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Skittish About Livestock, Apex Has New Rule in the Works

Posted March 28, 2007

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— The town of Apex is considering a new law restricting certain types of livestock following a recent animal abuse case.

David Watts was arrested Tuesday night on 30 counts of animal cruelty after 30 of his sheep had to be euthanized because they were found to be severely ill. If convicted, Watts faces up to 45 days in jail on each count.

Police found 78 sheep on Watts' property in the town's historic downtown area. Neighbors said they've been fighting town officials for months to get help for the animals.

"Those things are supposed to be for a farm, not in a neighborhood," said Sherri Preddy, who lives just a few yards away from where the neglected sheep were confiscated.

Apex Mayor Keith Weatherly told WRAL he is working on a draft ordinance that will be presented to the town council next Tuesday. He said one of the biggest challenges is coming up with a definition of livestock, and he said many parts of Apex are rural and that certain animals should be allowed within the town's limits.

Preddy said she and other neighbors have been complaining about the livestock and the smell for months. Nothing was done until police arrived this week.

"Dave has cared for animals for a long time. He was probably overwhelmed with the spring litter of lambs. He could not keep up with some of the routine care for the entire herd," said Josh Hansen, Watts' attorney.

On a farm elsewhere in Apex, Staci Trace said she can't imagine life without her horses or her other livestock. She said she hopes one man's alleged behavior won't impact the rest of the animal-loving community.

"We've got a lot of people around here that take care of their animals like they are supposed to," Trace said. "They may have a bit of a fight on their hands."


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  • kstor33 Mar 29, 2007

    Yea,yea,yea...singer lady. Take your anger to one of THOSE crime stories(and there are plenty of them today) and post all you want over there. Don't tell us what to care about.
    Horses and me...I couldn't have said it better myself! Thank you for your post.

  • choirgirl Mar 29, 2007

    Wow, you know all this time the lawmakers have been worried about the drug smugglers, addict, child molesters, murderers and here we have it - the crime of all crimes - ANIMAL OWNERS!!! Let's fire up the torches and get the mob people!!!

  • El Doggo Mar 29, 2007

    weatherly is a dit!

  • wjbpag Mar 29, 2007

    AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!!!!

  • horses and me Mar 29, 2007

    How stupid is this???? People mis treat animals and the city is going to ban livestock???? IT IS THE IGNORANT PEOPLE NOT THE ANIMALS... How silly!!! We have problems with humans abusing animals, so ban the animals. Now that is logical thinking coming from a Mayor!! If they want to do something to help, get animal control to do the jobs they have been given. Take these animals away from ignorant people. Put these people in jail and give the animals good homes that they deserve. What is wrong with people??????

  • El Doggo Mar 29, 2007

    I like the banning of politicians!!! They are the most dangerous!!! HA HA HA!!!!

  • El Doggo Mar 29, 2007

    Laws don't cost money!!!! Lawyers do!!!!

    Time to close the barn doors!!!

  • wjbpag Mar 29, 2007

    Ok, if you do not like Apex and its animals move to Cary, I cant believe this womans comments, the reason I moved to Apex is to get away from people like her. Leave the animals alone and go after the people; This is so rediculous.

  • wjbpag Mar 29, 2007


  • farcry Mar 29, 2007

    Another headline, "Apex bans everything, changes name to Cary."