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Nailen: Speaking up for neglected dogs
Letter to the Editor
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Dear Editor: My name is Carole Nailen. I am writing to speak for the abused dogs in Rockdale County - what many call "yard dogs." Because a number of the ordinances have not been enforced, many are neglected and often abused.

Section 18-8 (b) says you have to provide your animal with food, clean water and living conditions, shelter, veterinary care and humane treatment.

Section 18-8 (f) says that the animal whose circumstances are in question can be taken in for vet care on the spot and the owner fined.

Section 18-9 (3) says that "No dog may be attached to a running cable line or trolley system for more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period."

On April 2010: I contacted Rockdale's Animal Control Agency to report two dogs chained to a tree at 1887 McCollum Road. The officer could have fined the owner and had the dogs taken in for a check-up right then, but he gave the owner two weeks to remedy the situation. It was around 90 degrees. The owner did attach the dogs to a line at the back of the house, but was still in error. They were outside for almost a full 24 hours a day - a clear disregard for the ordinances and the dogs' safety.

After the initial plea I sent to Mr. Baker, I sent letters to the ones elected to be over him-including one to the head of the parks and recreation.

Since the weather here was only getting hotter, I continued to check on the dogs. The little Shih Tzu was on a trolley with a very heavy chain. Ordinance 18-9 (5) says "Tethers and cables...shall not weigh more than five percent of the body weight of the dog tethered."

In August 2010, I sent Mr. Baker another letter, begging him to reconsider his decision not to take the dogs to the vet. They were no longer chained, but they were tethered for much longer than 12 hours and were not receiving "veterinary care" or "humane treatment."

I finally got a letter from Mr. Baker saying that the dogs had been surrendered to animal control. One of the dogs was adopted; I never heard anything about the other. I can only assume it either died or was euthanized because of heart worms. Preventative care is an absolute must, as heartworms in dogs generally cause a slow and painful death - and we know mosquitoes are rampant. This falls under vet care to prevent suffering.

About a month ago, I found three Chow mixes kept in a yard 24/7. I called Mr. Baker. He only ordered the owner to groom the dogs - complete disregard for the ordinance as well as the dogs' well-being.

These ordinances are not being followed by CiJi Baker; and the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners has shown little or no interest in correcting this travesty. Baker's immediate superior is David Smith. I called and sent letters over and over - with no real results.

Carole Nailen
Rockdale County