Animal shelter overrun with pit bulls

Published: Dec. 27, 2012 at 9:44 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 1, 2013 at 9:44 PM EST
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DAWSON, GA (WALB) - Owning a pit bull in Terrell County comes with a lot more responsibility than it used to. Earlier this year, restrictive pit bull ordinance went into effect in Terrell County after a deadly pit bull attack at a sheep farm.

Many owners simply let their dogs loose on the street or surrendered them. The county built a brand new 36 kennel shelter to handle all the strays, but even those cages are filled to capacity.

Unfortunately, if they can't find a rescue group or adequate homes, most of the dogs will be euthanized after the first of the year.

In just about every one of these cages, you'll find a pit bull. "We have 32 dogs at this point. All but probably four of those dogs are of pit of pit mix breed," said Martha Ann Coe of the Humane Society.

Because of their breed, these dogs don't have much to look forward to. "The pits have such a bad name, and are such a vicious breed that it's hard to place those pits anywhere," said Coe.

Nowadays, owning a pit bull in Terrell County comes with a lot more responsibility than it did last year, and some folks don't want it. "Sadly, a lot of the people just released their dogs on the street or surrendered the dog for one reason or another," said Coe.

After a series of attacks involving pits, a pit bull ordinance went into effect in Terrell County earlier this year. "There is a $100,000 insurance policy, they have to be in a certain sized pin, the dogs have to be micro chipped we have pictures of all the dogs in the county and city and they have to be registered with this office also," said Coe.

It's helped cut back on problems and issues they've dealt with in the past, but now, there is a new problem.Too many pit bulls, with nowhere to go. "We do try and hold them as long as we can especially while we are under this pardon with paws for hope, but sadly enough there will be some that will have to be put down eventually," said Coe.

It's an added expense as well. "The county cannot continue to feed an animal that won't be placed." If you care about your pit bull, make sure to follow the rules. "If you care about your pet enough, and you want to keep your dog; you will comply with the ordinance."

If not, your pit bull may join this growing group of dogs, that don't stand much of a chance.

If you have a pit bull, Martha Ann Coe says don't hide your dog, or let him lose out on the streets. You can call her and she will help owners Pit bulls to help get them in compliance with the rules.

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