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Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor(@)pikecountytimes.com
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Click here to go to First Bank of Pike's Website

Future cat room.

Future cat room.

1 of 10 regular dog kennels.

1 of 10 regular dog kennels.

All of the 10 regular dog kennels.

Veterinarian Daniel Roberts has donated a lot of items to the animal shelter.

Enclosed vehicle space for transporting animals.

2 of 4 spaces for animals that must be separated from the others.

Our job as good citizens is to make sure that this is used as little as possible. Spay and neuter your animals, please!

A view of the back of the facility. This photo also shows the hand-me-down vehicles that are being used at the animal shelter. There is a car and two trucks at this time.
Scott Meyers has paid for at least some of his own training that is necessary to do his job an an Animal Control Officer in the county.
[Note from the Editor Added 3.7.23: Animal Control Officer Tanya Perkins advised that Meyers chose to take these classes (and therefore pay for them). It was not necessary to have these classes to do his job.]

This 3 inch binder has a copy of all animal control citations that have been written since 2019.

Thank you to the Local Chapter of Woodmen Life for this donation.
Chandler Confronts Commissioners on Animal Shelter Donation
Calls $225,000 a Failed Donation
By Editor Becky Watts

Ruth Chandler of the CLC Foundation Inc. spoke to the Pike County Commission about the delay in opening the Pike County Animal Shelter during Tuesday night’s meeting. She walked through the work that has been done by the Pike Animal Shelter Board, the intent of her family’s charitable trust which donated the $225,000 to build the Pike County Animal Shelter, and gave some options to commissioners on how they could proceed with the donation that was intended to provide the building for a fully-functioning county-wide animal shelter.

There were many in the audience who had attended in order show support for Chandler as well as a functioning animal shelter in Pike County. Commissioners did not respond to Chandler’s comments which were given in the Public Comment portion of the Commission meeting.

Per the Pike County Government website: "Please Note: Pike County does not currently operate a full Animal Shelter. It only provides a facility for temporary impoundment of dogs classified as "dangerous" or "vicious" per State and local government definitions." This can be viewed at https://www.pikecoga.com/animal-control.html.

Chapter 91 of Pike County's Ordinances entitled, "Animal Control Ordinance" can be viewed at the link above or at https://www.pikecoga.com/uploads/1/3/3/6/133643513/chapter_91_-_animal_control_ordinance__2_.pdf.

A history of Pike County’s animal control situation is necessary for readers to understand the level of frustration that led to this ultimatum.


Animal control has been a hot topic in Pike County for the past 20 years. Friends of Pike County Animals attempted to work with commissioners and other animal organizations to help with animal control in our county. Friends of Pike County Animals Chairman Don Bailey put in a great amount of time toward animal control in Pike County when he was a member of our community. He has since moved out of the county. Here are a few items of note in the history of animal control in Pike County.

2005. Commissioners Discuss Animal Control.

Commissioners have been discussing a dog ordinance in Pike County since at least 2005. Pike County Times began in November of 2006 so this is the earliest Commission information that will be pulled for this article.

January 2007. Pike Citizen Attacked by Wild Dogs.

Mrs. Dolores Smith was attacked by wild dogs at home on Vega Road. She passed away from those injuries in May of 2007.

February 14, 2007. Don Bailey Discusses Animal Control Issues.

Citizen Donald Bailey spoke on animal control issues, stray and dangerous dogs and the costs associated with other animal control officers assisting Pike County and spoke before the Zebulon City Council on February 13. At that time, there were 253 known/reported animals cases in Pike County from 2006 through the beginning of February, 2007. Bailey called on the BOC to be proactive instead of reactionary.

Discussion of animal control problem and what it would take to get an animal shelter. A guess that an animal shelter would require a $350,000 budget and a vet would have to be on retainer as well. The City of Williamson has a contract with Spalding County Animal Control but no other city can get a contract for animal control with surrounding counties.

No animal control ordinance on the books. The BOC advised that it would continue to look into this matter.

February 16, 2007. Animal Control Added to Special Called Meeting.

Special called BOC meeting in which animal control was added to the agenda because of a complaint to a commissioner. Citizens were told by commissioners to take dog complaints through Magistrate Court.

February 27, 2007. Don Bailey Presents Animal Control Statistics to Commissioners and Advised that He Is Talking to Cities.

Citizen Don Bailey gave another in-depth presentation of Pike County and animal control at the regular BOC meeting saying that there are 218 square miles in Pike County and we had 22.4% growth over the past year. We are one of 77 counties in the state of Georgia without animal control. Bailey wants to put together a forum of interested organizations maybe through the Farm Bureau with an emphasis on education about rabies, getting rabies shots for pets, low cost sterilization, etc. He advised that he still has a couple of city councils to speak to before he has spoken to all of governing authorities in Pike County. He told the BOC that "Change will take time... [but] any step in the right direction is a step toward progress."

June 13, 2007. Don Bailey Asks Commissioners to Follow Meriwether’s Example.

Citizen Don Bailey asked for an animal control facility and BOC support to go through a process similar to that of Meriwether County as well as asking BOC members, the CM, and the county attorney to attend an animal control workshop.

July 21, 2007. Community Animal Control Meeting Held.

Animal Control meeting on Saturday, July 21 was held at the Pike County High School Cafeteria with representatives from the Meriwether and Upson Animal Shelters, Dolly Goodpuppy, the Lamar-Barnesville Humane Society, etc.

October 30, 2007. Citizen Asks to Start No Kill Shelter.

Citizen Ms. Ricky Maveety sent a package to the Commissioners outlining her intentions to start a no kill animal shelter/animal hotel here in the county. The County Manager (CM) at that time said that he would rather see private enterprise taking on this duty for animal control. Citizen Don Bailey advised that Upson County has taken in about 3,100 animals this year so far (and they have had an animal shelter 10 years already) and said that Maveety's shelter will help, but it won't take care of the problem. He said it was time to get something done.

