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Cumberland trying to put bite behind its anti-tethering bark

Posted July 26, 2010

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— Only one person has been cited since Cumberland County banned tethering pets last August, but a county official said he plans to step up enforcement of the law.

Dr. John Lauby, a retired veterinarian who was recently appointed director of Cumberland County Division of Animal Services, said violators will now get a one-week warning. If their animals remain tethered, they will face the $100 fine per animal called for under the county ordinance.

"Obviously, somebody in the Animal Services Division has dropped the ball over the last year because there certainly should have been more than one citation written," Lauby said, adding that he believes thousands of pit bulls alone are being tied up across the county.

Fayetteville adopted the county ordinance on June 1, but Lauby said his officers cannot enforce the ban inside city limits because Fayetteville hasn't yet given him written permission to do so. County Attorney Rick Moorefield is looking into the matter.

"We want to make sure we’re on sound footing when we take someone to court," Moorefield said.

Jackie Tuckey, a spokeswoman for the city of Fayetteville, said it's unclear what the legal problem is. Language in the ordinance allows for county officers to enforce the city's tethering ban, she said.

Shelby Townsend, the founder of a nonprofit group called Unchain Cumberland County, expressed frustration at the confusion over enforcing the tethering ban.

Dog-tethering generic, pit bull generic Fayetteville dog-tethering law tied up in red tape

"Once they had the council meeting, that was in the minutes – the approval. That should have been enough. Common sense has got to kick in somewhere," Townsend said.

Joseph Taylor has complained to local authorities that his neighbor in the Massey Hill neighborhood of Fayetteville has three pit bulls tethered in the yard next door.

"There's no teeth in the law to make the people pay, so what good is it to have the law?" Taylor said.

The neighbor, Raefeal Davis, said his dogs already ruined one pen, and he said Animal Services told him he could keep his pit bulls tethered for now so they don't hurt themselves, another animal or a person.

Building kennels to hold dogs outside could run a homeowner like Davis $500 each, Lauby said.

In many cases, Unchain Cumberland County can pay to install fences for pet owners, Townsend said.


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  • rcarter1 Jul 27, 2010

    I agree with the needs of what it takes to maintain a pet. I keep mine on a regular heartworm & flea protection program, he gets his rabbies shots, regular vet visits, and he gets lots of love which even some fenced dogs never get. Just thrown in a back yard or kennel and just ignored except food & water (if that lucky for some). Same thing should apply for people too, if you can't afford to properly take care of a child other than the 'system' paying for your children, then you shouldn't have one of those either.

  • bubbasu1 Jul 27, 2010

    Having a pet of any kind requires pretty much the same care and attention a child requires,physically,emotionally,medically,etc.
    I work in an animal emeregncy hospital. You would gag,cry,get angry at what we see . It was humans that domesticated dogs, they did not ask to be domesticated. Therefore it is our responsibility to take care of them PROPERLY! They were not meant to be tied up or left in a pen day in and day out with the extent of thier attention being tht they see someone when they are fed .Providing they are fed on a regular basis and I do not mean table scraps. There care includes, heart worm prevention ,flea/tick prevention, a good diet,regular vet visits, vaccines , suitable shelter,warmth/cooling, fresh water, exercise and LOTS OF LOVE. One should also be prepared for any major medical events. I realize this forum was targeted at non tethering many have said if you can't afford a fence you shouldn't have a dog.I agree .Fencing is not the only thing a dog needs

  • rcarter1 Jul 27, 2010

    Anyone who wants to come and fence in my back yard a reasonable price for a one income person is more than welcome too. Sorry, but I told my dog when I got him that I would not make him have to work other than alert me when someone comes to the house, so therefore he cannot get a job to help afford a nice fenced yard. He is a happy dog, everyone who knows him will tell you he's a happy dog. He is my heart and I love him better than some of my kin folk. As I said before, he has shade, shelter, food, water, hugs & love in abundance. As for pens or kennels..sorry if you feel that being caged up in one of those with 4 walls up around a dog can be any more better.

  • Sherlock Jul 27, 2010

    Funny that we pay county taxes and can not get services from the county w/o the blessing of the city. Not that is wasting my money.

  • fishon Jul 27, 2010

    shouldn't it be a part of the family?

    Not necessarily. If your dog is that way fine, many people have hounds and beagles for hunting. Does not make them part of the family. That being said d dog that is chained is unlikely to be run over by a neighbor. Unfortunately a small dog that is chained is food for bigger creatures.

    SURE, start tethering cats. Since most cats can climb make sure they have a long enough leash to hang themselves. NOT!

  • missy01 Jul 27, 2010

    let's start tethering cats

  • dissatisifiedwitheverything Jul 27, 2010

    It's all a matter of sticking your nose in where it doesn't belong. People should tend to their own business and stop trying to tell everybody else what to do. Not all chained dogs are neglected or abused or left out in the sun with no shade or water. You should be worried about the children who are abused or in bad family situations where they are sexually molested or tortured or worse. For once people, get your priorities in order!

  • bassfishingjunky Jul 27, 2010

    Hello Pet Lovers,

    My wife and I belive that if you can not afford to get your pets what they need then you should not have them.

    The guy in the clip showed us a pen that his dogs chewed up and I give him props for the attemp to give his well taken care of dogs a life off the chain, but if they chewd up that pen then you don't give up there you find one that they can not chew up. I weould buy a cattle gate and 4 sides and put tghem together if I had to just to keep them off the chain. I know it would cost alot, but like I said if you can afford to give them what they need then you don't need them.

    We have 4 labs. They got out of the fence and we install electric fence on the top and bottom of our fence. we wanterd them to live in confort when they are out side no matter the weather so we got them a 18x20 biulding and installed heat and a/c so they don't have to be to hot or cold. We put 4 dogs houses in the building with food and water. We also put down bedding all over the floor 4i

  • rcarter1 Jul 27, 2010

    I love my dog, but he is a dog. I've seen many dogs in pens that were neglected way more than ones on a chain. Mine was in a pen and I got tired of coming home and him wondering around the neighborhood because he figured out how to dig under the fence. His chain is 18 ft. long & lightweight. It's on a swivel & he cannot get wrapped around anythin. He has more room to roam than dogs in a 10x10 pen. He has a dog house, a shelter & he's well fed (more than the vet wants him to be fed) & he gets fresh water 2x a day & he gets his regular vet check ups. He's very content in his environment. The vet is well pleased with him. So i think the county should take into consideration each situation, if the dog has more room to run than most fenced dogs and is well took care of, they should leave well enough alone. Besides, I pay my taxes on him and I can just about bet that most of these owners don't pay taxes on their dogs. Is the county doing anything about that??

  • NCSUAgvocate Jul 27, 2010

    I failed to mention that I am employed by the NC state government, and one of the main responsibilities of my job is to verify Humane Handling of animals in slaughter houses in our state. Everyone wants the best for these animals.