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Adairsville council vows to stop aggressive dogs

After opening the Adairsville City Council meeting with a moment of silence for Police Chief Rick Townsend, who died Dec. 7, Mayor Ken Carson called for citizens to come forward and tell the council about any problems. One account left them nearly speechless.

“We got dog problems,” said Alfred Harris, who lives on Jackson Drive. “There’s two pit bulls running loose in the neighborhood.”

Monday night, he said, neighbors, Catherine West and her daughter, came to his house “all tore up about it.”

“The little girl was scared to death and said the dogs had run her into the house,” Harris said. “Catherine said she called animal control and they said there was nothing they could do for six weeks because it [takes] that long to get a trap for a big animal.”
West acknowledged Harris’ account.

“My daughter was out in the yard Monday, playing in the snow,” she said. “Two dogs chased her to the door and had her trapped. I heard a frantic scream, so I just opened the door and pulled her in The dog tried to come in after us.”

West said she called 911 and the dispatch said they were sending Adairsville police officers and animal control.

Animal control never arrived, and the responding officer, in her opinion, did little to help.

“When you have an 8-year old-child that is trapped between a vicious dog and a door,” she said, “and you call the police and nothing gets done. The first time we called the law, they went and talked to the owners. The second time we called, the same officer came and all three dogs were running loose, but the cop did nothing to the owners — didn’t  tell the owners to come pick up those dogs or even call animal control.”

Instead, she was told if they could contain the dogs, animal control would come and get them.

“They get paid to do that,” she said. “Why should I risk getting hurt doing that?”

West said the area is one of the oldest parts of town and hosts a diverse range of ages.

“A lot of elderly people live around us, and I am afraid one of them is going to get mauled by those dogs,” West said. “Not to mention kids — we’re within walking distance of Adairsville Elementary.”

Councilman Alan Towe said he found the prospect of vicious dogs roaming a neighborhood very unsettling and promised the city would be more proactive in solving the problem.

At midday Wednesday, he reported that Bartow County Animal Control had called on the owners and, finding no one home, left a warning tag on the door.

Anthony Park, the city’s code enforcement officer, said the warning tag requires the offenders to meet with officials from animal control.

“I told animal control that I want to go along with them so I can stay on top of this,” Park said. “Right now, it’s just a leash law violation, but if they continue to violate that law, and if someone gets hurt by them, they could end up losing their dogs.”

In other business, Council:

•  Adopted the 2017 Codified Code of Ordinances, which brings the city into compliance with state law that require all city ordinances to be available online.

•  Adopted the City of Adairsville Official Zoning Map.

•  Adopted the 2018 city budget.

•  Authorized the mayor and city clerk to authorize the intergovernmental agreement for the 2020 SPLOST.

•  Approved the 2020 SPLOST projects list for the city.

•  Approved a donation to Kennesaw State University of items pertinent to the early days of the Great Locomotive Chase Festival.

•  Approved a personnel cap of 51 full-time employees.

•  Appointed Carol Robson to the Downtown Development Authority.

•  Reappointed William Jackson to the Unified Zoning Board.

The Adairsville City Council will meet again tonight at 7 p.m. at City Hall.