In a 4-0 vote, the commissioners gave a motion of intent to support a county animal shelter with the donation of a piece of county property as long as the BOC hears Maveety's side too. Bailey gave a disk with an animal control ordinance to the CM. Regular animal control meetings were taking place monthly at that time at the library.

January 27, 2009. Don Bailey Addresses Commissioners Re: Lack of Facility Despite Support from Cities and the Public at Large.

Don Bailey of Friends of Pike County Animals advised that his friend and neighbor Dolores Smith was attacked by dogs at home in January of 2007. He told them how 8 different deputies responded to three separate attacks (one deputy responded twice) and how the incidents were handled because we do not have animal control in Pike County. He said that there are letters of support from the cities for animal control, that there has been an animal control workshop, an animal control ordinance is supposed to be in the works though it hasn't come back before the commissioners, and a site has been investigated but it hasn't been set as the official site for the animal control facility.

Friends of Pike County Animals was in the process of becoming a 501(c)(3), and there has been fundraising for the facility but it is hard to do if the county hasn't designated a site. The City of Zebulon had discussed the donation of a modular building that could be set in place for when the county had an animal control ordinance and was ready to roll on this. Motion to designate the land at the old chipper site inside of the chain link fence as the site of the future animal control with a caveat that if a better spot was located, the BOC can change the site of the future animal control facility. Final vote was 3-1 with Tommy Powers opposed.

April 2009. Pike County DRAFT Animal Control Ordinance Presented.

The Pike County DRAFT Animal Control Ordinance was turned into the county attorney and the BOC. Citizen comments from the Animal Control Workshop in October 2008 were incorporated into the DRAFT. Formal presentation of several sets of oxygen recovery masks for pets to the county commissioners and fire chief on behalf of the members of Friends of Pike County Animals and their supporters.

June 2009. PCSO Provided Training on Animal Cruelty Cases.

The Pike County Sheriff’s Office was provided training (at no cost) on how to prosecute animal cruelty cases by the Georgia Legal Professionals for Animals (GLPA).

June 2009. Animal Shelter Is Suggested for 2009 SPLOST.

Discussion of $6 million SPLOST (1 cent sales tax) proposal from the Citizens Advisory Task Force (CATF), a committee filled with BOC appointed volunteers. Proposal included $3,500,000 for a Judicial Complex and Courthouse Renovations; $400,000 for the Recreation Authority; $75,000 for the Agribusiness Authority; $75,000 for the Library; $600,000 for roads; and $150,000 for the Animal Shelter. $1.2 million will be split among the Municipalities according to population. Commissioner Tommy Powers made the motion to pull animal control off of the SPLOST and put on a referendum for voters to vote on. Discussion that it is too late to put animal control on this ballot and cannot change the SPLOST depending on how a vote comes out anyway.

Commissioner Parrish Swift pointed out that the cities are willing to share the cost of running animal control and said we're being timid on making a decision for the good of the entire county saying this is a responsibility of the county. Animal control was removed from the SPLOST in a 3-2 decision with Roosevelt Willis, Tommy Powers, and Doug Mangham voting in favor of removal and Parrish Swift and Don Collins voting against.

At this point, Friends of Pike County Animals had put 1 ½ years into getting animal control in the county. Don Bailey of Friends of Pike County Animals advised that Upson County's budget is $94,000 and Meriwether County's was $113,000. He figured that Pike County’s would be about $76,000 per year. After hearing facts and figures from Don Bailey, Parrish Swift made the motion to reconsider removing animal control from the SPLOST. 2nd by Roosevelt for discussion. Approved 3-1 with Parrish, Don, and Roosevelt in agreement. Tommy opposed. Don made the motion to accept the recommendation of the SPLOST Committee. Parrish 2nd for discussion. More discussion about the primary project of a judicial complex, and then the motion was to accept the SPLOST Committee's recommendation. Approved with Don, Roosevelt, and Parrish voting in favor. Tommy voted in opposition. The deadline was June 30 to make a decision to get this on the November ballot.

September 2009. Pet Oxygen Recovery Masks Presented to the County.

Formal presentation of four sets of oxygen recovery masks for pets to the BOC and fire department for the citizens of Pike County and animals on behalf of the members of FPCA and their supporters.

November 3, 2009. SPLOST Fails.

The SPLOST (penny sales tax) for 2009 had the following projects on it for the county: a judicial complex and courthouse improvements, recreation and leisure facility improvements, improvements at Chestnut Oak Agribusiness Complex, road improvements, and construction of an animal control facility.

The Election Summary Report from November 3, 2009 showed that the SPLOST was turned down by voters in a 56.74% to 43.26% vote.

2010. Coco’s Cupboard Receives Grant.

According to documentation found online, Coco’s Cupboard received a $30,000 grant by the Lacy Foundation in 2010 to help reduce abandoned pets in Pike County. https://www.causeiq.com/organizations/cocos-cupboard,451952534/

[Note from the Editor: You can read more about what Coco’s Cupboard is doing in the tri-county area at https://www.cocoscupboardinc.org/who-is-cocos/]

May 3, 2010. Don Bailey Addresses Commissioners with Animal Shelter and Possible Budget Numbers.

Citizen Don Bailey, Friends of Pike County Animals, requests approval of signage and its placement at the site approved by the Board last year between the chipper/shredder and the landfill.

Don Bailey of Friends of Pike County Animals gave numbers that stated as follows: A YES Vote for the 2009 SPLOST would have provided $150,000.00 for acquiring, constructing, and equipping the Pike County Animal Shelter which already had a designated location. Animal Shelter Budgets from Neighboring Counties: Heard County's 2009 Budget was $105,000. Upson County's 2009 Budget was $112,000. Meriwether County's 2009 Budget was $163,000. Labor Assistance - Edd Sanders, Warden at the West Central Pre-Release Center, has verbally agreed to establish a non-revenue labor agreement with the county. City Assistance – Each City has provided a Letter of Commitment and Financial Support to the Pike County Board of Commissioners. Building – The Hollonville Fire Station Kit was purchased for $18,000 in September 2008. Utilizing Heard and Meriwether County design plans will provide additional cost savings. Here is a link to Pike County Animal Control cases from January 1, 2006 through March 30, 2010: http://pikecountytimes.com/stats.html

August 11, 2010. Don Bailey Requests Use of Courthouse Grounds.

