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VERIFY: Yes, it is illegal to abandon animals in Warner Robins

Animal control officer Jessica McAbee says oftentimes, abandonment cases are also tied to neglect and abuse.

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — The Humane Society of Houston County says they're getting more abandoned animals than they have in the past.

So, is it illegal to abandon an animal in Warner Robins?

13WMAZ spoke with a Warner Robins Animal Control Officer and looked up the City of Warner Robins Municipal Code to Verify.

During the pandemic, lots of people adopted new pets, but now, some of them have changed their minds.

"Now that reality kicked in and the day-to-day costs and upkeep, then they're just, 'I'm over it," Allison said.

Dee Allison is the director of The Humane Society of Houston County.

She says nowadays, someone in Houston abandons an animal at least once a week.

"They leave them on sides of the roads. They're leaving them in houses, backyards, dumping them in the woods, putting them in crates on the side of the road. I've been doing this since 2007, and this is the worst year I have ever seen," Allison said.

Allison says they can't keep up with the recent number of animals being abandoned throughout the city.

Is it Illegal to abandon animals in Warner Robins?

"Yes, it is. When you take ownership of an animal, you take on the responsibility of caring for it. They are domesticated animals. If you leave an animal out to fend for itself and put it in harm's way, anything that makes it ill-will towards the animal, that's actually considered abandonment," McAbee said.

And the City of Warner Robins' Municipal Code, Chapter 5, Section 14 says: "It shall be unlawful for any person to abandon an animal," so the answer is yes -- it is illegal to abandon animals in Warner Robins.

"We've had situations where animals did not end up making it through the night because they brought them in here and left them on the front porch. You just can't do that. I know that they think that there is no other avenue, but that's not the right avenue to do it either," Allison said.

Animal control officer Jessica McAbee says that abandonment cases are often tied to neglect and abuse.

She says people often leave their pets in the home or apartment when they move with no intention of returning.

Allison says if you need to get rid of a pet, you should try to place it with a friend's home or find a rescue.

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