Digging Deeper: Terrell County gets national help for pits

Published: Mar. 7, 2012 at 11:08 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 13, 2012 at 7:16 PM EDT
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Terrell County Commissioners refused to vote Wednesday on whether to build a new animal shelter.

Their current shelter is full and Animal Control is getting more calls about stray dogs especially pit bulls.

They believe people are setting the dogs free to avoid steep fees when a new dangerous dog ordinance takes effect next month.

Terrell County Animal Control just created a Facebook page.  The County has been inundated with pit bull mix dogs, either abandoned as a result of the new dangerous dog ordinance or in taken from owners who broke the law.

"When you turn loose all the dogs in this county you know we're going to have people calling and complaining and a lawsuit will follow right behind it," said Wilbur Gamble Jr., Terrell County Commission Chairman.

Now animal control is gaining attention from several national organizations who know about the problems they face, the Pit Boss and Pit bulls and Parolees.

"Shorty Rossi he has listed one of our pits on his website and Villalobos which is the home of Pitbulls and Parolees has also made contact with us," said Martha Ann Coe, Terrell County Animal Control, Code Enforcement Director.

In fact, Villalobos has agreed to help however they can with the new animal shelter if the county decides to build it.

"If we do decide to move forward with the shelter, as to what they could do to help us with that project, possibly with some type of fund raising or donations," said Coe.

It could be a cost saving measure for the county. The organizations don't charge anything for their efforts to find the dogs a good home.

While Sumter County's Humane Society has taken some dogs, they county pays them 82 dollars to cover the costs of a dog that can be adopted out.

They've indicated they'll end that agreement in September.  A group in Atlanta called Stubby's Heros is helping to take up some of the slack.

"They have taken some of our pits from us and have those in foster homes now in the Atlanta, Gwinette County area," said Coe.

The county can't adopt out the dogs themselves, they need a partner to handle the adoption.  They're hoping to have more contact with these organizations in the future, saving these dogs from an uncertain fate if their owners don't make an attempt to claim them after 7 days.

Terrell County Animal Control is always looking for donations of dog food or anything people can give to defray the cost of caring for the animals. They hope for a decision on the proposed shelter before the end of the month.

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