Citizen Don Bailey and Friends of Pike County Animals asked to use Courthouse grounds to encourage adoption of pets in the county. Matter was postponed until the CM could speak with the Sheriff.

August 31, 2010. Commissioners Allow Use of Courthouse Grounds.

Citizen Don Bailey and Friends of Pike County Animals asked to use Courthouse grounds for routine animal adoptions, provided the animals will be spayed/ neutered and properly cared for by adopting families and provided that personnel will satisfactorily clean up after animals, which will be vetted prior to display with no dangerous or potentially dangerous animals allowed. Motion was made and approved. Here is a link to Pike County Animal Control cases from January 1, 2006 through March 30, 2010: http://pikecountytimes.com/stats.html

2011. Coco’s Cupboard Is Incorporated.

In 2011, Coco’s Cupboard was incorporated with a goal of reducing the number of abandoned pets in Pike County. https://www.causeiq.com/organizations/cocos-cupboard,451952534/

[Note from the Editor: You can read more about what Coco’s Cupboard is doing in the tri-county area at https://www.cocoscupboardinc.org/who-is-cocos/]

2012. CARE Inc. Opens and Closes Facility in Pike County.

The Regular Scheduled Meeting of the Pike County Board of Commissioners held on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. was almost a full house again at this meeting. CARE Inc. was added to the agenda at the request of Commissioner Collins to discuss whether or not to give a 30 day extension on the closing of this facility as requested by Ms. Ramos from the Town Hall Meeting prior to the regularly called meeting.

[Note from the Editor: Part of my meetings from this far back are no longer with the website. (I’ve done two upgrades since this time, and this is not surprising with the tremendous amount of old information that was all on one page.) Long and short of this is that a facility was opened for dogs that was mandated for closure by the Board of Commissioners because of complaints. This was another case of someone wanting to help in Pike County when the county would not/could not open an animal control facility.]

January 9, 2013. Commissioners Discuss Animal Control Requirements with Department of Ag Inspector.

A discussion of animal control that was carried over from the November 27, 2012 meeting. The Department of Agriculture Inspector for our area spoke at the meeting. Commissioner Tamra Jarrett advised that the county has a business plan and a 5 year plan for animal control. County Attorney Rob Morton advised that an ordinance was drafted in 2007 but the BOC opted not to move forward at that time.

The county is required by the state to have an animal control officer even though there is no place to put animals. Commissioners discussed the trailer that had been offered by the City of Zebulon. Motion by Bass to designate the "Borrow Pit" as the future animal control facility site and for Public Works to mark a 300 foot by 300 foot area for the animal shelter. Second by Jarrett. Further discussion. Attorney Rob Morton advised that the county has satisfied the state mandate by having an animal control officer, but he pointed out that we are in a Catch 22 situation if we have to impound a dangerous dog because we would have to get help from an outside agency to do this.

The county also did not have an animal control ordinance in place. Don Bailey, who had headed up Friends of Pike County Animals, Inc. for the past several years, expressed his frustration that an animal shelter was discussed in 2008 and we're still talking about it now without anything being done. He said that the homework is already been done, that this isn't rocket science, and encouraged the BOC to get something done today and move forward with the plans for the Meriwether County Animal Shelter that has been given to the BOC already. A 5-0 vote was approved to designate the "Borrow Pit" as the future animal control facility site and for Public Works to mark a 300 foot by 300 foot area for the animal shelter. Click here to read the write up from the January 9, 2013 BOC meeting: http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BOC1.9.13.html

Animal Control Officer/Planning and Zoning Director David Allen requested authorization to prepare a text amendment for the February Planning Commission concerning the establishment of Dog Restraint Districts in limited areas within unincorporated Pike County. Allen talked about unwanted dogs, aggressive dogs, and pets with irresponsible owners that are a nuisance and said that he has been the animal control officer for the county since July 1, 2012 by a state mandate which means that he is basically a glorified listener in Pike County because we have no ordinance "with teeth" that can be enforced.

He said that he hears complaints from subdivisions but since there is no leash law, nothing can be enforced. He asked commissioners for authorization to put together a proposal on limited areas such as subdivisions and county owned properties such as the Recreation Fields that would be heard by the Planning Commission in February and would have public hearings. He said that a text amendment such as this would encourage responsibility from citizens through a series of fines that he could issue like a zoning citation in Magistrate Court. The county would still need animal control and a shelter that this could help because there would be no impoundment, wouldn't cost anything, and the fines could go towards an animal control shelter.

Discussion from commissioners included what proof and documentation would be required--the same as required for a zoning case--and whether the county can enforce covenants at these subdivisions--the county cannot enforce private covenants. The county manager advised commissioners of a bad experience that he has had in Zebulon with a neighbor's dogs. Director Allen asked for permission to proceed with drafting a text amendment. Commissioners made no motion therefore this issue died for lack of a motion. [Note from the Editor: This means that nothing was done.]

The 5 Year Animal Control Plan was proposed in 2012 with 2013 being the first official year to begin slowly implementing the Pike County Animal Control program and the Pike County Animal Shelter facility. Coco’s Cupboard was involved with animal efforts in the county at that time. The millage rate was going to be increased one mill (approximately $471,971.62) to provide adequate funding in 2013 for the 2014 calendar year to provide for the first couple of years of operations, maybe moving the donated trailer from the City of Zebulon and building outside kennels, 10 years of loan payments and interest for building the $2 million facility as well as looking for grants and accepting donations to help with the project and working with local groups when it was completed around 2017. It ended with, “Currently, this is only a “plan”, but at least it is a starting point, so now we need get started.” Click here to read it: http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/AnimalControlPlan1.9.13.pdf

January 28, 2014. Planning and Zoning Director Is Appointed As County Animal Control Officer.

