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The Barrow Count Board of Commissioners will conduct a public hearing and voting session on Tuesday, November 10, 2020, on problematic changes to the county animal ordinance.  The proposed ordinance seeks to ban the use of enclosures of less than 144 square feet per animal with limited exceptions; to ban all unsupervised tethering of dogs; and to expand requirements for owners of dogs determined to be “dangerous.”

WHAT YOU CAN DO:  Barrow County residents are urged to immediately contact their county commissioners and respectfully express opposition to the problematic sections of the proposed ordinance. Please scroll down for commissioners’ contact information.  Those who can attend safely are urged to take part in the public hearing on November 10, 2020, at 7:00 p.m., at the Historic Courthouse, 30 N. Broad Street, Winder, GA 30680.

Among other provisions, the proposed ordinance seeks to:

  • Require that any animal kept in an enclosed structure, including but not limited to a kennel or pen, shall be provided a minimum of 144 square feet PER animal. This could ban the use of standard sized kennel runs, crates, stalls, pens, and other humane and commonly used enclosures for animals. Animals under 25 pounds, animals in transport on a vehicle, and animals boarded at a licensed facility would be exempted. Animals under 25 pounds would be required to be provided with undefined “space of adequate size.”
  • Ban tethering of dogs unless the owner or other responsible party is present at all times.
  • Require sterilization and other requirements for dogs designated as dangerous or vicious, including liability insurance in the amounts of at least $150,000 for a dangerous dog and $300,000 for a vicious dog. The American Kennel Club (AKC) commends county staff for eliminating breed-specific language from the proposed ordinance  However, we are concerned that existing law includes an overly-broad definition of dangerous dog wherein a dog that does not commit a biting offense or attack can be declared dangerous.  Further, existing law does not provide an adequate defense of provocation in the event a dog kills a pet animal while off the owner’s property.
  • Require that any domesticated animal that is impounded and reclaimed shall be required to have a microchip implanted at the owner’s expense. This provision does not require that the animal be scanned for the presence of an existing microchip.  The actual ownership of an animal can be obscured or challenged when multiple microchips are inserted.

TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY!  It is imperative that county lawmakers hear from responsible animal owners who are have concerns with the proposed animal ordinance revisions.

Pat Graham, Chairperson

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