Pet dumping an ongoing issue in Burke County: Local activist fights for no-kill shelter


GIRARD, Ga. (WJBF) — Some people in the Bird Dog Capital are calling for city officials to build a facility for animals, to stop the act of illegal pet dumping. At the moment there is no animal shelter in Burke County.

The owner of Girard LifeSaver Rescue, Samantha Holton says pet dumping is an ongoing issue.

After her latest Facebook post of trying to rescue two “dumpster dogs,” NewsChannel 6 reporter Devin Johnson spoke with Holton. She told Devin it’s frustrating that there is a new YMCA building and a new courthouse, but there is still no animal facility in the area.

Burke County is working to build an animal shelter. City officials believe having a shelter would decrease the number of people coming over from other towns and dumping their pets. However, the owner of the Girard Lifesaver Rescue says rescue groups are the ones taking in these strays; they want their city officials to come up with an alternative to a shelter.

“It’s going to be a kill shelter, they are going to kill them when time is up and they don’t have space,” explained Holton. “Unless the rescues can get them out, but it’s going to be very difficult for rescues to get that many dogs out.”

Holton says the proposed shelter will cover only part of the county and will hold only 50 animals.

“If you’re only going to hold 50 animals, that means they are going to be killing quicker,” said Holton.

The rescue group owner houses more than 80 dogs herself, and says feeding and taking care of all them is costly.

“That money is a lot of times coming out of my pocket or my husband’s pocket,” explained Holton.

And she says it’s frustrating to see dogs daily at dumpster sites.

“Every day, every day,” said Holton. “I can also show you dogs on chains with no water or food and skinny; that you will like to be able to help, but they are not going to do anything.”

She believes the solution is a mandatory spay and neuter law.

“It’s the people that keep letting them have puppies in the backyard,” explained Holton. “And dumping them at the shelter when there ever is one. They will be taking them there, and if they don’t make them spay that momma dog; they will be bringing some more after they kill those.”

Click here If you would like to help Girard Lifesaver Rescue.

Photojournalist: Will Baker

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