Commissioners approved an Animal Control Ordinance that designated Planning and Development Director David Allen as the county’s animal control officer and defined dangerous or vicious dogs and the process for hearings when this designation is made per state requirements. The 2012 law required all counties to enforce this law which included the designation of an animal control officer even if the county did not have animal control. The following article ends as follows: “If there is a potential problem with a nuisance, dangerous or vicious dog, the proper protocol is to call the Planning and Development Office at 770-567-2007 and ask for David Allen. After hours or on the weekends, call the Pike County Sheriff’s Office at 770-567-8431. The Sheriff’s Office is not handling animal control but will forward complaints to David Allen, who is the county’s Animal Control Officer.” Click here http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/animalcontrol2.25.14.html to read, “Animal Control Ordinance Now in Effect in Pike County.”

May 13, 2015. Sewer Lines Are Discussed.

Sewer lines were run to the Animal Control facility (with the donated trailer from the City of Zebulon) in 2014. The motion was made to convey ownership on the lines for upkeep and maintenance. Click here to see the meeting: http://www.pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BOC5.13.15.html

December 2016 and January 2017. Pike County Makes Atlanta News and Read a Copy of the Animal Control Ordinance.

Click here to read the 2017 Animal Control Ordinance: http://www.pikecountytimes.com/secondary/animalcontrol1.23.17.pdf

Pike county made the Atlanta news twice in the span of a month between Christmas eve in 2016 through the end of January in 2017 when two dogs were killed on Williams Mill Road. Click here to read, “BREAKING NEWS: A Day In the Life of Animal Control in Pike County; Update on Dog Deaths in Pike County” http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BREAKINGNEWSanimalcontrol1.23.17.html

June 12, 2019. BOC Receives Letter Regarding the Chandler Family Donation for Building an Animal Shelter.

The CLC Foundation letter dated April 2, 2019 was discussed in the June 12, 2019 Board of Commissioners meeting. Then CM Bobby Bickley advised commissioners that this had been in discussions before former CM John Hanson stepped down from his position with the county. The CLC Foundation wanted to contribute $225,000 toward an animal shelter with certain criteria that must be met.

Foundation member Walker Chandler stated in the letter that, “I am sure the Board of Commissioners can understand how I must make as sure as I can that any contribution made at my direction will result in a substantial facility that is well-run and does not soon fall into neglect, ruin, and disuse…” and laid out specific items that had to be met with agreement by Commission members before the donation could be made.

Requirements for the donation included 1) forming an animal control board, 2) drawing up an initial comprehensive plan showing the placement of the facility, architectural plans, and all other necessary plans including utility connections and fencing by the October 15, 2019 deadline, 3) a plan to make up for any balance needed to finish the project if it went over $225,000, 4) allowed that this be a shelter where euthanasia can be used but 5) where adoptions of animals will be facilitated, and 6) the facility had to be physically located in Pike County.

The CLC Foundation stated that it would make the donation by December 31, 2019 for the establishment of an animal shelter that the county would maintain and provide personnel to run it for at least the next 20 years. Click here http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/CLCFoundationLetter4.2.19.pdf to read the letter.

It was advised in the meeting that the annual price tag for animal control in Upson and Lamar Counties runs between $200,000 and $300,000 per year. At that time, Pike County was paying $70,000 per year for vicious dogs only in order to abide by state law requirements for this. It was also said in the meeting that the county could build this facility without going into a full-blown animal control facility in the future though this will be needed in the future. Click here to read, “BREAKING NEWS: Large Donation to Help Pike County's Animal Control Facility.”

September 30, 2019. Commissioners Vote to Establish an Animal Shelter Board of Directors.

Interim County Manager Rob Morton and Chairman Briar Johnson met with Walker and Ruth Chandler from the CLC Foundation on September 30, 2019 to discuss the requirements for the animal control board.

Members would be unpaid and serve on an advisory basis. David Allen asked to be a part of this board, and Ruth Chandler wanted to participate as well. There would be an application process that would include 7 members with each municipality having and ex-officio (non-voting) representative. BOC members voted in favor of establishing this Board.

Click here to read the write up from the October 9, 2019 BOC meeting: http://www.pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BOC10.9.19.html

June 4, 2020. BOC Budget Workshop Discusses Animal Control Budget.

CM Ron Alexander advised that the Animal Control budget went up by $100,000. He said that we have until December to spend $200,000 which won’t be a problem. The animal control officer was working on call and going to need someone helping when we get the building built. One person in a department can’t do everything. Our code enforcement officer is the backup, but code enforcement has other duties. Animal Control Officer Tanya Perkins asked for 2 part-time people. Chairman Briar Johnson said that when we accepted the donation, we would build the building with that. There is $101,700 in here for capital outlay. Briar said that we are not altering our schedule on this and were not planning to open this as full blown animal control yet.

Click here to read the write up from the June 4, 2020 BOC Budget Workshop: http://www.pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BOC6.4.20.html

September 9, 2020. Groundbreaking and Celebration of the Pike County Animal Control Facility.

The public was invited to the Animal Shelter Groundbreaking Ceremony at 956 County Farm Road on September 9, 2020. Members of the CLC Foundation Inc. were thanked for their donation and CM Brandon Rogers advised that the new animal shelter would be around 2,950 square feet and would cost about $300,000 by the time it was completed.

Ruth Chandler thanked the county commissioners and especially Chairman Briar Johnson for all of the time he spent in research on this project. She said that this was in the works for more than a year before it came to the commissioners. She said, “I do not misunderstand that building the building is the only thing. The citizens of Pike County have to help pay to keep this going and I hope that we can help.” She said that she believes that citizens in Pike County will be united is working together to make this turn out for the best. She closed by saying, “I still look forward to being in the building WITH the dogs.”

