Atlanta council member upset over a lack of response from animal control

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Residents in Atlanta are saying desperate calls to the Fulton County Animal Control Office are going unanswered. The groups said they have been trying to report stray dogs, but are getting no response.

An Atlanta City Council Member Cleta Winslow wants to take action, citing a recent local tragedy that stray dogs cannot go unreported in the city. She said it goes beyond an inconvenience, but rather a safety concern for residents and their young children.

“I mean you can't answer the doggone telephone? Everybody can answer the phone. They are not answering the phone,” Winslow said at this week’s city council meeting.

Winslow is not one to say a lot, but on the subject of child safety, of parents being able to protect their children from a possible dog attack, the councilwoman let loose at City Hall calling on the Fulton County Animal Control to be more responsible.

“While the light and the cameras were on them, yes, they were around. Now that the light and cameras are off of them and now it's back to the same scenario we had, where a child is going to get injured,”

“I saw a brown dog and a black dog and they bite me. Them bite my ear, my head, them bite every part of me,” Syrai Sanders said to FOX 5 News back in March as she showed her extensive wounds she received during the vicious attack.

Sanders, an F. L. Stanton kindergartener, survived a dog attack in January, but her 6-year-old classmate and neighbor was not so lucky. Logan Braatz died from injuries he received from one of the three dogs which attacked the young children while heading to school.

In an emergency, a call to 911 is always appropriate, but what has the councilwoman so upset is she is hearing from citizens who have tried to call prior to a crisis to report unleashed dogs.

“And if for some reason people are calling and not getting prompt support, I absolutely want to make sure I know that,” Dan Gordon, Atlanta COO, told the council.

“Can't send nobody out if they don't answer the phone,” Winslow responded.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed's top executive told the council he is personally working on the problem.

“Fulton County needs to be held accountable. I’m sorry, I mean, this is… We are three weeks out from school; three weeks,” said Winslow.

Gordon said he is working out an agreement to try to ensure that animal control officers start at 7 a.m. That would cover the time when the children who are about to return to school will be walking to the bus stop and then back home.