PERRY -- After their approval of an animal-limitation waiver came back to bite them earlier this year, Houston County commissioners seem to be in no mood to approve more waivers.
Although no neighbors spoke against it, the board Tuesday unanimously rejected a man’s request to have five dogs instead of the three allowed by the county’s ordinance. He has 90 days to find new homes for two of the dogs.
Ronnie Martin, of 202 Lake Drive, which is near the Warner Robins city limits, said he has five adult German shepherds. He keeps one additional German shepherd during the day while the dog’s owner is at work.
Martin said he has had the dogs for a couple of years and wasn’t aware of the limitation until an animal control officer showed up at his house. He said he has physical and health issues that prevent him from working full time, and he was interested in breeding the dogs and selling puppies.
Commissioner Gail Robinson, who is the board’s liaison with animal control, said the county ordinance cites specific reasons that a waiver could be granted. Among those reasons are that the animals had been kept by the owner for a long period of time or that there was a person in the home with special needs.
“In this case, for a breeding operation, I believe the ordinance should stand,” Robinson said before making the motion to deny the request.
Senior Animal Control Officer Dale Newberry said the dogs appeared to be well cared for, but he said officers had received some complaints from neighbors. It started with an anonymous tip about an excessive number of dogs at the home, while another caller complained about barking and another said one of the dogs had gotten out of the fenced yard.
Considering that he had the dogs for two years, Robinson said she didn’t see any problem with giving him three months to find new homes for two of them.
Martin also can’t regularly keep the dog he had boarded during the day time, the commission decided, but could keep an additional dog on “isolated occasions.”
Earlier this year the board had to revoke an animal waiver it granted to a woman who had eight cats, after it was found she was feeding stray cats. That led to the county having to go to the home and remove some of the cats.
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.