Terrell Co. pit bull ordinance is in effect

Published: Apr. 16, 2012 at 9:37 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 19, 2012 at 9:37 PM EDT
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TERRELL CO., GA (WALB) - A pit bull ordinance is now in effect in Terrell County. City and County commissioners passed ordinances after a deadly pit bull attack at a sheep farm.

It's leading to a new problem, more stray pit bulls as some owners simply let their dogs go rather than comply with the strict and costly new rules.

Now, the county is building a shelter to handle all those strays.

The flock of sheep that were attacked by two pit bulls in December, were all pregnant. Now the remaining sheep have given birth. The farm owner says it is nice to have new life around the farm.

30 lambs are running around the Friddell's farm in Terrell County. A nice change to the horrific scene back in December after two pit bulls attacked and killed about 20 pregnant sheep.

"I had to bottle feed two that I have raised, since right after birth, the mothers died, right after the lambs were born," says Lawana Friddell, Sheep Owner.

Friddell says they died from complications from the attack. "Some type of nerve damage, the mothers could not get up, they were having a rough time even giving birth to the babies," says Friddell.

Even though those two dogs have not been caught, Friddell is happy to finally have some peace with the pit bull ordinance in effect. "There were a lot of people concerned about these animals running loose, and that has taken a little bit of the scare out of it," says Friddell.

But now the animal shelter is full, and since commissioners passed the dangerous dog ordinance that requires pet owners to pen their pit bulls and purchase insurance, they've been getting calls for dogs they believe people are turning loose to avoid the expense.

"I think monetary concerns were a lot of it, because having to have the dogs micro chipped, and also having to have $100,000 policy on your animal, a lot of people could not afford that," says Martha Ann Coe, Animal Control Director.

Which is why they broke ground on a new shelter Monday. "We have really been over filled, we are at capacity, therefore this will give us the room that we need to be able to take in the amount of dogs that we need to," says Coe.

36 new kennels will be added to the 16 they currently have.

Animal control officials expect the shelter will be complete in the next few months.

Right now, Terrell County has a contract with Sumter County to handle their overflow population of dogs, but that agreement ends in August. County leaders want that new shelter open by then.

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