Towns County officials discuss animal control

News
Towns County animal control

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Animal control was the topic of spirited discussion at Mountain Movers & Shakers Friday, May 18, 2018.

Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw, Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton, Hiawassee Police Chief Paul Smith, and representatives from the Mountain Shelter Human Society spoke on the subject.

Many residents were unaware of how to handle stray or problematic animals in the area, and those in the know set out to clear the confusion.

A dangerous dog ordinance was in place when Commissioner Bradshaw was elected to office in 2016, with the issue recently being turned over to the Towns County Sheriff’s Office. Prior to 2018, the sheriff’s office was not actively involved and could only take reports. Commissioner Bradshaw said there have been two calls pertaining to the mandate this year.

“There’s a lot that needs to be talked about, and there’s always room for improvement. I realize this, as the county grows,” Commissioner Bradshaw began. “Where I live, it’s no problem. We’ve got elbow-room, my neighbors have elbow-room, and in most places in the county, that is the case, right? It is a fact. But there are neighborhoods, and pockets of neighborhoods that maybe you need some more animal control than what the county’s got. That’s entirely up to your homeowners association, and if you want to have stronger rules or regulations, or leash laws, then I would say go for it. But I’m going to tell you that where I live, I’m not going to tie up my dogs. I’m just not going to do it, but I’m a responsible dog owner, and that’s where the problem comes in.”

“As far as a leash law goes, I understand animal control,” Bradshaw continued. “I’ve talked to (Union County Commissioner) Lamar Paris about it. People say, ‘Union County has leash laws,’ and they do. I’ve read it. But a lot of times there’s just no teeth in it. I’m just going to be honest with you. What about barking? A dog barking all night, keeping the neighbors up? We’re still a small area, and I’ve had this happen twice. I called the neighbor with a barking dog, and I talked to them, and I asked them to help me. I said I need your help, and they did. We got it taken care of. I’m not saying everything we’re doing is perfect, but I’m saying much more than we are doing now, I don’t see it. In time, as the population grows, I can definitely see more ordinances, and leash laws, but I just don’t think the county is there yet. Your neighborhood may be, but the county as a whole is not.”

Sheriff Chris Clinton spoke on Title 4, a state law requiring the sheriff’s office to respond to animal complaints. Sheriff Clinton noted that it is a crime to abandon pets. Roaming livestock falls under the responsibility of the sheriff’s office as well.

“There is a leash law in the city,” Hiawassee Police Chief Paul Smith said. “It applies to city property. If you have a domestic animal on the sidewalk, the square, or Mayors’ Park – city property or city streets – then it’s supposed to be restrained. It doesn’t apply to personal property or your neighbor’s property, but it does apply to city streets. There’s also an ordinance that discusses loud noises, the barking and howling from animals. I’ll echo the commissioner’s sentiment from earlier. The best method is to call your neighbor and say your dog is annoying me. We can address it from an ordinance perspective if it’s something that goes on and on. As far as strays in general that don’t have an owner that we can contact, I think that’s something that the council and mayor will need to address.”

Mountain Humane Society Board President Bob Levy said that the shelter has improved considerably in recent years. “We have a facility, and our facility continuously grows, based on the donations that we get,” Levy said. “We adopt out a tremendous amount of animals every year. We try to take in every animal that we possibly can. It’s difficult for us to take in sick animals because it can affect the entire operation, but we do have a quarantine area.”

Mountain Shelter Humane Society is a no-kill shelter, and the organizations accepts as many well-disposition, healthy animals that are suitable for adoption as their facility can accommodate. “We are limited on our funds, but we are trying our best to take in animals with minor illness and injuries,” Lisa Collins, the executive director of the shelter explained.

According to Board President Bob Levy, an average of $200 to $500 is spent on each animal housed at Mountain Shelter.

Pit bulls, due to workman’s compensation and liability insurance, and feral cats, because of their wild nature and sparse adoption rate, are not accepted at the shelter.

While Mountain Shelter Humane Society cannot pick up animals, strays can be taken to their facility, provided space is available, at 129 Bowling Dr. in Blairsville.

Mountain Shelter Humane Society can be reached at 706-781-3843.

Bill and Lynn Hall, founders of Katz n Dawgs Helping Hands, a local 501(C)(3) non-profit animal rescue organization, provided contact information. Katz n Dawgs Helping Hands can be reached at 706-896-7931 or kndhh17@gmail.com.

FetchYourNews will include information on additional area resources should they become available.

In summary, the course of action is to contact Towns County Sheriff’s Office for issues related to animal aggression or general animal control. Towns County Sheriff’s Office can be contacted by dialing 911 or 706-896-4444.

