News 12 First at Five, Tuesday, July 10, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- It is no secret. It is hot outside! Augusta Animal Control is working overtime responding to complaints about pets in trouble.
We first told you about an aggressive new plan to save pets left in a hot car. That plan includes breaking the window. We are now learning that is just the beginning.
"When I saw that weather report I said uh-oh here it comes," said animal control officer Edward Jefferson who has been flooded with calls about pets left in the heat. "The animals can't look out for themselves you go have to look out for them."
One worker was so concerned he penned a letter to Augusta commissioners. The letter calls for a new ordinance allowing law enforcement to gain entry to vehicles where animals have been left unattended.
The CSRA Humane Society says it's about time.
"I feel very frustrated," said Raynette Mayer with the CSRA Humane Society. "Would you take your baby and put your baby in an oven?"
Animal Control is now working on comprehensive reform of the animal control ordinance.
"All we did was tighten up the ordinance so we can do our job better," said Jefferson.
The department also wants to get tough on animal neglect.
"We can't take a dog off the property unless he's falling down and looks really bad," noted Jefferson.
A new draft ordinance would change that.
"If he's moderately sick we can take him off the property," said Jefferson.
Jefferson said you should also think twice before loading your pet in the back of the pick-up truck.
"Some dogs you can let them ride in the back of the truck if you train them right," said Jefferson. "But if you hit something that dog is a missile."
The city says it's time out for all bark and no bite. They are adding teeth to animal control laws. The Augusta legal department is now reviewing the new ordinance. The commission is expected to tackle the topic at next Tuesday's commission meeting.
Have information or an opinion about this story? Click here to contact the newsroom.
Copyright WRDW-TV News 12. All rights reserved. This material may not be republished without express written permission.