Moultrie Observer

Homepage

April 2, 2014

More teeth in dog law

County approves an appeals board for dog owners

MOULTRIE — Colquitt County Commission put more teeth into provisions protecting the public from dangerous dogs Tuesday with the formation of a board to hear appeals from owners whose dogs are deemed unsafe.

Commissioners unanimously approved the appeals board, which will consist of John Peters, the county’s safety and zoning officer, County

Attorney Lester Castellow and a designee of the Colquitt County Health Department.

The county has the power to enforce the state’s Responsible Dog Ownership Law, passed in 2012, but in order to do so had to establish the appeals board, Castellow told commissioners during Tuesday night’s meeting.

That law combined dangerous and vicious dogs under the single piece of legislation.

 It defines a dangerous dog as one that causes a substantial puncture wound with its teeth, aggressive attacks that pose imminent threat of serious injury to a person or that kills another pet while off the owner’s property, according to a summary of the law.

A designation of dangerous dog includes one that inflicts a serious injury on a person or causes injury to a person attempting to escape attack.

Dogs deemed dangerous or vicious must be registered, secured in locked confinement on the owner’s property and may not be taken away from the owner’s property unless caged or leashed and under the immediate physical control of someone capable of preventing the dog from engaging people or other animals.

Owners of such dogs also must maintain a $50,000 liability insurance policy and place visible signs warning of the presence of a dangerous or vicious dog, Castellow said.

Don Flowers, executive director of the Humane Society of Moultrie-Colquitt County, told commissioners that seven bites of people in recent days indicates that the county should take steps to protect the public.

Castellow also recommended that commissioners at some point consider a nuisance-dog ordinance. He recommended that this ordinance apply only to those areas in the county that are zoned residential.

In the past, efforts to enact a “leash law” were unsuccessful because rural residents objected to them.

However, Castellow said limiting it to only residentially zoned property will limit it to a tiny fraction of the county. That should satisfy those who complained in the past and allow those in more remote areas of the county to maintain dogs for protection purposes.

“I’d estimate 1 percent of the county’s land mass is zoned residential,” he said during a telephone interview on Wednesday. “Ninety-nine percent of it is not.”

All of the county’s municipalities have nuisance-dog ordinances on the books.

If any of the smaller cities wished to enforce the state responsible owners’ law, the county’s appeals board also could hear those cases, Castellow said.

“They would have to do some things,” he said. “They would need to name some person who is responsible for and has the authority to enforce the dog law.”

The county’s zoning map is available by visiting http://www.ccboc.com/Dept/zoning.htm and clicking on “Current Zoning Map” at the bottom of the page.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
Women charged.jpg

Carmen Pacina, left, and Sheila Maria Clements, right, were charged with reckless conduct Tuesday after a child left in their care was found in a van with the windows rolled up.

Local Sports
  • 7-24.10U ELITE World Series Champs.jpg World Series Champions

    The Diamond Kings recently competed and won the USSSA 10U Global World Series held July 8-12 in Destin, Fla.  This team includes players from all over south Georgia, including Moultrie. The team competed with 19 other teams from across the country and finished 7-1. The Diamond Kings entered bracket play as the No. 3 seed after a 3-1 record in pool play. They won bracket play games over the North Channel Noles (Houston, Texas) 9-1; the Houston Bengals South (Houston, Texas) 7-0; and the Young Guns (Cookeville, Tenn,) 8-7. Those wins set up a championship game showdown versus a strong, 10U Major, Crieve Hall M.A.D. Mavericks team from Nashville, Tenn. In a back-and-forth battle, the Diamond Kings prevailed with an 11-10 come-from-behind victory. DKSA Elite 10U plays out of DK Sports Academy in Thomasville. The team includes, front, bat boy Davis Lightsey; second row, from left, Hayes Lightsey, Davis Green, J.D. Smith, Jake O'Steen and Jaxson Haire, third row, Mark LeSuer, Witt Wetherington, Parker Mirick, Cam Wilbourn, Josh McCaskill and Will Prince; back, coaches Roger Wilbourn, Marc LeSuer, J.J. Jones, Matt McCaskill and Britt Wetherington.
     

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pack to begin week of 'acclimatization' on Friday
  • Erving named preseason All-ACC
  • 60th Ramsey Pidcock Invitational tees off Saturday
  • 9U Diamond Kings win tournament in Pensacola
Opinion
HomeStyle
  • Ga Clipping.JPG ‘Low maintenance’ doesn’t mean ‘no maintenance’

    Another holiday has come and gone as the month of July counts its days and we once again focus our attention on the home landscape. Curb appeal and maintenance requirements play an important role as choices are made and plants are installed into our landscapes according to plans. Any failure in responsibility towards understanding and satisfying maintenance requirements will definitely result in the potential loss of the new plants.

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Siblings receive top honors in Scouting
  • Ga. Forestry Queen
Bridal
Mailbox Post
Around the Region
Agriculture
Education
Business Marquee
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
More
weatherradar
Seasonal Content
Poll

Should the U.S. negotiate with groups it considers terrorists?

No. Never.
Generally no, but prisoner exchanges are an exception.
Negotiation will be required to end the conflicts we have with those groups.
     View Results