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Long Commission bites into dog problem
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Long County Commissioners listen to suggestions on how to deal with dog problems at the workshop. - photo by Mike Riddle / Coastal Courier
LUDOWICI -- The Long County Commissioners held a workshop Tuesday to gather input in possible ways to address the county's needs for animal control.
Debbie Callicutt, head of the Safe Hollow Animal Sanctuary, and Dawn Johnson, who addressed the commissioners at the February meeting regarding the issue, both were at the meeting. Long County Code Enforcement Officer John Bradley also attended.
Bradley first addressed the group and stated that he had contacted Liberty County about a joint venture regarding animal control.
"I have been told by the county administrator's office that a joint project is still a high priority. I believe five acres has been approved for an animal control facility somewhere behind the airport, which would be a good location for both counties."
According to Bradley, he had been told that the Liberty County administrator would contact Long Chairman Randy Wilson.
After Bradley, Callicutt, whose facility currently houses and cares for 70 cats and 20 dogs, spoke up.
"We are an outreach and rescue group, and have a no-kill rule. We take care of all the animals' needs and we believe that the answer to the dog problem is spaying and neutering," Callicutt said.
She added, "We try to adopt out our animals, but we only do so when we find a good and responsible home. An animal in the wrong home only makes the problem worse because they usually end up out on the roads again."
Johnson, who also had her husband Jason with her, then addressed the forum. "I adopt animals out for a $25 fee. I get them off the street."
"Most places adopt out animals for at least $125. You can buy a chihuahua for $200. Why is someone going to buy a mutt for $125 if they can get a dog with papers for $200? They're not," she said.
According to Johnson, her desire is to become certified as an animal control specialist, and then to establish an animal control facility in Long County.
After much discussion, the group decided to research the issue and get back with commissioners.
"It all boils down to cost. Why don't you present us with a written plan, with all options, and what you will do and what it will cost," Wilson told Johnson.
Wilson added, "Why don't we do this: Mrs. Callicutt will continue to do what she has been doing, and John (Bradley) will continue working with Liberty County, and Mrs. Johnson can get with Tony (Fowler, who is the commissioner for her district) to come up with a total cost, and then we can go from there."
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