Local News

Apex Shepherd Ordered to Fix His Home

Posted April 20, 2007

— Town officials on Friday ordered a man to clean property where animal control officials last month seized dozens of severely ill sheep.

Residents have complained for years about the smell emanating from David Watts' property. In March, authorities found 77 sheep at his home, and 30 of the animals were so ill that they had to be euthanized.

Inspectors also said Watts' home was in such disrepair that they found holes in the ceiling, broken windows and no running water on the first floor.

Watts was supposed to explain at a Friday meeting with town officials why he kept the sheep at his property, but only his attorney, Josh Hansen, showed up at the meeting.

The town gave Watts two weeks to file permit applications and present cost estimates of repair. One inspector said it could cost about $12,000 to bring the house up to minimum town standards.

Hansen asked for a 60-day continuance, but officials denied the request. He said Watts has already started some minor repairs on his own.

"He's done some ceiling and roof repairs, as far as I know. There were some minor plumbing issues that he was able to handle immediately, stuff that was cited but was just a matter of turning on a valve," he said.

There's little evidence at the property that 77 sheep used to live there, which pleases both town officials and nearby residents.

"I'm extremely happy with what's been done thus far," Town Manager Bruce Radford said. "We have to give Mr. Watts a great deal of credit for the phenomenal amount of progress that's been made with regard to cleaning up the property."

Neighbors said cleaning up the property would help their effort to get the area placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

"This is my neighborhood, so I want to be a positive voice for good things to happen to my neighborhood," resident Trish Creta said.

Watts faces 30 animal cruelty charges in connection with the sheep that had to be euthanized. He is expected to return to court in May.

Watts told WRAL that the sheep bring him peace. When some sheep had birthing complications, Watts told WRAL that his focus was on the newborns and making sure they survived.


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  • DoucheBagHippie Apr 24, 2007

    "And praying for feather/furbabies everywhere."

    Rev. RB = Lame

  • Thomas Jefferson Apr 20, 2007

    Free at Last: "He needs mental help. My mother had alzheimers. She went from 2 cats to 50 in the house. Went to grocery store several times a day just to buy cat food. She loved these cats and never knew she was harming them. This man will just think family and neighbors and police are wrong and He is right. Family, please get him help from himself."

    Most intelligent post in this section. Right on.

  • Thomas Jefferson Apr 20, 2007

    NoSpin: Hey, if you are a person who is responsible for sheep, you are a shepherd. Bottom line. What would you call this person who has by account at least three sheep farms. A bad sheep farmer? He's a shepherd. Perhaps a bad shepherd. Etherial? You mean, Ethereal? What connotation. Christianity? I wonder if you know anything about sheep.

  • el conquistador Apr 20, 2007


    Are you living in the stone ages?
    Spin sells. You're buying it hook line and sinker.
    Wake up---smell the sheep POOP!

  • 2IittIe2late Apr 20, 2007

    My daddy used to also get "piece" from our sheep as well!! That's a secret I've kept for years and I'm so glad to have this outlet!!

  • freddie cadetti 72 Apr 20, 2007

    WRAL, you guys have been nothing but the best over the years. I watch your local news and no one else's. No one else even comes close.

    That being said, please do not begin "spinning" and politically correcting your stories. This guy isn't a Shepherd. This guy is an isore to his neighbors. Shepherd has a certain "etherial" connotation, and I do not think its the same.

  • HP Apr 20, 2007

    His excuse is lame. There is no excuse for abusing animals so bad they have to be put down. He needs some jail time.
    Why wasn't he checked out long before now? They waited till the sheep got in such bad shape they had to be put down. The article said neighbors had been complaining for years. Sounds like some of the blame game needs to go to animal control for not checking out complaints when they were 1st made.

  • chargernut69 Apr 20, 2007

    sounds like a Baaaaaad situation....

  • cheekygreek Apr 20, 2007

    Why is this person not in prison?

    >>>Because his court date isn't until MAY .

  • njjeff Apr 20, 2007

    Sounds like Apex is run by the 'Good ole Boys Club' given the details of this story and EQ.