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New Gillsville law seeks to regulate not-so-friendly dogs
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Gillsville City Councilman Roy Turpin - photo by Scott Rogers

Gillsville is hoping to quiet the bark of not-so-friendly dogs in the town on the Hall-Banks county border.

An ordinance fashioned after Hall County’s animal control law was passed by Gillsville City Council on April 3.

Before the law was passed, some dogs in family yards had barked and growled at local walkers as they passed by, “so we figured it was time for us to get on board” with an animal control law, Mayor Roy Turpin said.

“They aren’t strays,” he said. “People own these animals. And people out walking for their health were fearful these animals would get loose and attack them.

“That sparked my attention quickly, and that’s why I wanted to get on (the issue) and get (the ordinance) on the books,” Turpin added. “Most of the time, it’s not good whenever you hear about it on the news.”

Basically, animals “out and about need to be on a leash, on a chain or penned up,” he said.

If problems crop up, the city will notify Hall County Animal Control “and they will take over at that time,” he said. “They will handle enforcement.”

Among other things, the new law requires owners to notify authorities immediately if the animal has attacked a person or another animal.

But the law also protects animals from abuse, physical or otherwise, by people.

“lt is unlawful for the owner of any domesticated animal or agricultural animal /to knowingly abandon the animal or commit the act of abandonment,” the ordinance states.

The law also addresses leaving animals unattended in hot cars.

Hall County’s Animal Services webpage states that it enforces and “assists other county and state departments with ordinance enforcements and other animal-related issues.”

The staff of six officers and one supervisor addresses all issues related to bite cases, cruelty investigations, loose or uncontrolled domesticated animals, potentially dangerous and dangerous animals, and rabies control.

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