Pike County Times
The Pike County Times, PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. You can donate through PayPal at the link on the bottom of the page. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor@pikecountytimes.com
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BREAKING NEWS: A Day In the Life of Animal Control in Pike County
Update on Dog Deaths in Pike County
By Editor Becky Watts

ZEBULON - Pike County does not have an animal control facility to handle calls like some of the counties around us. Instead, we have an Animal Control Officer who handles calls and complaints and determines the County’s course of action in these cases according to Pike County’s Animal Control Ordinance.

You can read Section 91 of Pike County’s Ordinance by clicking here. [Note from the Editor: This copy of the ordinance is straight from the county website as of 1.23.17. Because this article will remain online for many years and sometimes web links are changed, I have downloaded a copy that will remain with this article. There is a link to the county website from my County Government page that will lead to county ordinance if you would like to read straight from there.]

The statement of purpose sums up the ordinance and while it is not an animal shelter as many would like, it does apply to many situations and is helping with dangerous and vicious dog complaints. It reads as follows: “By enacting this Chapter, the County intends to preserve and promote the public health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Pike County through: (A) Complying with current State regulations concerning dangerous and vicious dogs; (B) Complying with current State regulations requiring the inoculation of dogs and cats against rabies; (C) Establishing local regulations to reduce the number of animal nuisance incidents with in the County.”

The ordinance is very plain about who owns and is responsible for animals, what is required as far as inoculations, and clearly defines dangerous and vicious dogs, nuisance animals, and tells that complaints will be handled through Magistrate Court in Pike County. For example, if you take care of cats and dogs for seven or more consecutive days, according to this ordinance, you “shall be held liable for the actions for that animal.”

This ordinance was prompted by a state mandate that required the county to have an Animal Control Officer who abides by certain state standards including the State of Georgia’s “Responsible Dog Ownership Law” which deals specifically with dangerous or vicious dogs. But dangerous and vicious dogs and nuisance animals are not the only calls that Tanya has received during the past year.

You Lost or Found a What?!

It’s not just cats and dogs in our rural community. On any given day, Officer Perkins might get a call about a missing buffalo, an emu with no clue of its owner, and missing or found horses, cows, goats or pigs. And that is not including the inevitable calls that she has received over the past year about nuisance raccoons, opossums, and even skunks!

Tanya even received a call about a Chihuahua in the Courthouse that wouldn’t let anyone near it. She opened the door, and it ran back home. Some calls are not that simple though. A snake at a gas station? Call Jason Clark from Snakes Are Us. A fox, raccoon or other creature that could be rabid that has come in contact with pets, livestock or people? Take the body in to have it checked for rabies, check to make sure that animals have been vaccinated, and ensure that quarantines occur if that is needed.

Often times, Tanya takes pictures to post on Facebook to help reunite pets and livestock with owners. Sometimes she issues citations for nuisance animals or no proof of a rabies vaccination. And sometimes, the citations are more serious.

Animals that meet the state’s definition of dangerous or vicious can end up impounded at the Pike County Animal Control Facility, result in fines and special pen specifications that are required for the owner or even euthanization. Animal Control doesn’t handle other types of complaints, but animals that meet this definition are treated according to specific rules and their owners have to comply with these rules in order to continue to house these animals at their homes.

Pike County Made the Atlanta News in December

Pike County has made the Atlanta news of late. One story was about a Pit Bull named Sassy that lived at a residence on Williams Mill Road. Sassy was shot at an undetermined location and died on her front porch on Christmas Eve. [Note from the Editor: The original article stated that she died on her back porch. This has been corrected.]

A deputy from the Pike County Sheriff’s Office responded to the call and wrote up a report on the incident. This information was turned over to Animal Control for further investigation. A reward has been posted for information on this incident and an investigation has been conducted, but to date, there is no new information that would tell what happened to the dog and where it occurred.

Pike County Times asked for and obtained all Animal Control Complaints from the past year as well as any complaints that have been made about the residence where Sassy resided. It turns out that the dogs at the Williams Mill address are known to Animal Control. There have been three complaints made about this residence over the past two years.

In 2015, neighbors who were walking on this road complained in two separate instances that dogs from this residence approached them in an aggressive manner and were called back into the residence by the owner. In the 2016 complaint, a neighbor complained that three of the dogs from this residence were coming onto his property and biting his dogs. The resident withdrew his complaint after speaking with the owner of the dogs. If this complaint had not been withdrawn, Officer Perkins would have issued a citation to the owner for nuisance animal.

