Unchain Walton and ETC animal advocates to be back at Farmer’s Market on Saturday

Monroe, Ga. – Neither Walton County nor the City of Monroe has passed leash laws that would totally outlaw any dog being chained up outside unattended, but animal advocates from Unchain Walton and End the Cycle are hoping that they eventually will join other municipalities around the state that have already done so. The group began petitioning Walton County to make humanitarian changes to the law several years ago and renewed their efforts again in February this year. ETC Georgia and Off the Chain animal advocates have kept the pressure on local governments to promote changes to ordinances that would make it illegal to keep dogs in “chained in horrible conditions.”

Up until now, the group has been unsuccessful with Walton County with the Board of Commissioners voting against it in May this year. And when they addressed the City of Monroe during the May City Council meeting, the city pledged to “take a look” at what it could do to help towards more humane conditions for dogs in the city but stopped short of amending leash laws to include a ban. The City amended its animal ordinance to limit unsupervised tethering of pets in 2014 but later amended it to be more in line with Walton County’s ordinance for administrative purposes.

When addressing the Monroe City Council in May, the group drew attention to some instances of animal abuse in the city, including backyard breeding, dogfighting and dogs kept chained without adequate shelter, food, water or contact. They mentioned an instance where a dog had died on a tether on Davis Street. Less than a month later, another instance of a dog dying at the end of tether was featured in the Monroe Police Reports. Monroe Councilman David Dickinson, who is a frequent runner through some of the neighborhoods, said he saw some of the instances being mentioned and said he would like the council to take a look at ways they could help. Sally Mansour, who was speaking on behalf of the group, suggested some other ways that could help, possibly by having people register their dogs and require a permit for a dog that had not been spayed or neutered and requiring a business license for any breeding. They also are not giving up on their attempts to improve the conditions for Walton County’s canine residents. Two weeks ago they set up a booth at the Monroe Farmers Market and will be back again on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019.

“We have actually made it more of an educational thing. We didn’t want to anger anyone. We had two tents set up. Everyone that we met today was very supportive of a ban on “unattended 24/7 tethering.” We are not worried about happy, healthy family dogs that go out on a tether or trolley for fresh air…we are upset about the ones who live in the same small circle of mud chained to a tree their whole lives,” Mansour said. “It goes on all over Monroe, and a neglected and abused dog is almost always a sign of other problems at the home. The Mayor and some of the Monroe City Council have been very supportive of changes that we hope Monroe will make.”

Mansour and others in the group will be back on Saturday and are inviting anyone to stop by and get some information on their efforts.

Every single person who we spoke to (last time) is in support of our efforts,” Mansour said. “It is unusual to have everyone agree on a single topic, but the people of Walton County want a no 24/7 unattended tether ordinance passed as soon as possible to match what other metro counties and Athens/Clarke have already done.”

Some other people in the group advocating for the unattended tether ordinance in Walton County include Jilian and Jerel Worthy.

“Jerel has played on several NFL teams. The Worthy’s are now Georgia/Walton County residents and they are supporters of Unchain Walton/ETC Georgia,” she said. “We are excited about working with them in the future, and teaching the next generation the importance of how to care for a pet.”

From Left: Animal advocates from Unchain Walton and End the Cycle Sally Mansour, Casey Baker and Liesel Potthast at the Monroe Farmers Market. Contributed photo
Jilian and Jerel Worthy with their children and nephew are supporters of Unchain Walton. Contributed photo
Animal advocates Mona Stephens and Jamie Lowe. Contributed photo
Animal advocates Mona Stephens, Jamie Lowe, Tara Clark and Holly Bell. Contributed photo
Animal advocates Mona Stephens, Jamie Lowe, Tara Clark and Greg Stephens. Contributed photo




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