In addition, Commissioner Bradshaw can be reached at 706-896-2267.

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-970-8491 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com

Radio host joins Towns County Movers and Shakers as moderator

News

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – It’s a new year, and the Towns County Mountain Movers & Shakers is off to a fresh start, recently adding EXtreme Carolina radio host Michael Levi Borkman to its list of weekly moderators. The group of concerned citizens meet each Friday morning at 8 a.m. at the Sundance Grill in Hiawassee.

Michael Borkman, a charismatic gentleman who enjoys making newcomers feel welcome, says the group is moving in a positive direction and looks forward to further involvement with the community.

Mountain Movers & Shakers exists to increase local political awareness, address direct concerns from citizens, improve the the community as a whole, and assist the Towns County school system to foster a better climate for youth. While the group describes themselves as “noticeably conservative in philosophy,” they maintain a non-partisan posture. Weekly meetings are open to all political persuasions, religious affiliations, and creeds.

Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw

Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw updated the community on the county’s thriving tourism at a recent meeting

Over the years, Movers & Shakers has logged an extensive amount of community service while providing thousands of dollars to fund various community projects. The participants co-sponsored three public candidate forums during the 2016 election cycle, placed poll watchers at voting precincts, improved the appearance of both the east and west entrances into Towns County, raised $4000 for the Future Farmers of America (FFA) along with other high school programs, provided funds for “Quilts for Valor”, and participated in Towns County Clean Sweep week in an effort to curb litter the area. Their contributions also include the provision of expert voluntary personnel at the high school and the development of annual youth leadership speech training which begins a new cycle on Jan. 25.

Movers & Shakers welcomes speakers from all walks of life, encouraging individuals to share what their organization is doing in Towns and surrounding counties. Because there are no officers, a different person acts as the moderator each week conducting the meeting.

Breakfast is available for purchase to enjoy while listening to the scheduled speakers. On occasion, the meeting will be devoted solely to upcoming project discussion.

For additional information, contact Michael Borkman at michael@mybizsolutions.net

Featured Photo: Michael Levi Borkman

 

Grace Howard, of Hamilton Gardens, at a 2017 meeting

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns, and Murray counties, as well as Cherokee County in N.C. – FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. – For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

 

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-970-8491 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com

Towns County speech training program encourages student participation

News
Andrew Smith UGA

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – The Towns County Speech Development and Showcase will begin a new year’s program on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. at the new Senior Center in Hiawassee. Sponsored in partnership with the Towns County Movers & Shakers and the University of Georgia (UGA) 4-H Extension, the training is geared to provide local students with an opportunity to improve their public speaking abilities, increase communication skills within group settings, and offer a chance for students to share their voices throughout the community.

“The Movers & Shakers speech contest provided me with the tools I need to be more confident and efficient in public speaking,” past participant C.J. Owens said. “The training I received has helped open doors for me in my education, as well as in the business realm.”

The goals of the program are designed to build student confidence levels in order to aid their interactions in classroom discussions, enhance the English, Language, Arts (ELA) Standards of Excellence, prepare for success in the workforce, and empower by helping the students to use their voices, rather than their actions, to solve problems.

“The Mountain Movers & Shakers speech competition has helped me more than I ever thought it could. Learning to speak in public has opened so many doors for me and has certainly helped to boost my confidence in social atmospheres,”  Emma Kate Ledford expressed.

The benefits of the speech training include necessary development for student body leadership positions, the ability for youth to create a “name” for themselves within the community, increased confidence levels in work or school interviews, and an opportunity to add program participation to college applications and employment resumes.

The training sessions will be held each Thursday from Jan. 25 until Feb. 22, 2018. The showcase will take place on March 1. All events are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the new Senior Center, 954 North Main Street in Hiawassee. Participation in the showcase itself is not mandatory but encouraged.

For more information, contact Andrew Smith at 706-400-8754.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns, and Murray counties, as well as Cherokee County in N.C. – FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. – For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-970-8491 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com

FetchYourNews.com - Dedicated to serve the needs of the community. Provide a source of real news-Dependable Information-Central to the growth and success of our Communities. Strive to encourage, uplift, warn, entertain, & enlighten our readers/viewers- Honest-Reliable-Informative.

News - Videos - TV - Marketing - Website Design - Commercial Production - Consultation

Search

FetchYourNews.com - Citizen Journalists - A place to share “Your” work. Send us “Your” information or tips - 706.276.NEWs (6397) 706.889.9700 chief@FetchYourNews.com

Back to Top