Pike County Times was advised that this residence does not have a pen for the dogs so there is not a defined area where the dog could have been shot. Without any new information, the case remains open with Pike County Animal Control. There has been a call for the Pike County Sheriff’s Office to investigate this matter, but the Sheriff’s Office doesn’t handle Animal Control in our county. The following statement has been released with regard to this incident which remains under investigation:

“Pike County Animal Control has received a growing amount of correspondence from the media and individuals in the community with regards to this incident (on Williams Mill Road). Although we cannot release any information on this case at this time due to the active investigation, we would like to assure the community that we are continually pursing evidence that we hope will lead to the resolution of this case and the prosecution of any individuals responsible for the violation of Pike County Codes & Ordinances. If anyone in the community has information that is relevant to this case, please contact Pike County Animal Control at 770-567-2007.”

ADDED 1.31.17: [Note from the Editor: I spoke with Loren Pryor, the daughter of Sassy's owner, after the county commission meeting tonight. Loren advised that the previous animal control complaints are about dogs and a person who no longer reside at her Mother's residence on Williams Mill Road. After a review of the Animal Control Incident Summaries of the two complaints from 2015 and the May 2016 complaint, I am updating the article according to the information given to me tonight.]

UPDATE 2.6.17: According to the Pike County Sheriff's Office Incident Report dated December 24, 2016, a deputy was dispatched to the home in reference to a dog shot on the property. The deputy spoke with a neighbor who stated that he was inside of the residence watching tv when he heard a gunshot. He told the deputy that he walked out of the back door and around the house to investigate the source of the shot. He discovered that Sassy, a brown pit bull, had been shot and was laying on the front porch of her residence. He said that he did not see who shot the dog but said that he believed that the gun shot came from a vehicle and that the dog had walked to the front porch after it had been shot. The deputy attempted to locate a shell casing but could not find one. Animal Control Officer Tanya Perkins was notified and the report was forwarded to her.

Pike County Made the Atlanta News in January

In mid January, Pike County made the Atlanta News again. This story was about a Tea Cup Chihuahua named Nugget that was shot and killed at a different residence on Williams Mill Road on January 9. The Chihuahua was described by the responding officer as appearing to have a hole in it that could have been made by a bullet.

Officer Perkins advised that she didn’t see this dog in person because she got a call late about the incident and talked to the owners the next day. However, she did receive the report from the responding Sheriff’s Deputy as well as the pictures that were taken of the incident.

This incident remains under investigation at this time as well. Anyone with information on this case should contact Pike County Animal Control at 770-567-2007.

UPDATE 2.6.17: According to the Pike County Sheriff's Office Incident Report from January 9, 2017, a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Williams Mill Road in reference to an animal complaint. The owner, Elizabeth Skinner told the deputy that she had come home from work and found her dog laying in the neighbor's driveway across from her residence "in blood with its organs out." The deputy took pictures before they buried Nugget. The deputy wrote that the dog appeared to have "a hole on his left side of his back that could be from a possible bullet" and what appears to be an "exit wound on the right side of its belly." The owner stated that she had last seen the dog the day before. Animal Control Officer Tanya Perkins was notified and the report was forwarded to her.

The Atlanta news story also mentioned two dogs found dead in a creek on Mountain View Road which is in fairly close proximity to Williams Mill Road. Tanya advised that she had received a call about removing the dogs, but the county does not handle complaints to bury or remove dead pets.

However, photos of the dogs were posted on Facebook by an individual to try to find the owners. To date, Pike County Times is not aware of anyone claiming these animals. Someone looked at the dogs and said that they looked like they had been shot; however, there has been no further information on this case either.


If you have an animal control issue, you can contact Officer Tanya Perkins at 770-567-2007 or call the Sheriff’s Office after hours and they will enter information into a report that is given to Animal Control. If you would like to see updates from Tanya, you can find her on Facebook.

Citations for Animal Control are handled through the Pike County Magistrate Court. So far, the cities of Concord and Meansville have signed agreements to abide by Pike County’s Animal Control Ordinance.

There has been much speculation on all of the three cases mentioned at the end of this article, but no further information is available at this time. Anyone with information should call Animal Control to assist in these investigations. Cases like this make the news locally, and sometimes even make the Atlanta news, but animal control in Pike County consists of more than just dogs and cats on any given day.

Think about that when you see a post on Facebook about a missing or found dog, cat, pig, goat, horse or cow in Pike County! The following is the number of calls that Tanya responded to each month in 2016.

January - 21 calls
February - 25 calls
March - 23 calls
April - 27 calls
May - 32 calls
June - 21 calls
July - 22 calls
August - 17 calls
September - 22 calls
October - 20 calls
November - 13 calls
December - 23 calls

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