City of Metter carefully spelling out animal neglect laws

CANDLER CO., GA (WTOC) - Pet owners in Metter could soon face new rules about how they care for their animals.

The Metter Animal Shelter not only houses stray animals picked up off the streets, they also have animals seized from neglectful homes. Now, the city wants to get tougher and spell out what they consider neglectful.

The pens at the shelter might be no-frills, but they're upscale compared to some conditions in which people keep their animals. Current ordinances require pets to have adequate food, water, and shelter.

Metter Police, along with a citizen's committee, submitted to the city some parameters for what qualifies as adequate. Metter's police chief says they started this winter when people reported seeing dogs exposed in freezing weather with no relief.

"Laws are subject to interpretation, and depending on which side of the fence you're on, the interpretation varies from person to person. We wanted to spell it out a little more clearly," said Chief Robert Shore.

Those specs will include shade and other relief from the heat of summer. Chief Shore says they currently try to educate pet owners when they find poor conditions. With the revised ordinances, they can follow up and write citations if necessary.

The chief says once the council passes this new wording, they'll figure out how quickly they put it into effect and begin enforcing it.

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