Valdosta residents reminded about city's pet ordinance

Valdosta residents reminded about city's pet ordinance
Semantha Matthews
Semantha Matthews

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - A pit bull at the Lowndes County Animal Shelter Thursday was one of the 14 dogs and puppies that James Bell, III was cited for having at his home on 2nd Ave. in Valdosta.

As of Thursday, Bell had been cited with nine counts of rabies violations and seven counts of having too many dogs at his home while Valdosta police continued to investigate the dogs possibly being part of a dog fighting ring. As of Thursday, Bell, III was not facing any charges related to dog fighting. A neighbor told WALB on April 9th that she did not believe that Bell, III was involved in any dog fighting and that he fed his dogs every day and gave them fresh water every other day.

The city of Valdosta limits the number of domestic pets per household to three. Valdosta City PIO Semantha Matthews said, however, that there are some exceptions. "Bees, fish, or live stock that a household has for companionship," Matthews explained.

Residents are also given a six month grace period after their cat or dog has babies. For the first six months after the babies are born, the resident will not be held in violation of the ordinance.

Matthews said most residents do seem to adhere to the three pet limit. "To our best knowledge, most people stay within the ordinance," said Matthews. "Unless somebody complains about that, then there could be people who have more than this amount of animals in their home."

She pointed out that the ordinance is in place to help make the city a comfortable place for everyone to live."The main concern is for neighborhoods and neighbors and just having a neighborhood that is not only safe, but quiet for some," said Matthews.

To view the city's pet ordinance, click here.

The following is a press release from VPD regarding the issuance of the citations:

On April 15, 2015, Detectives with the Valdosta Police Department were able to make contact with the dog owner, James Bell, III, African American male, 39 years of age, to interview him about the dogs which were picked up by Lowndes County Animal Control on April 6th. 

Bell was cited for 9 counts of Rabies Tag Violations and 7 counts of having too many dogs on the property of 511 2nd Avenue, which are city ordinance violations. The investigation into the alleged dog fighting is ongoing.

Anyone having any further information regarding this crime or any other crime is urged to contact the Valdosta Police Department at 229-293-3145 or can remain anonymous at 229-293-3091.

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