As a Walton County resident of 25 years, I find the lack of concern for animal welfare by the majority of my County Commissioners both appalling and reprehensible. The picture included here was taken after yesterday’s intense storms in Monroe. This is just one example of the abysmal living conditions many dogs are forced to live in within our County. No living being should be forced to live in squalor or be put in a situation where drowning is a consequence of the owner’s actions or negligence.
Each of you has had ample opportunity to address this situation — though only two of you have had the wherewithal to do so — Thank you, Commissioners, Jeremy Adams and Lee Bradford. Further, I understand at least one Commissioner opposed the recent requested change to the county ordinance regarding 24/7 tethering of dogs because they erroneously thought it meant it completely eliminated the ability to tether a dog for short periods of time. This tells me this Commissioner wasn’t listening to any of your constituents who have spoken countless times about this at the board meetings nor bothered to read the changes suggested while failing to ask pertinent questions before voting against the changes requested by your constituents. As an elected official this is a dangerous game to play.
If you can look at this picture and think it’s okay for this dog or any animal to live in this condition I worry about your ability as County Representatives to recognize obvious cruelty, neglect and danger within our county and take the appropriate actions necessary to address problems. More and more studies are discovering a link between the abuse of animals and the abuse of humans. Stop looking away and acting like this isn’t the serious problem that it is.
It is becoming widely known throughout Walton County who the four commissioners are who continually shrug this off and refuse to take action to address the squalid living conditions of dogs in Walton County. I remind each of you that as a Commissioner each of you has a duty and obligation to address and improve situations for county residents when they are brought to your attention and yes, these animals absolutely are county residents. Other counties have successfully enforced banning 24/7 tethering which tells me it is possible to put an end to this abhorrent practice. It is time for Walton County to do this too.
Each of you has the ability to address and stop this cruelty!! Stop dragging your feet about it and make it happen.