ELLIJAY, Ga. – A couple from the area of Woodland Acres spoke in August’s Commissioners’ meetings about an ongoing problem with dogs running loose in the area.
In the ensuing discussions, on August 8, 2019, Commission Chairman Charlie Paris promised citizens that changes would be coming to the Animal Control Ordinances of Gilmer County in efforts to address this and similar issues in the county.
The most vocal, Sto Goodwin and Debra Christian, live as neighbors in Woodland Acres and began discussing the issue on Wednesday, they tell FYN that several people in the area have had issues with dogs running free in the area. Christian named the breed Cane Corso as one that has specifically harassed her. She went on to say that the issue has not been handled properly as they have reported the issues, Animal Control has picked up the dogs on the loose, but the owner in question just get the dogs back. This owner, who was not named, has allegedly gone to court, promised to move, and made other promises that have not been kept.
Christian alleges that the owner refuses to enclose the dogs and actively trains them in “Predator Control.” She was supported in these allegations by both Goodwin and even Chairman Paris who said, “He has been very clear with us in the past that he expects his dogs to be able to run free, and that we’re welcome to fine him. He’ll pay the fine, but they will run free.”
Paris stated that the problem has existed for several years. Due to the increasing allegations and some citizens even saying they have video of the dogs killing cats and other animals as well as chasing after people in the area, responses are now increasing. While Paris said that they cannot just go and take the dogs by law, he did say that the county is already changing one thing right now. Animal Control’s policy for returning animals found off of owner’s property is going to step up plan.
Paris said, “Previously, if an animal was brought in that was found off the owner’s property, it was $150 fee to reclaim it. If it came in again, it was another $150. What we’ve done is we’ve lowered the first offense to $100, and if that person, who comes in, is willing to have us spay or neuter the particular animal, then we will lower it to $75. That’s the first time, and this is per owner, not per animal. The second time an animal from that owner comes in, it’s $300. And if they want to spay or neuter, we’ll back it up one level to $100. The third time it comes in, it’s going to be $600, then $900. And then it’ll be $1000.”
Paris went on to note that citations will also go along with that.
These new changes are just part of the major changes that could be coming to the ordinance. Paris promised those present that he would be looking into the ordinance to have something to present next month. Goodwin asked how many animals might die by the time this situation reaches those higher levels of fees.
Goodwin said that this issue has gone on for six years with nobody seeming to respond or even care as this one owner hides behind a law claiming exemption for dog attacks on other animals under certain circumstances. One of those exemptions involve Predator Control, being the training claimed for these animals. However, he also tells FYN that he has neighbors who have photos and even a video of one of the dogs with a mutilated cat in its mouth.
Additionally, with potential citations, court litigation, and other outcomes from additional issues arising, County Attorney David Clark warned those citizens that continued investigations would require continued support from citizens. He said they cannot back off from standing up for the issue as the county and court systems cannot pursue them through Animal Control without citizen support.
Goodwin stated that he did not want to harm the dogs as he blames the owner for their training and activities, but he warned that if they continued being aggressive and threatening others, someone was going to get hurt.
Paris also said he was worried about citizens attempting to protect themselves and potentially harming or killing the animals.
Moving into the the minimal 3-month process, changes are currently expected to be advertised in September, if approved the first reading will be in October, if approved there the second reading and final adoption will be in November.
ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Friends of Gilmer Animal Shelter (FOGA) will be hosting their annual BBQ and Silent Auction on Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 11:30 am until 3 pm at the Gilmer County Civic Center (1561 South Main St., Ellijay, GA 30540).
Lunch reservations are requested. There are a limited number of tickets available at the door.
Food served will be Shane’s Pork BBQ, Beans, Slaw, Tea, and Dessert.
Auction Admission is free! Lunch is $10 per person.
All proceeds are to fund low cost spay/neuter, vetting Gilmer County Animal Shelter pets, and other Gilmer County Programs.
Email or call to reserve your tickets!
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Mountain Emergency Animal Center is a outstanding emergency vet clinic located in Blue Ridge, GA. They have a full surgical room, ICU kennels, a blood bank, and they keep anti venom on hand at all times. They are fully equipped to deal with any medical emergency your pet may have.
In this video they do a CPR training to show you exactly what you would need to do if your pet goes into cardiac arrest. This is great information for any pet owner.