Chairman Briar Johnson thanked the CLC Foundation as well as Economic Development Director Ginny Blakeney, the commissioners, Former Planning and Development Director David Allen, and the Animal Control Board for their help in this endeavor. “David (Allen) was the first one who did animal control without extra pay.” He also thanked current Animal Control Department Director Tanya Perkins and advised that she now does this job with the help of Dewey Yarbrough and said that there will soon be another part-time employee to help with animal control.

Click here to read, “BREAKING NEWS: Pike County Is Finally Getting an Animal Shelter.” http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BREAKINGNEWSanimalshelter9.9.20.html

July 29, 2021. Animal Shelter Board. Discussion of Neighboring Ordinances Is Priority.

Animal Control Director Tanya Perkins, Briar Johnson, Novin Darcy, Julie Smith, Chad Morris, David Allen, Veterinarian Daniel Roberts, Suzanne Aaron, Steve Fry, and Ruth Chandler met together at the first meeting of the Animal Shelter Board on July 29, 2021. The group discussed what were the first things that would need to be decided prior to opening the animal control facility as a shelter. Ordinances were put at the top of the list with a group of volunteers within the group working to collect local neighboring ordinances that could be reviewed at the next meeting.

August 19, 2021. Animal Shelter Board. Election of Officers and Discussion of Local Ordinance.

Animal Shelter Board Officers were elected. Chairman – David Allen, Vice-Chair – Julie Smith. Secretary – Ruth Chandler. Treasurer – Daniel Roberts. Discussion centered around the need for a local ordinance that suits local conditions. A committee was formed to study the ordinances that included David Allen, Suzanne Aaron, and Ruth Chandler.

August 31, 2021. Animal Shelter Board Chairman Addresses the Commissioners.

Animal Shelter Board Chairman David Allen (also former Planning and Zoning Director/Pike County Animal Control Officer) addressed the Board of Commissioners during the Public Comment section at the end of the meeting. He stated that he worked for free for the county with animal control for several years and pointed out that even though the county had an animal control officer and an animal shelter, the county still did not have a working animal shelter.

He praised the county for hiring part-time staff but said that it was time for Pike County to quit relying solely on the generosity of others and adequately fund the day-to-day processes of animal control because Mrs. Ruth Chandler was expecting positive action after her generous donation to the county that provided our animal shelter.

He closed by encouraging the Board to consider this for the next SPLOST so that we wouldn’t lose “our hard-gained momentum” toward animal control and an animal shelter in Pike County.

Click here to read my notes from the August 31, 2021 meeting:http://www.pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BOC8.31.21.html

September 30, 2021. Animal Shelter Board. Discussion of Ordinance Specifics.

Susan Boggs was appointed to this group of Animal Shelter Board Members. Terms of office for board members were discussed with agreement to three year terms for chair, vice-chair, and secretary with two year terms for the remaining members. David Allen brought a draft of ordinances for discussion. Cat trapping was thought to be too complicated for now, the board wants Pike citizens to be able to adopt animals, adoption fees were discussed, volunteers younger than 21 years of age were discussed, and the possible use of female prisoners from the nearby correction facility were discussed. The length of time to hold unadopted dogs was set at 7 days.

October 28, 2021. Animal Shelter Board. Changes Made to Proposed Ordinances and Request for SPLOST Funds.

Animal Shelter Board Members made a second review of the proposed draft ordinances for the animal shelter. Areas of concern included a deletion of the prohibition against weekend adoptions, having volunteers approved by this board, a volunteer dress code, giving the animal control officer the authority to determine appropriate medical expenditures, removing parts of section 92.09 to specify correct eating and cleaning since Department of Agriculture standards will be followed, and a deletion of cat cage references in Section 92.10. These changes were approved by vote, and then the discussion moved to handling donations to the shelter.

Chairman David Allen reminded the board that all monetary donations must go through the Board of Commissioners. Members Ruth Chandler and Susan Boggs agreed to present a letter from the Animal Shelter Board to ask the commissioners for SPLOST funds.

November 18, 2021. Animal Shelter Board. Changes Made to Proposed Animal Control Ordinances.

Animal Shelter Board Members made a final review of draft ordinances. Two changes were made and approved with a discussion of the optimum time to present the ordinances to the commissioners. Preparation for a shelter budget was also discussed.

January 22, 2022. Animal Shelter Board. Ordinances Given to County Attorney with Request for Presentation to the Commissioners by End of February.

Animal Shelter Board Members decided to give copies of the ordinances to the county manager and county attorney with a request that the county attorney present the ordinances to commissioners by the last meeting in February. February 9, 2022. Commissioners Receive Letter from Animal Control Board with a Proposed Animal Control Ordinance.

County Attorney Rob Morton advised that he had received a letter from Ruth Chandler of the Pike Animal Shelter Board. In the letter, the county was advised that the Animal Shelter Board had put together ordinances and submitted them for an upcoming agenda. Morton said that he would scan them for the commissioners’ review and that the Board members had requested this to be on the February night meeting agenda.

Commissioners discussed ways to bring in funds from the community similar to the Fire Department Auxiliary. Chairman Briar Johnson advised fellow Board members that the Animal Shelter Board is talking about opening up a full animal control facility rather than going along with the commissioners’ schedule for opening the facility.

Click here to read the original proposed ordinance in long form: http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/Chapter 92AnimalShelterFull.pdf

Morton advised that he would consider it and give it back to the commissioners. A question was then asked it would be a problem to approve this ordinance prior to what is now vicious animals only becoming a full scale animal control facility. Morton said that it may not create a problem with the implementation of the animal shelter, but he can’t give a full answer until he looks at this. "It depends…"

This BOC write up can be read at http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BOC2.9.22.html

February 10, 2022. Animal Shelter Board Proposed Two Budget Options.

Animal Shelter Board Members went through Animal Control Officer Tanya Perkins’ proposed animal control budget line by line in preparation for her budget presentation to the county manager. A budget of $172,500 was discussed with three employees. A secondary budget for $128,500 was also discussed as a means of opening a minimal functioning animal shelter.

