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On Your Side: Burke County Animal Control

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News 12 at 6, May 1, 2008

BURKE COUNTY, GA---.Some in Burke County believe the county needs animal control or else someone will get hurt. They say too many dogs are running wild.

12 On Your Side took those concerns straight to the Burke County Commissioners.
They said it all comes down to money. Simply, there's not enough to fund animal control and that won't change anytime soon.

Two words to describe Samantha Holton would have to be animal lover.

"I see a need here." she said.

That's why she's rescued dozens of dogs over the years. All of them are valued lives to her and she says they all deserve a chance.

That's why she's put together a low-cost spay and neuter clinic in Girard, Georgia.

"It will make a difference in the population here." she said.

She's still looking for a vet to run it, but her hope is that by making spaying and neutering much more affordable, more people will do it and that will keep dogs from becoming unwanted and ending up at the dumpster.

And maybe it could have prevented what happened to Sandy, who was dumped on Samantha's lap a few months ago and she was in terrible shape.

"Her eye was coming out." Samantha said.

Luckily, Sandy got the surgery she needed and will be ok. But Samantha says another big help would be for Burke County to organize a no-kill form of animal control.

"The County needs to step up and do something." she said.

There have been documented problems with not only unwanted dogs left to die, but also dogs attacking other animals and even children.

So 12 On Your Side went straight to the Burke County Commissioners to get their side. Not one of which would go on camera.

Alphsonso Andrews said he wants to see animal control, but the money is not there.

Wayne Crockett said he feels the county is not ready to embrace animal control. He hopes it will happen one day.

Henry Tinley said he hasn't heard from many people on the subject. And if it happens, it may take a while."

Lucious Abrams said "it needs to happen. He knows it's a problem. But there isn't enough money."

James Dixon did not return repeated phone calls.

The general consensus on cost to have animal control would be around half a million dollars.

Animal rights activists say it would be money well spent before more people get hurt.

"It's only a matter of time before children are gonna be unsafe." said CSRA Lifesaver's Lisa Williams.

But making that happen will require more tax dollars coming. And that is not something a lot of folks are too interested in.

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