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Animal rescue group runs afoul of county rule

An animal rescue group operating in Fayette County has been asked to cease its operations because it is violating the county ordinance limiting residents to three pets per home.

Love-A-Pet Inc. on Den Creek Trail in unincorporated eastern Fayette County was inspected recently after a complaint was lodged with the county marshal’s office. There were more than 10 pets on the premises, a violation of the county ordinance, said County Manager Jack Krakeel.

Love-A-Pet president Joyce Woodall, who runs the volunteer organization out of her home, said tonight she does not intend to back down and will risk being issued a citation as of Tuesday. That’s the final date of a 30-day grace period the county marshal’s office gave Love-A-Pet to come into compliance with the ordinance.

Woodall said a county marshal has warned her she could be issued a separate citation for each day her home is in violation of the ordinance.

Supporters of Love-A-Pet spoke to the county commission Thursday night, imploring commissioners to somehow make an exception for an organization that temporarily takes in dogs and cats, helps heal them, and then adopts them to loving families.

The commission nor staff addressed the concerns during the meeting, as the comments were made during the public comment portion of the meeting as the matter was not on the commission’s agenda for the evening.

Fayetteville resident Carol Gilbert recalled how Woodall personally corralled 11 puppies born by wild dogs in the Kenwood business park area.

“Those momma dogs were guarding their puppies, but she got on the ground and rolled over and earned those dogs’ trust like she was one of them,” Gilbert said. “... I’m telling you she has the most special power with animals you’ve ever seen. If you’d have seen her rolling on the ground, you’d have called the funny farm.”

The result was that the momma dogs recovered and all 11 puppies found good homes, Gilbert said.

It was also acknowledged that defendants from the court system perform community service by cleaning litter boxes and other chores for Love-A-Pet.

“It tears my heart strings to see these animals may be lost because of actions by this county to close her down,” said resident John Simon. “I implore you as our representatives to do what you can to see if there’s a way we can keep this fine facility open that serves our community.”

After the meeting, Commission Chairman Jack Smith said he sympathized with Love-A-Pet’s predicament, but said the county can’t decide to make an exception for one group without facing potential exceptions from other groups and residents.

Smith said the ideal solution would be for an animal lover who has a vacant commercial building to step forward and help provide a new home for Love-A-Pet.

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<"The most beautiful things in life cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart." - Helen Keller>

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