LaFayette Council discusses stray dog issue

Published 10:00 am Thursday, June 13, 2024

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During Monday night’s LaFayette city council meeting, Council member Tammie Williams brought up a concern about the issue of stray dogs in the city. 

“I’ve been here probably 20-something years and I’ve been talking about these stray dogs,” Williams said. 

Williams said there has been an ongoing issue of stray animals in the city and that they have posed a danger to citizens. She mentioned the recent report of a dog attack in Valley. 

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“We know that it’s summertime, and children are out walking, adults are walking,” she added. “I pray that nobody is mauled to death here or mauled period. We have some vicious dogs here.”

Council member Toney Thomas addressed Williams’ comments. He asked LaFayette Police Chief Capt. Christopher Trice what the current situation was for animal control. 

Trice said that the LPD currently has two kennels for dogs picked up within city limits. After that, the city animal control would take the dogs to the Chattahoochee Humane Society if they had space. 

The shelter was too full to accept some dogs recently, Trice said. If they cannot take the dogs to the shelter, then they have to be euthanized for space. Luckily, a kennel opened up for the dogs at the shelter in time. 

In an August 2023 council meeting, ENI (Equitable Neighborhood Initiative) Community Liaison Adrian Holloway spoke about an untethered and aggressive dog in her neighborhood, requesting that the council take action on their dog ordinance. 

The current dog ordinance states that a dog who has been picked up less than three times may be returned to the owner for a $50 fee. An amendment in the ordinance states that for each time impounded, the owner retrieval fee will increase by $10. 

Thomas added that if any citizens encounter a hostile animal, they should call the non-emergency phone number for the police department to report it to animal control. 

The Chattahoochee Humane Society has a contract with the city of Valley, the city of Lanett and Chambers County. The contracts hold four kennels for seven days for the cities and eight kennels for seven days for the county. 

Beyond that, the shelter cannot accept more animal intakes than they have room for. The shelter director, Amber Mingin, spoke at a Chambers County Commission work session in February on the high — and unsustainable — rates of intakes. 

Mingin has stated her goal is to give a safe place for the homeless animals. In the past two years, Mingin has made efforts to avoid euthanization. To that end, last year, the shelter opened an additional 15 outdoor kennels to avoid euthanizing for space.