Dougherty animal control ordinance finds support - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty animal control ordinance finds support

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December 8, 2003

Dougherty County - It's just a matter of time until Dougherty County has a leash law. It's designed to confine dangerous or roaming animals. But the Humane Society would like for it to be a little more, well, humane.

Hundreds of stray animals find a temporary home at the Humane Society. Shelter workers are experts on animal care, and they want county leaders to take better care of stray cats and dogs by strengthening a new animal control ordinance.

"Certainly we're in support of the ordinance, but there are a lot of things from a humane aspect that we would like to see changed, said Humane Society Director Donna Strickland.

Strickland wants the ordinance to prohibit the chaining or leashing of animals as a permanent means of confinement, which is not included in the original law. "We certainly don't want to see any animal tied or chained. If they are never removed from the chain, they become more territorial and aggressive," said Strickland.

Also, the proposed ordinance doesn't touch on unlicensed dog breeders. Strickland says unlicensed breeders contribute to the overpopulation of stray animals. "Backyard breeders are the worst problem leading to overpopulation. These people continue to breed, and the shelter is overrun with these puppies. If they don't spay/neuter and simply sell or turn puppies over to us, they should be forced to be licensed."

Strickland also wants all rules regarding the mistreatment of animals to include cats, so abusers can be punished.

Even though the Humane Society doesn't think the animal control ordinance is perfect, they support it for now. "It's certainly workable, we want something to be done now, the rest we can work on."

County commissioners agreed to consider the Humane Society's changes in hopes of keeping animals healthy and people safe.

The ordinance would be complaint driven, so animal control officers would not being driving around looking for loose or dangerous animals. The would only respond to calls.

Posted at 5:04PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com