TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Vigo County Commissioners look to change their Animal Control Ordinance but the document's wording stirred up controversy at Tuesday's morning meeting.
The commissioners re-worded their animal control ordinance in an effort to raise awareness and educate pet owners.
But Patrick Hoctor, writer of Animal Finders' Guide and Terre Haute native says the ordinance is poorly written.
"They're taking a dog bill and trying to expand it to cover all animals' wild, exotic, or domestic plus dogs," said Hoctor.
Bill Heyman, owner of Atlantis Aquatic Gardens said in Tuesday's meeting that the wording was so vague that technically in his opinion the ordinance would prevent farmers from castrating their bulls or veterinarians from declawing a cat.
"I don't think that was their intent and that's what the authors said that, that wasn't there intent but if you're going to write an ordinance they need to say which animals they're exactly talking about and they need to make it clear," said Heyman.
News 10 spoke with a Vigo County Deputy who says the intent of the ordinance was to enforce owners to take better care of their animals; to prevent cruelty.
The newly added exotic and wild life section was added to the Vigo County Animal Control Ordinance to enforce state exotic and wildlife laws inside Vigo County.
The deputy says Heyman and Hoctor misinterpreted the ordinance.
But Hoctor says there wasn't anything to misinterpret, the ordinance was just flat out wrong.
"It would be much easier to write a completely new regulation than try to clean up this mess but unless you clean up this one or write a new one, I want them to write a new one and stand behind what it says," said Hoctor.
The Vigo County Commissioners told Hoctor and Heyman they would re-visit the ordinance and then vote in two weeks.
Vigo County Commissioners also stated at the meeting they did address Bill Heyman before writing the ordinance.
Heyman says he helped rewrite the first draft but says the ordinance needs several drafts before it would be considered a proper ordinance.
The Turkey Run State Parke suspension bridge over Sugar Creek will close Dec. 12 through Dec. 20 for the replacement of a staircase on the north end.
The Indiana Department of Transportation is preparing for the winter storm moving into the Wabash Valley starting Thursday afternoon.
The Vigo County School Corporation has announced that all VCSC buildings will be closed by 6 p.m. Thursday. All athletic events, both home and away, will be canceled and postponed until a later date.
On Tuesday, Mayor Duke Bennett handed out art grants to local organizations across the city of Terre Haute.
A Terre Haute robotics team is competing for a state title with an invention that could save lives.