County resident raises concerns about strays, asks for animal control

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, March 6, 2024

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A county resident addressed the Chambers County Commission on Monday night, saying that the county needs to provide animal control for stray and loose dogs in the area. 

Jimmy Spears, a Chambers County resident, said he has called county and city law enforcement many times over the past five years, the most recent being last weekend, about aggressive dogs in the neighborhood.

Spears lives in the 3-mile radius of the Lanett city limits where the city council recently voted to withdraw its police jurisdiction. The city was one of many in the state that lost its tax revenue for the area after missing the deadline for documentation required by a new statewide bill.

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Since the city voted to pull back its police jurisdiction, the Huguley area is patrolled by the Chambers County Sheriff’s Department.

“This was one of the problems that we adopted when we took over usually they had an animal control,” said Jeff Nelson, Chambers County sheriff. 

“Our sheriff’s department does a wonderful job,” Spears said. “You can’t find a better sheriff, can’t find better deputies.”

County Commission Chairman James Williams asked Nelson to send him and County Attorney Skip McCoy a copy of the report from the most recent incident over the weekend.

“I’d like to do some further investigation into this,” he said. 

However, Spears said his neighborhood has a big problem with strays and dogs that get out of their yards and are aggressive. He said he thinks he has called the sheriff’s department out over 150 times over the past five years. 

“It’s not so much the [dogs] running at large. It’s animals attacking other animals,” Spears said. “There’s been people bit, properties damaged. My house personally has teeth marks in the vinyl siding from stray dogs.”

Spears said he has had to call the police to have his neighbor arrested before, but that she pays a $25 fine and leaves. He added that deputies who have come out have seen the dogs being aggressive and chasing cars but that they can’t do anything about it because there is no animal control in place. 

“Just this weekend I had a deputy at my house on three different occasions because her dogs are out aggressively chasing other dogs, vehicles going down the road,” Spears said. 

Spears said he had killed two of his neighbor’s dogs because they were in his yard trying to attack him. He said he has seen the dogs chase neighborhood children into their homes and bite at the school bus tires. 

“We’ve got to do something before we have somebody get killed,” Spears said. 

“If it was your grandkids getting chased, you would want something done,” he added.