Madison County authorities again have seized a pitbull from a Danielsville man accused of dog fighting, overruling a citizen board's recent decision to return the dog to its owner until he goes to trial.
The county government confiscated seven dogs at Johnny Stewart Johnson's Shake Down Kennels on July 3, but the newly formed Madison County Animal Control Board voted in December to let Johnson have one of his dogs back.
The board's decision drew the ire of the Humane Society, which had investigated Johnson's operation for two months before the raid.
Last week, Johnson again was forced to give up the dog, which is considered evidence in the case, according to a Jan. 26 order signed by Madison County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Malcolm.
The black and white male dog is in the custody of the county's code enforcement department, according to the order.
In the future, the animal control board will make decisions about animals involved in noncriminal cases, while animals seized as evidence by sheriff's deputies or a state agency will be handled separately, according to the district attorney's office.
With the raid last summer, Johnson became the first person in Georgia charged with felony dog fighting under a new state law.