February 22, 2022. BOC Workshop Discusses Animal Control and Animal Shelter.

Commissioners said that they were working toward an Animal Shelter. CM Rogers mentioned that there is an urgency to get this moving now and had brought some numbers for running a shelter for them to look at. He asked for feedback from commissioners.

The Advisory Board is asking for a full-blown shelter that includes pick up and adoption of animals. We are doing what is required according to state law. Chairman Johnson wants us to stick to our current plan. Upson’s budget is $281,000. 3 employees recommended. Probably close to $200,000 for Pike. It was stated that the Fire Department was a bigger concern right now.

Rogers was advised that money is a concern. Keep stressing that we are moving toward this. Under $100,000 now. This would double the budget. We have adopted ordinances in the past in anticipation of moving in this direction without becoming an animal shelter. Cities would help with this when we get to that point. The Advisory Board was praised for their work on this. Commissioners want them to know that they haven’t wasted their time on this.

Morton asked what they want to do on this. Do y’all want to hear Brandon’s plan on this at a meeting? Numbers only mean something if you want to pursue a shelter. Tanya Perkins is the full-time employee. Scott Meyers is the part-time employee. Next step? A better vehicle that is equipped for picking up animals. Then it will take big steps to start the shelter. Volunteers can help, but we have to make sure that we have employees to perform all of the required tasks in the shelter.

Morton said that the cities need to be a part of this discussion, and it also needs to be a part of the Comp Plan. CM Rogers recommends adopt as a whole or hold it. Consensus to hold this and review for now since we don’t have a budget for this right now. It was said that it was very clear from the beginning that we can’t tell you when we will get to a full blown animal shelter. Morton did say however that the Board is obligated to move in that direction. CM Rogers will be looking for a truck for them as the next step.

Click here to read the write up from the February 22, 2022 Pike County Board of Commissioners Workshop: http://www.pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BOCworkshop2.22.22.html

March 24, 2022. CM Brandon Rogers Meets with the Animal Shelter Board.

Animal Board Shelter Members met with CM Brandon Rogers for a discussion of the thoughts and actions of the commissioners with respect to the development of the shelter. “Brandon Rogers told us that, as far as he knew, “all the commissioners wanted to work toward opening the shelter.”” He also told them that were priorities and constraints with the budget. The current budget that commissioners were reviewing has a provision in it that would allow Animal Control Officer Tanya Perkins to have a part-time helper at 32 hours per week. Perkins advised that state requirements appear to require more than two people working in order to open the animal shelter.

Susan Boggs suggested a legal point that needed to be added to the ordinances about dogs collected for the county becoming property of the county. She also said that the board could address concerns about keeping donations for the shelter separate from the general fund for Pike County in the ordinances so those who give to the shelter could know that their funds will be used for the shelter exclusively and not something else. A motion to add both to the ordinances was approved. She then suggested making a strategic plan in the next meeting. “It was generally held that we should plan to send some of our Board to the commissioners meetings to bear witness to our desire to keep moving along toward the opening of the shelter.”

April 21, 2022. Animal Shelter Board. Animal Control Budget Is Discussed.

Animal Control’s budget was discussed. Department Head Tanya Perkins is salary, and Scott Meyers is part-time at 32 hours. Discussion on the numbers and whether a part-time worker was enough. The question was also asked about overtime for Meyers if he went over 32 hours with CM Rogers saying that overtime was unlikely.

I stood as a citizen and told commissioners that the public needs a timeline for the animal shelter including holding a workshop so we know what to expect including when the cities will be contacted in intergovernmental discussions on helping pay for the Animal Shelter. Commissioner Proctor suggested that this be included with the Service Delivery Strategy meetings with the cities.

Click here to read the write up from this meeting: http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BOCSCM4.21.22.html

June 16, 2022. Animal Shelter Board. County Budget Does Not Allow Enough to Open the Shelter.

The Board heard that the money approved in the county’s budget would not be sufficient to open the animal shelter. Members agreed that the ordinances must be approved before shelter operations could begin as well. Three members agreed to go to the meeting with two members agreeing to speak to commissioners on the record about the commissioners’ progress on approval of the ordinances.

They also discussed employee education and a disaster plan for the shelter as is required by the state.

June 28, 2022. The Emperor Has No Clothes: David Allen and Ruth Chandler Address the BOC.

Animal Shelter Board Members David Allen and Ruth Chandler addressed the Pike County Board of Commissioners. Pike County Times was out of state during the meeting but reported from the minutes of the commission meeting.

Chairman Allen pointed out the similarities in the children’s fairy tale of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and sign by the Animal Shelter on County Farm Road which proclaims, “Pike County Animal Shelter Established 2021” saying that it took a little boy pointing out the obvious that the emperor was naked and that the shelter is naked too because it was not an operational animal shelter, and there are no plans to make it operational in the foreseeable future.

He based this assessment on the fact that there was no provision for shelter activities in the recently passed 2022-2023 county budget, there was no provision in the recently approved SPLOST (one cent special purpose local option sales tax), there was no work that he knew of to finalize intergovernmental agreements with cities in our county to help fund shelter operations, there was no update in the reallocation of Impact Fees to help with Animal Control, the Animal Shelter Ordinance that the Animal Shelter Board worked on last fall and presented to the Commissioners had been gathering dust with no word on a First Reading, and the county has insinuated that the animal shelter would only be used for dangerous dog cases for now.

He said that was not the intent of the donation and that the county is “a long way” from the shelter that the sign suggests that the county has. He said that this is misleading to citizens and a slap in the face to the Shelter Board and the Chandlers’ Foundation. He suggested taking the “shelter” wording off of the sign or at least putting some fine print under the word in order to stop looking like the emperor in the fairy tale.

