Russellville Council Hears Appeal About Violent Dogs, Animal Welfare – Franklin County Times

“I don’t want other families to be destroyed and torn apart. My whole world has changed,” Wesley Sheeks shared at the Nov. 7 meeting of the Russellville City Council.

Sheeks spoke of April 28, when his wife, Michelle Sheeks, decided to go for a walk near their home in Red Bay. Without provocation, she was attacked by a pack of “between five and eight dogs”.

“That’s where our lives changed forever,” he continued.. “I don’t want anyone else to suffer like us. She fought for her life that morning and luckily survived that initial attack. His wife, however, did not achieve ultimate healing. The struggle to stabilize her and attempt to recover continued for the next two and a half months. “It was a terrible thing,” he added. “I’m not going to go into all the details, but on July 12 she lost her life to this dog attack. She was never able to see outside the hospital.

Sheeks said he’s asking the Russellville City Council to take notice and take action — a call that’s part of a larger Save Our Strays effort to bring about lasting change in Franklin County.

“I’m just here to say that I lost everything dear to me that day, and I pray that you will do whatever it takes to make sure something like this never happens again,” he added..

In addition to Sheeks, others have spoken out in Franklin County to share their concerns about violent dogs, especially dog ​​packs, as well as the general problem of excessive numbers of stray dogs, as well as incidents of abuse and neglect.

Chapel King, a volunteer and vice-president of Friends of the Florence-Lauderdale Animal Services and an attorney for the Franklin County Save Our Strays group, spoke at the Russellville City Council meeting on October 17 and the meeting of the Red Bay City Council on October 19 to share their concerns. on the treatment of dogs in Franklin County.

Save Our Strays volunteer Sandy Fortner also spoke at the Russellville Town Council meeting on November 7, as well as at the Phil Campbell Town Council meeting on November 1.

Fortner explained that Save Our Strays’ work is done entirely through donations, noting that the group has paid more than $40,000 in Franklin County veterinary bills this year. She said the situation is out of control and the group desperately needs help.

Fortner said it was crucial for everyone to work together to bring about change. “It’s not going to work out,” she said. “It will get worse if some proactive orders are not put in place.

She also mentioned an issue with three groups of feral cats, noting that Save Our Strays works to catch, spay, neuter and release in these situations.

“It’s endless, and we can’t do it with your help,” Fortner explained. “So, I ask, what can you do to improve the situation? What are you ready to do and how soon can you do it? We are exhausted. It’s (happens) every day.

Russellville Mayor David Grissom and Russellville Councilman Darren Woodruff were not present at the Nov. 7 meeting in Russellville.

“We know it’s a problem,” Russellville Councilman David Palmer said. “I certainly speak as an individual and not on behalf of the city. I know we are going to have to do something about this situation.

Fortner said there were only two county police officers. “I know them both; they are good people, but there are 947 square miles in Franklin County. They can’t be everywhere at once, and it’s endless every day,” she added.

Palmer asked additional questions to gather more details about the situation. “Obviously there are issues, and we all need to come together and find the best way to deal with them,” he added, noting that the board will need time to consider the issue., when all members can participate in the discussion.

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Jennifer R. Strohm