Local News

April 28, 2013

Murray County sheriff to take on animal control this week

CHATSWORTH — Murray County Sheriff Gary Langford and incoming animal control director Diane Franklin faced a skeptical and sometimes hostile audience Saturday at Chatsworth City Hall.

The sheriff’s office will begin handling animal control effective Wednesday. Langford and Franklin, along with County Finance Director Tommy Parker, met with about 80 citizens to discuss what the change will mean.

Animal control is currently an independent county agency, and many of those in the audience made it clear they’d like to see animal control, or at least shelter operations, remain independent. Many held signs supporting previous animal control director Pauline Davis.

“We’ve worked closely with Pauline and have pulled many, many dogs from Murray County,” said Jeff Howard of the Alpharetta-based Angels Among Us Pet Rescue.

Howard said that Davis and her staff have established a network of rescue agencies across the United States and even internationally to place animals. Several speakers said the shelter typically has an adoption rate of 80 percent or higher. They noted that Whitfield County, where Franklin had previously worked, has an adoption rate closer to 20 percent.

“Murray County has a shelter that is known nationally and internationally for its success in placing animals. Why would you want to tamper with that success?” said Dr. William H. Mathis, an animal rescue worker and semi-retired veterinarian who has worked closely with Murray County Animal Control for several years.

But Parker said he believes some falsehoods are fueling several concerns that some people have about changes in the department.

Several audience members said they had heard that the shelter will no longer work with out-of-state animal rescue groups to place dogs.

Franklin said the shelter will continue to work with such groups but they must have a Georgia animal control license.

“That’s required by the (state) Department of Agriculture, and we have to follow Department of Agriculture rules,” she said.

Laurel Kirkbride asked if the shelter would continue to allow private citizens to come in to adopt pets. Franklin said that it would. Kirkbride said after the meeting that she hoped that the Murray County shelter would continue to allow individuals to adopt pets.

Franklin said that placing animals is a top priority for her. But she said that an effective animal control strategy must consist of more than adoptions and must include spaying and neutering, education and addressing dangerous animals.

Langford said one reason that Sole Commissioner Brittany Pittman had asked the sheriff’s office to take over animal control is that current animal control officers are not certified peace officers and therefore can’t arrest people for crimes such as cruelty to animals or dog fighting.

“A deputy can. A certified deputy can bring those cases to Superior Court. We had a case several weeks ago where an animal control officer brought a case to Superior Court and the judge kicked it out because it was illegal for them to bring it to Superior Court,” he said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Little library 1 mlh.jpg Little Libraries, big goal

    Whitfield County just received a new library.
    And better yet, 26 more are on the way to the region.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Picture 3.jpg Rock solid

    A great number of things have come and gone since 1974.
    One that hasn’t: a small Dalton school founded by parents wanting a unique learning environment for their children.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vann House Day '14 6 mlh.jpg History comes alive at Vann House

    SPRING PLACE — In the early 1800s, the 1,000-acre plantation belonging to Cherokee Indian leader James Vann was a bustling place.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • Local congressmen agree with Deal

    Regarding news last week that approximately 30 unaccompanied minors from Central America, who had crossed the southern border into the United States, were sent without warning to Dalton last year and enrolled in Dalton Public Schools, Republican politicians representing portions of Murray and Whitfield Counties agree — state and local school officials deserved to know in advance, they say.

    July 26, 2014

  • Former chamber location 2 mlh.jpg Plan could cut flooding, stormwater damage in Dalton

    On a recent day, McClellan Creek flowed gently through Harlan Godfrey Civitan Park. But some park goers who live near the area say that even a mild rain can turn the creek into a torrent that eats away at their property.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Civil War anniversary: The Battle of Crow Valley, May 9-12, 1864

    The Atlanta Campaign began during the first two weeks of May 1864 in and around Dalton. Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s strategy was to target two of his armies, about 80,000 men, against Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of Tennessee at Dalton. Then, while Johnston’s attention was diverted by these forces, he would secretly send his third army, about 25,000 troops under Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson, in a flanking movement to the southwest through Snake Creek Gap. Sherman’s goal was to break Johnston’s railroad supply line some 15 miles south at Resaca and trap Johnston’s Confederates in Dalton.

    July 26, 2014

  • New church being  built mlh.jpg Church construction continues

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Avans.jpg Three arrested in arson plot to claim insurance money

    Three people have been arrested for their role in a fire at a Chatsworth home as part of an insurance scam to collect money, officials said.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • Investigation into MFG chemical accident continues

    An investigation is still ongoing after a MFG Chemical employee was injured earlier this month at a plant on Kimberly Park Drive.

    July 25, 2014

  • Judge sets $100,000 bond for Cohutta man accused of incest, molestation

    A Cohutta man charged with incest, aggravated sodomy and child molestation was granted a $100,000 bond over the prosecutor’s objection on Friday.

    July 25, 2014