Dodge County Sheriff, residents express frustrations with animal issues

After a weekend of animal issues, Dodge County residents are raising concerns about the need for a county animal control.

EASTMAN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)–  Residents and the Sheriff of Dodge County are fed up after a weekend full of issues involving stray animals.

On Saturday, residents complained about a group of puppies being dumped along Telfair Road. Then on Sunday, the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office was called out to an aggressive dog incident.

The dog had been taken in temporarily by a couple with a small farm, and broke out of its kennel. According to police reports, the dog attacked and killed two turkeys and eight of the couples chickens.

Sheriff Brian Robinson says his deputies were able to get the untrained dog away from the house.  Before it was taken to animal control though, a woman named Melissa Gilliland took the dog in. Sheriff Robinson does not want to put his deputies or residents at risk anymore because of a lack of resources.

“I wish I could afford to have animal control, and relieve some of these problems for these people because it is a problem,” Robinson explained.

On Monday afternoon, residents took to Facebook to complain about being approached by at least eight dogs roaming around the Soperton Highway area.

County Manager, Conner Bearden, says he’s glad people are speaking out about the need for an animal control after so many years without one.

“Call the Commissioners office and make me aware of the situation,” Bearden said. “Then I also invite the public, especially in dodge county, if this is an issue, please come to commission meetings, voice your concerns, voice what’s happening out there, so they can know what’s going on.”

Right now, whenever the Sheriff’s Office receives a call about a dog on the loose, they call ‘Faithful Hearts’. However, the shelter does not take aggressive dogs or specific breeds that are considered aggressive, and the shelter can only take in about 20 dogs at a time.

According to the County Manger, Dodge County is hoping to change this within the next 90 days.

“We’ve recently revamped a good bit of ordinances, animal control was one. It’s currently in codification mode right now so as soon as we get that back, the provisions in it will help us partner with the municipalities in our county to create a county-wide animal control instead versus having individual municipalities having their own,” Bearden stated.

Once the ordinance is arranged in accordance with Dodge County laws, the decision for animal control will be ready to go before Dodge County Commissioners this summer.

The next Dodge County Commission meeting is February 7 at 6 p.m. in the Courthouse Annex. Residents are welcome to watch, and share thoughts about the recent animal issues.

Categories: Dodge County, Featured, Local News, Pets & Animals, WMGT

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