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Bulloch Local Government

Citizen presses Bulloch Co. Commissioners for leash laws

A citizen who spoke before the Bulloch County Commissioners Tuesday says he would like to see the county enact what some refer to as “leash laws.”

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Mr. Rossell Burnette, Jr. addressed the Commissioners after an incident that left one of his ducks dead. Burnette says he lost the duck after a dog came on to his property, attempting to play with the duck, and ending up killing it. He does not believe the dog intended to kill the duck, but the result was still a lost duck.

Burnette owns five and a half acres out in the county, most of which is fenced, but he still has five or six dogs on his property every day, he says. He cited the City of Statesboro’s leash law in his request for the county to enact one.

County Manager Tom Couch referenced the Animal Services Advisory Committee recently formed in Bulloch County stating that the board for that committee is actually looking into licensing and leash laws. Couch said, “Here in Bulloch County, we have cultural issues we have to work through before we recommend to the Commission any type of regulation regarding leashing or licensing.”

Couch continued, “You seem like a responsible pet owner and I think we know there are others in the county that are very much less responsible and would probably form some kind of resistance to having some type of regulation.” Emphasizing that something to be put before the Commissioners is in the works, Couch said the timeline could be several months.

Before Mr. Burnette returned to his seat, Chairman Thompson said that the Board was compassionate to his issue and would work to see how the issue could be addressed.

Bulloch County currently has an Animal Control division that partners with the Bulloch County Animal Shelter. Ordinances in place allow the county to seize (and “destroy”) dogs that are deemed dangerous and uncontained by their owners and permits a dog control officer to work under the Sheriff’s Office.

Additionally, Article 5 (Animal Control) of the Health and Sanitation ordinances, Sec. 8-156, specifically outlines that an owner may be punished with a $1,000 fine if their dog is found to be a “nuisance,” meaning kills other animals on other property causes property damage.

Jessica Szilagyi is a former Statewide Contributor for

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