Abandoned animals terrorize family - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Abandoned animals terrorize family

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) -

A Phenix City man saidhe's afraid to go out in his own front yard; and it's not because of theconvicted felons living just steps away from his home at the Russell County Prison.

Michael Nichols has livedon South 4th Street in Phenix City for more than 20 years. He said it was alittle more than two years ago, his home became his prison.

 "I'm scared I'm goingto go up to one, and it's going to attack me."

Nichols explained, sincethe Russell County-Phenix City Animal Shelter was built almost 3 years ago,people dump their unwanted pets at the shelter after-hours. "People come [by]on Saturdays, knowing the shelters closed, and drop animals off.  They just throw them out of their car,"said Nichols.

One night, Nichols said hehad to pick up a rock and throw it at dogs that were being aggressive towardshim and his family.

"We came outside andthey started coming at me and my wife, growling.  We started backing off and I noticed theystill were coming so I picked up the rock and threw it at them.  I guess I might have hit one because they tookoff running," Nichols said.

He later went back outsideto see if the dogs were still there and that's when he says he found a kittenmauled to death.

"If they can maulkittens, what's going to stop them from doing it to a child?"  Nichols says he'srepeatedly called Phenix City police for help but they brushed him off.

"Phenix City will notinstall cameras to get their license plate to arrest them. When I notice themdropping the animals off, I just can't go running with a piece of paper andpencil and try to write down license plate numbers; it's too hard."

We spoke with the Sheltermanager, Michael Harrison; he said he was not aware of the problem.  Harrison said the shelteris always willing to take any unwanted animals and people don't have to throwthem out.

"There's no fee andno fines. You just have to have proper ID. You have to live in this county.This shelter only accepts from Russell County and Phenix City only."

Michael Nichols saidcameras are still needed to catch people in the act.  We checked into the law inAlabama and found out, leaving an animal at a shelter after hours is againstthe law and is considered abandonment.

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