Search Menu

Changes to the county animal ordinance, including discussion of a proposal to declare numerous dog breeds as dangerous, were presented at the Barrow County Board of Commissioners meeting on September 22, 2020.  The county manager recommended that 12-15 breeds be designated as dangerous.

TAKE ACTION TODAY.  Barrow County residents are urged to immediately contact their county commissioners to state strong opposition to any law that would designate a dog as dangerous based solely on its breed or appearance.  Please scroll down for commissioners’ contact information.

This and other recommendations were presented to the commissioners by the county manager and animal control director.  Additional proposals and discussion included, but were not limited to:

  • Mandatory sterilization, annual registration, annual fees, and other requirements for targeted breeds and for dogs of any breed or mix that are designated as dangerous or vicious. Significant penalties for failure to register were recommended.
  • Requiring owners of dangerous or vicious dogs to obtain a separate liability insurance policy, and increasing the amount of the policy from $50,000 to $100,000. Current law requires only owners of dogs designated as vicious to obtain a $50,000 policy.
  • Eliminating the animal control board that currently hears dangerous and vicious dog cases and referring those cases to probate court.

The city manager indicated he would present an expanded proposed ordinance to commissioners at the October 13, 2020, voting meeting.

View video of the September 22nd meeting, including additional proposals and discussion by commissioners, at  Click on 2020, then click on Barrow County Board of Commissioners Work Session – September 22, 2020.

BREED-SPECIFIC LAWS ARE WIDELY OPPOSED.  The American Kennel Club (AKC) supports reasonable, enforceable, non-discriminatory laws to govern the ownership of dogs. The AKC believes that dog owners should be responsible for their dogs. We support laws that establish a fair process by which specific dogs are identified as “dangerous” based on stated, measurable actions; impose appropriate penalties on irresponsible owners; and establish a well-defined method for dealing with dogs proven to be dangerous. We believe that, if necessary, dogs proven to be “dangerous” may need to be humanely destroyed.

The AKC strongly opposes any legislation that determines a dog to be “dangerous” based on specific breeds or phenotypic classes of dogs.

Additional organizations that oppose breed-specific laws include the American Veterinary Medical Association; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the United States Department of Justice; the American Bar Association; the National Animal Care & Control Association; the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior; the Association of Pet Dog Trainers; the National Canine Research Council; thousands of kennel clubs and dog training groups in the US; and pet rescue groups worldwide.

Nineteen states now ban local governments from enacting breed-specific laws. Two states limit the enactment of local breed-specific laws, and additional states are considering legislation to prohibit breed-specific laws and breed discrimination by insurers.

For more information and talking points, please visit

ACTIVISTS ARE EXPECTED TO PROPOSE ADDITIONAL PROBLEMATIC LAWS.  AKC has been advised that certain groups intend to recommend restrictions on allowing dogs to be outdoors unattended, restricting dogs from being allowed outdoors under certain weather conditions, anti-breeder laws and restrictions, and other problematic measures.

It is imperative that county lawmakers hear from responsible dog owners, working/sporting dog owners, event participants, and breeders. Otherwise, only the input provided by anti-breeder groups may be considered.

TAKE ACTION TODAY!  Barrow County residents are urged to immediately contact county commissioners and respectfully state your concerns regarding the proposal and your strong opposition to breed-specific laws: 

Pat Graham, Chairman
770-307-3005 (county office)
678-300-5367 (cell phone)

Joe Goodman
770-307-3005 (county office)

William J. “Bill” Brown
770-307-3005 (county office)
770-868-6676 (cell)

Rolando Alvarez
770-307-3005 (county office)
770-307-7085 (cell)

Isaiah Berry
770-307-3005 (county office)

Billy Parks
Office: 770-307-3005 (county office)

Ben Hendrix
770-307-3005 (county office)

For more information, contact AKC Government Relations at