Walker County Commissioner holds public input session on animal control ordinances

WALKER COUNTY, Ga. (WDEF) – Walker County is looking to make changes to its laws about animals and wants to hear from residents.

A public input session on animal control ordinances was held at the library in LaFayette Tuesday night.

Some people at the session just listened in.

Others expressed the issues they’ve come across, and several folks tossed up ideas on how to address animal problems through changing ordinances.

Walker County Commissioner Shannon Whitfield said the county laws are dated.

“Our current ordinance says that an abandoned dog or cat is one that has not been fed in three days. We see situations where an animal could starve to death within three days. So, there’s just some things like that, that we need to change,” Commissioner Whitfield said.

Currently, animals are mentioned in the 2004 public nuisance ordinance and 1991 animal code.

Ideas shared for new regulations got specific.

The ideas included limits on how many animals can be owned, requiring licenses, and requiring chips.

Resident Liza Vannoy would like to see owners be held more accountable.

In October, Vannoy and her 12-year-old son were attacked by a dog.

The dog got through their fence.

It also killed their goat.

“We never know what any dog will do when it gets into a protective mode. We’re big dog lovers, and we have dogs. We love them, but just people, including us, we all need to be more aware and educated,” Vannoy said.

Not everyone at the session felt more regulations would address issues like strays and aggressive animals.

There’s still some questions on how new rules would be enforced and would that require more animal control officers.

Commissioner Whitfield added that a full local animal shelter is also a problem.

“We’ve kind of got a double problem here. We need better ordinances so we can better manage the animal population, but we also need more good homes to send animals to,” Commissioner Whitfield said.

People can still voice their feedback on animal ordinance changes on the county’s website, https://walkercountyga.gov/feedback/.

Walker County Animal Code: https://walkercountyga.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/animal-code.pdf 

Public Nuisance Ordinance: https://walkercountyga.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/public-nuisance.pdf

Categories: Local News, Walker County