Lee Co. zoning dispute puts animal rescue operation in danger
LEE CO., GA (WALB) -
A zoning dispute
in Lee County has one woman worried her dog rescue operation will be shut down.
For more than five years, she's cared for dozens of dogs, but residents in her
neighborhood say they're a nuisance.
Lee County resident Kim Terrell loves her dogs and couldn't
imagine life without her rescue operation.
"This is their last stop. I'm the place that rescues call to
ask to save them before they kill them," said Terrell.
In 2006, Kim Terrell and her husband bought a house in Lee County,
and that's when she started her rescue operation. She works with several area
humane societies, but is now worried her dogs will be taken away, or even
euthanized over a zoning dispute.
"When we bought, we didn't rezone it. This is the whole
issue, when we brought this land it was agriculture," said Terrell.
But residents in the neighborhood say her dogs are a problem. They
are unable to sell homes and believe is making their property value drop.
"This is a residential area with children and families who
moved 10 miles outside of Leesburg to have nice large lots with quiet
surroundings, to be in the county and not have dogs barking all day and
night," said Merritt.
Terrell says that not the case and has video to prove it.
"The dogs do not bark 24-7. We even have security cameras and
night vision security camera's to prove that the dogs do not bark," said
Neighbors also say they have video to prove the dogs bark all the
time. Both sides plan to voice their opinion an upcoming Lee County Commission
"We don't want the dogs' euthanized or hurt. We just think
they need to be relocated to a non residential area," said Merritt.
Kim Terrell and her husband say they don't want to have to give up
their home, or shut down the rescue operation.
"We didn't come out here to stir up any controversy. This is
my wife labor of love and I'm a support factor," said Wes Terrell.
Terrell says she is always working to find good homes for the
Both sides have
obtained lawyers in the zoning dispute.
Terrell says she has paperwork stating
her home is on agriculture land and it is okay for her to care for the dogs
without a kennel license. Neighbors say the whole neighborhood has always
been residential before the Terrell's moved in.
The Lee County Commission
meeting is Tuesday at 6pm.