Mountain Emergency Animal Center
Serving the Tri-State Area (GA, NC, TN)
Call us at 706-632-7879
Pet Emergency? Read no further and call us right away!
Pet emergencies, like human ones, can happen anytime. Your pet’s injuries and illnesses may require immediate attention.
CHERRY LOG, GA – FYN has obtained the 911 call from the passerby who attempted to stop and help the 61-year-old Kathy Nichelson who was injured and later died from the dog attack.
The caller was bitten in his attempt to aid Nichelson. However, he did manage to get away from the dog and back to his car before dialing 911, according to authorities.
The call is short but the caller does say the lady was bit on her throat, while he was bit on the chin. Further details are not available at this time, but stay with FYN as further updates become available.
CHERRY LOG, GA – Updates are coming now for the woman found dead in Cherry Log yesterday, September 28.
According to the Gilmer Sheriff’s Office, Kathy Sue Nichelson died from an attack by a pit bull on Goose Island Road. It is now confirmed that a second person was attacked when trying to help Nichelson, but did not receive serious injuries.
Deputies were forced to fire upon the animal, according to the Sheriff’s Press Release, killing it.
Officials are not releasing details at this time on the dog or its owner, but are assuring citizens that the investigation is continuing.
The official press release from the Gilmer Sheriff states:
A-61-year old woman died after being attacked by a Pit Bull Thursday, Sept. 28th, at 890 Goose Island Rd. The woman, identified as Kathy Sue Nichelson, was attacked shortly after arriving at the residence. A passerby saw Ms. Nichelson on the ground and stopped to render aid. The dog attacked him as well, and he escaped to his vehicle where he was able to call 911. He received non life-threatening injuries.
Law enforcement and EMS arrived soon after. Law enforcement attempted to keep the animal at bay while EMS tried to treat Nichelson. During this time, the animal came towards public safety personnel aggressively, and the animal was put down by deputies.
An investigation into the animal’s behavior and its owner are ongoing. More information may be available once the investigation is completed.
ELLIJAY, GA – In a public statement, the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office confirmed they were contacted by a member of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) about the care of a donkey within the Build-An-Ark Animal Rescue.
Sheriff Stacy Nicholson told FYN that cases like this are referred to the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Natural Resources as they are better equipped and better trained for such investigations. For example, he stated the Sheriff’s Office does not have the facilities to impound or take possession of large animals or livestock.
Nicholson further told FYN that if charges were to come, they would be considering the opinions of the Department of Agriculture heavily as “the average law enforcement officer is not trained to deal with neglected livestock.” In a situation like this, the Sheriff’s Office uses experts for the investigation, and Department of Agriculture will not charge the county for any services or investigations.
Since the investigation began, the donkey in question has been checked by a veterinarian, and both the Sheriff’s Office and Build an Ark have confirmed that the donkey was put down. However, it has been reported that a further investigation is underway about the conditions and care for other animals in the rescue. The Sheriff’s Office also reports that Build an Ark and its owner are complying with the investigation.
On their Facebook page, Build an Ark reported to the public that the donkey, Naomi, “lived to 48, a good 20 years longer than most donkeys. Her kidneys were failing her and her quality of life was decreasing, so Susan made the tough decision to put her to rest.”
As such, Build an Arks public statement said that the veterinary visit to the donkey revealed the kidney failure, but the decision on putting the donkey down was left to Susan as the donkey was still walking around and not in too much pain yet. However, they do report that the veterinarian stated it was only a matter of time for the donkey.
In their statement, Build an Ark has also stated they have been investigated four times by the Department of Agriculture upon claims before, all of which resulted in no citations. FYN has submitted requests to the Department of Agriculture to confirm this, and is currently awaiting the information.
Bring your kids to the Gilmer County Animal Shelter (GCAS) RUFF READERS CLUB as they partner with the Friends of Gilmer Animal Shelter (FOGAS) to promote reading skills and build the confidence required to read aloud, all in a fun environment.
Give your kids the opportunity to read to one of Gilmer County Animal Shelter’s pets.
It’s fun and it’s free on Saturday, July 29, 2017 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the Gilmer Animal Shelter. (4152 HWY 52 E ELLIJAY GA).
Space is limited. Call to reserve your child’s spot today.
Bring your favorite pillow or blanket to sit on. And if you forgot your book, no problem. Some books will be available.