on his property. Mr. Foster submitted into evidence five photos marked as Complainant Exhibit #1, showing the damage to his property along with cat remains on his property.
Mrs. Walters testified that she does feed and care for 4 to 5 feral cats but was not aware that her actions constituted ownership of the animals. Mrs. Walters was made aware of this along with services in the area which may be able to assist in the care of the cats (rabies, spade & neutering) by the members. Mrs. Walters also testified that there are other feral cats cared for by other neighbors who may be causing the damage to Mr. Foster’s property.
Mr. Matthew Cook made a motion to not find Mrs. Walters in violation of Sections 12.4.A.1 and 12.4.A.2 due to insufficient evidence to prove who is the responsible party for the damage. He also motioned to order Mrs. Walters to obtain a Charles County Animal License and Rabies Vaccination for the 4 to 5 cats that she feeds and cares for within the next thirty days. The motion was seconded by Ms. Katie Shelton and with all members voting in favor, the motion was passed.
There being no further business the Chairperson motioned to adjourn the hearing. The motion was seconded by Mr. Matthew Cook. All members voted in favor and the hearing was adjourned at 6:33 p.m.
Immediately following the hearing, the Board held an Administrative update to review Rabies vaccination requirements from the Board's Advisor, Chief Edward Tucker.