Secretary Ruth Chandler stated that she understood that the Board of Commissioners has a very difficult job and many priorities, but she requested that the Board of Commissioners move toward the goal of opening an animal shelter by reviewing the Animal Shelter ordinances that had been provided to them by the Animal Shelter Board. She also relayed the request of the Animal Shelter Board that Attorney Rob Morton attend one of their meetings to help them understand what good ordinances would be and then further investigate what systems are needed to be in compliance with the State for funding in next year’s budget.

She concluded by saying that this deserves to be one of the Board of Commissioners’ priorities and that the Animal Shelter Board would like to see the ordinances passed by the Board of Commissioners by next year’s budget.

The notes from this meeting can be read at: http://www.pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BOC6.28.22.html

July 13, 2022. Animal Control Brings in $7,000 in fines.

It was noted that the June 2022 brought $7,000 in citations into the county for nuisance, cruelty, tethering, and not having proof of rabies vaccinations.

The notes from this meeting can be read at: http://www.pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BOC7.13.22.html

July 21, 2022. Animal Shelter Board. Discussion of a Strategic Plan, Funding, and Reducing the Animal Control Ordinance.

Ruth Chandler reported on the commissioners’ meeting in which she and David Allen spoke. Tanya Perkins brought a copy of the minutes from the meeting so everyone could see what said. Discussion of shelter funding then began. Susan Boggs said that she did not think that SPLOST could be used for this but that Impact Fees could be. Steve Fry talked about ways that the City of Williamson allocates funds for things that could be shelter expenses if the shelter was operational.

Boggs said that a strategic plan could guide commissioners and proposed that members identify things of low or no cost that we could do now. Other board members also suggested locating funding options in terms of fees for services, impact fees, and even a bigger share of revenue generated by animal control. And intergovernmental agreements between cities could possibly help too. Most members seemed to agree with the value of a strategic plan. Members were asked to submit their thoughts toward a strategic plan by email to Perkins or Chandler so this could move forward.

It was also suggested that the Board needed to get the proposed animal control ordinances back from the commissioners so the ordinances could be reduced to the smallest size in hopes that the county could move forward in a simpler manner with a plan toward how to finance these steps.

Perkins was asked many questions about the money raised by animal control fines. [Note from the Editor: The money raised from animal control fines goes back into the general fund for the county rather than being put into animal control.]

A motion was made to go to quarterly meetings rather than monthly meetings but failed for lack of a second.

September 14, 2022. A Second Full-Time Animal Control Officer Is Hired.

Commissioners note that the county has committed to moving toward a full animal shelter, and this would be a good next step on this. Commissioners extended a full-time job with benefits to current part-time officer Scott Meyers with a spending amendment being used to help provide for the cost. Click here to read: http://www.pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BOC9.14.22.html

September 29, 2022. Animal Shelter Board. Ordinance and Funding Discussion. Change to Meeting on Alternating Months Rather Than Monthly.

C.J. Eidson was introduced as a new member. David Allen, Susan Boggs, Suzanne Aaron, Daniel Roberts, Ruth Chandler, and Tanya Perkins were also present. Susan Boggs was appointed as vice-chair.

Ordinances and strategic planning were discussed. Boggs made suggestions on how to handle some of the line items in the budget. Members agreed that they want commissioners to pass the ordinances that were drafted and supply the funds necessary to run the shelter operation. Following Boggs’ suggestion, a provision was added in the animal control ordinance that money collected for animal welfare by collected separately and rolled over every year for use in shelter operations. The motion was approved.

A motion was then made to meet every other month rather than every month unless otherwise necessary. All were in favor. The next meeting was set for November. [Note from the Editor: This board has been meeting on a monthly basis since July 29, 2021.]

November 3, 2022. Animal Shelter Board. Review of Strategic Plan and Reduction of Animal Control Ordinance.

Members reviewed the Strategic Plans that were proposed and agreed that this needs to be separate from the ordinance. They also discussed tweaking the Animal Control Ordinance and separating policies and procedures from the ordinance. The current ordinance will be reduced to only focus on receiving funds at this time and will be reviewed at the next meeting. [Note from the Editor: The minutes from the January meeting have not been approved because they approve the minutes from the prior meeting at the following meeting. However, the board provided the proposed reduced ordinance for this article per open record request.]

Click here to read the original proposed ordinance in long form: http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/Chapter 92AnimalShelterFull.pdf

Click here to read the reduced proposed ordinance from late 2022 since the long form was not adopted by commissioners: http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/Chapter 92AnimalShelterReduced.pdf

February 28, 2023. Chandler Gives Ultimatum to Commissioners.

Ruth Chandler spoke to commissioners during the Public Comment portion of Tuesday night’s meeting. She started out by addressing the delay in opening the animal shelter and said that in February of last year, she personally delivered an Animal Control Ordinance to the county attorney’s office and that neither she nor any of the Animal Shelter Board Members have heard any comments or alternative proposals to this document. She said that she assumed that all were working for the county’s best interests so she came to them to offer them three options on the $225,000 donation that built the Pike County Animal Shelter in 2021.

First, have the shelter open by the end of year by passing the “much reduced and streamlined” Animal Control ordinance that the Animal Shelter Board has written for the Board of Commissioners, consulting with the State Department of Agriculture to obtain the minimum standards to run the shelter, and allocating the monetary resources needed to make the animal shelter a legal shelter that can take in at least dogs found or surrendered by Pike County citizens where dogs can be adopted by Pike County citizens. “Yes, this is expensive,” she said. “However, when you accepted the check you committed to this.”

The second option available to them is “based on the belief that mistakes are made every day and that remedying them is an honorable course of action. Chandler said that the Board of Commissioners can return the exact amount of money that was given to them by the charitable trust, CLC Foundation by June of this year. “This means that the county has received an interest free loan for over 3 years to construct a building that houses animal control,” she said. “From that point on you can proceed at your pace in this matter.”

