Madison County freshman Chad Coulter plays the xylophone during
the Raiders' halftime show Friday against Oconee County.
Photo by Zach Mitcham
as site for animal shelter
Group aims to open the facility in 2001
BY MARGIE RICHARDS
A group looking to build an animal shelter in Madison County
found little opposition to the idea of locating that shelter
The real problem seems to be finding the exact location to build
A number of concerned citizens turned out for Monday night's
public hearing with members of the Madison- Oglethorpe Animal
Shelter, Inc., to discuss the possibility of a tri-county animal
shelter being built in their area.
"Carlton is so appealing (as a building site) because it
is the geographic center of the three counties and Hwy. 72 provides
easy access," MOAS board president Susan Fisher said.
Besides Madison and Oglethorpe Counties, representatives from
an Elbert County humane society have expressed an interest in
building a shelter to serve all three counties, according to
An ideal site, according to MOAS members, would be seven to 10
acres that are relatively isolated due to people's concerns about
possible noise and odor, but with easy access to Hwy. 72.
Fisher said MOAS is tentatively looking at a 10-acre tract near
the railroad on Berkeley Quarry Road, just outside the city limits
Fisher told the audience that an animal shelter in White County
is being considered as a prototype.
Other immediate plans include: approaching the board of commissioners
from each of the three counties to ask that they pass a resolution
supporting the operating budget of an animal shelter in the year
200l, finding a site in time to begin building the facility in
the spring of 2000 and opening the shelter in 2001.
"Our goals may be optimistic, but it (the shelter) is long
overdue," she said.
Based on figures from the Humane Society of the United States
- which uses an area's human population to estimate the number
of unwanted animals a shelter may house in a given period - Fisher
said a tri-county shelter could expect to take in 3,000 - 4,000
animals per year.
"But it could be a lot more," she cautioned, "especially
in the beginning."
Out of this number, more than 50 percent could be expected to
Responding to questions on operating expenses, Fisher again quoted
information from the HSUS that the average yearly expense of
operating a shelter could be expected to range from $3 -$5 per
With current populations ranging from 25,000 in Madison, 20,000
in Elbert and 12,000 in Oglethorpe counties, a rough figure of
$180,000 could be projected as an annual operating expense, she
told the crowd.
Board member Joe Conti from Oglethorpe County pointed out that
all three counties are facing the possibility of potential lawsuits
in connection with dangerous dog attacks.
"We're not responding properly to dangerous animal problems,"
Conti said, adding that local law enforcement are not equipped
to deal with the situation. "It's a catch 22, in order to
enforce the laws, we have to have the manpower and a place to
put them (the animals)," Conti added.
Fisher urged all those present in support of an animal shelter
and animal control laws to call their county commissioners.
Fisher said other options of the group were to introduce and
promote educational programs in the county concerning responsible
pet ownership, the introduction and enforcement of animal control
laws and the establishment of low cost spay/neuter programs to
reduce the underlying problem of pet overpopulation.
"This is not just an animal lover's problem; it's a major
public health issue," Fisher said. Fisher said that while
the majority of the revenue will have to come from county budgets,
some of it can come from fundraisers, licensing and adoption
"Besides a shelter board, we would like to maintain a humane
society to work on continuing to raise money and promote public
awareness," she said.
Responding to the input and questions of the crowd, Carlton city
clerk Steve Sorrells said: "You might want to consider having
similar public forums in other areas of the counties because
you're going to need county wide support from all three counties."
- Margie Richards is secretary of the
Madison-Oglethorpe Animal Shelter, Inc.
Glenn Cross, Randy
Danielsville mayor Glenn Cross was elected
to a second term Tuesday, while Randy Williams was chosen as
the new District 2 representative on the Comer City Council.
Cross defeated challenger Ray Watson 52-42 and Williams received
22 votes to incumbent Carla Ingram's 16.
"I'll do everything I can to keep taxes and utilities low
and to keep the city operating in a good, efficient manner,"
Cross said last week. "I want to keep the community safe
with good police and fire protection. And I think the community
should be informed and involved."
Williams said he hopes people will be pleased with the job he
does as a council member.
"I hope everybody will be happy with the decisions I make
as I serve on the city council," Williams said after the
votes were tallied. "I appreciate everybody that came out
Williams will be sworn in at the first Comer council meeting