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See what Pike thinks about an animal shelter

Commissioners mentioned polling citizens about their need for an animal shelter at their Feb. 28 meeting and Pike County Journal Reporter readers were quick to reply with so many letters that they would not all fit on the editorial page. 

Below are the initial responses about the need for an animal shelter.

Share your opinion on whether or not Pike County needs animal control by emailing us at 

Another step forward for shelter

We have come a long way from the 1990s when discarded pets regularly showed up in our garages or on our porches. That reduction in suffering  came about with the arrival of discounted spay/neuter programs and the start up of Coco’s network of foster families and volunteers. Since then thousands of pet pregnancies have been prevented and hundreds of abandoned animals have found loving homes. Coco’s gave us a persistent and dedicated beginning. Eventually, at the state’s insistence, the county hired animal control officers and built a kennel to contain one dangerous dog. A slow but proper start toward humane animal control.

Now the CLC Foundation has given Pike the means to assume full responsibility for animal welfare in our county instead of relying on rescue groups in other counties to do it. An excellent board is in place to guide us. We have come so far, let’s take advantage of this momentum to construct and maintain a real animal shelter. It would be honorable for the county to meet the foundation’s deadline for opening the shelter this year, but if the will is not there to do the job wholeheartedly, then the only ethical option is to return the funds to the CLC Foundation so they can be given to Coco’s Cupboard and spent in accordance to the foundation’s wishes.

Gwen Roland

Money was donated for shelter and county needs to open it soon

I am writing to express my support of a fully functioning animal shelter being opened in Pike County. It is my understanding that money was donated for this purpose, and it has not been used for this purpose to date.

My family moved to Pike eight years ago, and as soon as we did, we were told to expect animals being dumped on our road and to supervise our child and pets while outdoors because animals freely roamed the county, sometimes attacking animals and people as there was no animal control.

I’ve fostered animals for Coco’s Cupboard and volunteered for Dolly Goodpuppy and have seen how animals suffer when county officials don’t take animal welfare seriously. I also know that this is a safety issue as well as a burden for local citizens. 

It is time for the county commissioners to step up and do what they should have done long ago by using the donated money for its intended purpose! Sincerely,

Tina Venus

There are greater needs in Pike

I am opposed to Pike County opening a animal shelter. 

I think we have greater needs that that money should go toward.

Thank you, 

Alton Turner

Problem is only getting worse

I have been in involved in rescue for over 25 years and Pike desperately needs an animal shelter to deal with the high level of abused, neglected and abandoned dogs in our county. The shelter is already in place but currently only local rescues like Coco’s Cupboard, Inc. take in dogs. It is the county’s responsibility to ensure the safety of our residents and deal with this huge problem. Many residents do not keep their dogs secure or dump them. These dogs deserve a chance at being rescued without already over capacity rescues taking this on. Every day on Facebook there are posts about dogs – found dogs, dumped dogs, dogs attacking livestock, etc. 

This problem is only getting worse and a safe haven is not a luxury but a necessity. The dogs also need more time than the stray hold for adoption before euthanasia. Thanks,

Paula Kozlowski

Time to do what needs to be done

Good afternoon, as a concerned citizen of Pike County, I would like to express my opinion in support of a fully functioning animal shelter to assist the animals and citizens. I am a member of a non-profit animal rescue organization that originated in Pike County, Coco’s Cupboard Inc. and am well aware of the ongoing need for a shelter. I have multiple pets that were strays in Pike County, several were dumped on my street. The board of commissioners needs to go forward and do what needs to be done to protect the public by securing sick, injured and unwanted animals. Thank you,

Kathy Addis

Shelter would be burden on budget

I would not be in favor of an animal shelter for the county for a number of reasons. The cost to run a shelter would be a burden on the already insufficient budget the county is struggling to reconcile today.

There is a wonderful non-profit that already has an established name, funders, volunteers and services to offer to the county. Perhaps they could receive some grant to help with their services. 

There are many services that the county should focus on improving before stepping into the role of animal control namely the expansion of water services, improvements to the roadway infrastructure and fire and life safety. While animal control is important, the priority should be to the more fundamental improvements that will impact the county on a large scale at this point.


Shannon Mullinax

We are so close to an open shelter

We are animal advocates, religiously dedicating resources toward rescuing and re-homing abandoned, neglected, or wild-born animals. We work with local vets and independent rescues, including Cat Care Fayette and Coco’s Cupboard. We, along with other independent rescuers make a difference, but we can do only so much. Give only so much. We need help in the form of a public, county-funded and supported facility. 

Pike County needs a fully operational, multi-functional animal shelter. Thanks to generous donations and the work of countless volunteers, we are close. So close, in fact, that a mere snap of the local legislative fingers will open the doors and allow our new facility and allow our ready staff to service the needs of residents both two and four-legged.

How did we manage to come this close without being prepared to follow through when the time arrived? Why have our commissioners failed to act on the commitments made when accepting the $225,000 donation? Would our commissioners rather return that money than keep their promises of a much-needed animal shelter for the county? If so, then we are in more of a mess than I imagined.

Anthony and Kristin Vinson
of Williamson  

Too many Pike animals for citizens to rescue

Yes! On animal shelter. Pike needs one. We have two rescue dogs and three rescue cats.

Pike needs an animal shelter that is not solely dedicated to dangerous animals. Regards,

Fred DeRuvo
Concord GA

It’s time to open the shelter we have

I’m for the shelter! Pike County received a donation from Mr. and Mrs. Chandler to have a shelter built and the signage out front states it as a shelter.

 Pike County has yet to operate it as one. Now Pike County needs to operate it immediately as such or return the money’s to Mr. and Mrs. Chandler.

Thank you, 

Robert Erwin 

Benefits of shelter outweigh cons

Recently, County Manager Rogers expressed concern about opening the animal shelter: “I’m afraid we would be collecting animals and having to put them down because we can’t get them adopted.” It’s true that this shelter was never conceived of as a “no kill” shelter, because “no kill” shelters exists only when they can select who they will take, whereas public shelters must take all animals. 

It is sadly true that some animals will be put down due to severe illness or injury, behavior issues, or the smallness of the shelter. However, this mindset that opening the shelter will only result in animals being dumped there to die conveniently overlooks the fact that countless abandoned animals have been dying unknown and in silence in Pike County for years because there was no shelter to help them, and it completely ignores the positives that a shelter provides.  

The benefits of having an effectively-run shelter with board oversight, professional ACO’s and trained volunteers are: care for lost pets until reunited with their people, safety for animals removed from abusive situations and a focus on adopting abandoned animals to loving homes using best practices. 

The choice of whether or not to open the shelter comes down to this: will lost, abused, and abandoned animals in this county continue to endure suffering alone out of the public eye, or will the county finally fulfill its responsibility to provide a shelter for animals in need in our community.

Jayne Midura

Shelter shouldn’t just be for vicious dogs

I am in favor of opening an animal shelter in Pike County! There is a so called (according to the sign) Animal Shelter but only for vicious dogs. What about the ones that have been abandoned? My husband and I rescued two dogs that were homeless in Molena, Lola and Wolf. There was no one who wanted them and there was no shelter to take them to in Pike County. That was 5 years ago. They are loved and they give love. Every day I read about lost dogs, dogs on the side of the road dead from being hit by cars. This is why we desperately need an animal shelter in Pike County!

T. Erving

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