The third option was her preferred option in which she asked the Board of Commissioners to give the refunded amount to Coco’s Cupboard which is a multi-county charity run by Pike resident Suzanne Aaron and headquartered in Meriwether County. Last year, Coco’s Cupboard found homes for 589 cats and dogs, trained 63 dogs as service dogs for veterans, and donated 12,000 pounds of pet food to families in need as well as assisting with numerous spay and neuter operations. “This charity is doing the work I envisioned this money doing to “prevent cruelty to animals,” she said. This shift in donation would put the money toward its “proper purpose no caught in what appears, at best, to be an unproductive limbo.”

She then explained her family’s charitable trust with Walker Chandler sitting behind her in the audience showing his support. She said that it is not “like those trusts you hear and read about where celebrities and politicians collect millions of dollars and spend a huge amount of it on themselves and their needs,” she said. “This trust has been perfectly run since it’s inception according to IRS guidelines and the money does not go to Ruth and Walker.” She said that they take their custodianship of this money very seriously and are “immensely proud of the idealism of the trust.”

She told commissioners that this donation to Pike County was a “failed donation” and was the only failed donation in the history of the trust. Chandler said that she argued for this donation to Pike County for an animal shelter because she believed that there was “a great consensus in Pike County to have a shelter and that the county needed help to accomplish this goal.” She told commissioners that if they believed that this was not a good option for Pike County at this time, then they needed to return the money by June of this year and that there would be no hard feelings on her part though she stressed that she would prefer that they simply gave that donation to Coco’s Cupboard.

She closed out by saying, “I want to say, gentlemen, that I believe that it is time for honest men to state their intentions openly. It is my duty to demand that this money do what it was meant to do. Walker and I are guardians of this money. It must achieve it’s designated purpose.”

Click here to read Ruth Chandler’s letter in its entirety: http://www.pikecountytimes.com/images/RuthChandler2.28.23.jpg

What Does Pike County Animal Control Do?

Pike County has two full-time animal control officers who maintain public safety by enforcing the Animal Control Ordinance. Their responsibilities include capturing and impounding dangerous or vicious dogs, investigating animal cruelty, providing expert testimony in court cases, writing incident reports and gathering evidence, providing humane care to animals under our supervision, and preparing animals to be sent off for testing of rabies.

There is a picture of the citation book at the top of the page that show all of the incident report book that contains all of their citations since 2019. Pike County Times asked for just the past 6 months of citations and warnings from July 2022 through January 2023 and received the following detailed information:

Over the past 6 months, Scott Meyers answered 117 calls for service, and Tanya Perkins answered 220 calls for service.

Over the past 6 months, Meyers issued 4 nuisance warnings, and Perkins issued 14 nuisance warnings.

The difference bewtween a warning and a citation can be found on page 13 in section § 91.14 NUISANCE ANIMALS of the Pike County Animal Control Ordinance by clicking here: https://www.pikecoga.com/uploads/1/3/3/6/133643513/chapter_91_-_animal_control_ordinance__2_.pdf

Over the past 6 months, Meyers issued 72 Nuisance Animal citations, 7 No Rabies citations, 3 Dangerous Dog citations, 15 Cruelty to Animals citation with 4 open cases in court, 5 of which are in the City of Zebulon, and 2 Tethering citations.

Over the past 6 months, Perkins issued 3 Nuisance Animal citations and 1 Dangerous Dog citation.

Over the past 6 months, 4 raccoons were sent off for rabies testing with 3 being positive for rabies, and being negative. One dog tested negative.

Each complaint is noted as one call even though Perkins and/or Meyers may speak with the complainant or the animal owner on numerous occasions.

Each complaint is investigated. Warnings are issued depending on the case. Some cases involve immediate citations.

Citations involve a substantial amount of paperwork and photographic evidence. Copies of the citations are provided to Magistrate Court, and reports and photographic evidence are turned in to the County Attorney’s Office.

Chapter 91 of Pike County's Ordinances entitled, "Animal Control Ordinance" can be viewed at https://www.pikecoga.com/uploads/1/3/3/6/133643513/chapter_91_-_animal_control_ordinance__2_.pdf.


Pike County Times made 3 requests to the county manager, commissioners, and county attorney regarding animal control and the animal shelter in Pike County.

Pike County Times requested a copy of any written plan for the county to open the animal control facility at some point in the future from 2019 until February 17, 2023. CM Brandon Rogers advised, “To my knowledge there is no written plan. This has been spoken about but never written.

Pike County Times requested a copy of any email and/or letters pertaining to the animal control facility becoming operational or taking steps toward opening the building from July of 2022 through February 17, 2023. CM Rogers advised, “I have no emails or letters to my knowledge.”

Pike County Times requested a copy of any letters, emails, etc. sent to the Board of Commissioners and the County Manager regarding opening the facility/the animal control facility becoming operational from July of 2022 through February 17, 2023. CM Rogers replied, “I have no emails or letters to my knowledge.”

Pike County Times extends a huge thank you to County Clerk Angela Blount for obtaining all of the open records needed to fulfill these requests, Scott Meyers and Tanya Perkins for pulling together numbers for the past 6 months to educate the public about what they do, and County Manager Brandon Rogers for answering the questions about animal control on the record for this article.

The Board of Commissioners will have a discussion about animal control/the animal shelter during the New Business portion of the Wednesday, March 8, 2023 Regular Called County Commission meeting. Commissioners did not respond after Ruth Chandler spoke on Tuesday night. Pike County Times expects this to be an in-depth conversation which involves County Attorney Rob Morton and his legal advisement.

The meeting begins at 9 a.m. and will be held in the main courtroom of the Courthouse. There will be a Town Hall Meeting at 8:45 a.m. in which members of the public can speak to the commissioners about any given topic without getting on the agenda beforehand. It is off the record, but citizens can bring their concerns at that time.

In order to speak on the record, citizens must request to be on the Public Comment portion of the meeting and give their topic of discussion about a week before the morning or night meeting. More information is on the Pike County Government page at www.pikecoga.com.

The public is invited to attend all county commission meetings.

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