FELINE FRUSTRATION: Cats an issue in Hogansville

Published 7:57 pm Tuesday, July 18, 2017

HOGANSVILLE — A Hogansville woman went before the city council Monday night, asking council members to solve a cat problem that is causing issues for other pet owners and homeowners.

Beatrice Jones said her dog, a sheltie and border collie mix, was attacked by a cat on Granite Street on May 28 and that nothing has been done about it, despite a police report being filed after the incident. Jones said she and the dog required medical treatment after the incident.

“The cat jumped up onto his back, put his claw down inbetween his eyes and dug three claws inbetween its eyes,” Jones said. “One claw was long enough to wrap around my thumb.”

Jones spoke to the council during Monday night’s meeting and produced a list of 52 signatures of people who would like something done about the cat problem in Hogansville. She said several people in the community have dozens of cats in their homes and that nothing is being done when people are attacked or when their yard is dirtied by the animals.

“Nothing was done and this woman has got all these cats running all over the neighborhood, vomiting all over my property, hanging out on my decks, hanging out on my porch and has caused medical problems for people in the neighborhood,” Jones said.

Jones said her dog is “very gentle” and fully trained. She said there are multiple homes — including the one on Granite Street where her dog was attacked — that have more than 15 cats.

“They are multiplying because they aren’t spade and neutered,” she said.

Hogansville mayor Bill Stankiewicz said he’s not sure why the health department wasn’t called, but he would find out.

“We’ve had a report before of loose cats but not to the extent that you have just described,” Stankiewicz said. “We have an ordinance that limits the number of animals a person can have depending on the type of animal and if that ordinance is being violated, I know I don’t have to, but I’ll instruct our police chief to ensure that ordinance is being enforced.”

Hogansville Police Chief Brian Harr said in many cases it is easier to charge the pet owner with a nuisance violation.

“Our nuisance ordinance is very clear, it’s very sound,” Harr said. “I know that our animal control officer has made one contact on this, but we are approaching this now as a nuisance violation, not just an animal problem because nuisance covers a wider area as far as the intrusion and the affect it has on the neighborhood.”

Jones also mentioned the cat virus going around in Gwinnett County that caused at least three shelters to go under quarantine.

“Do you all want your animals infected? I don’t want mine infected. I went through a lot to get him. And then to have this kind of carryings on in our town, it’s horrible. It’s just horrible that you can’t even be safe on a sidewalk,” Jones said. “You can’t have your animals safe on your own property. The cats climb the fences. This is ridiculous that we have no rights. The cats have all the rights and we have none, so we are very seriously considering the human rights bills. Article 8 and Article 14. Article 14 says it’s in breach of our human rights because we are being discriminated against. They are putting the cat owners above us.”

The mayor, council and police chief vowed to take a closer look at this problem and to find a solution.

“You’ve described a situation that is not tolerable, and we are going to look into it and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible,” Stankiewicz said.