Local News

Ft. Bragg soldier, civilian argue over ownership of dog

Posted February 4, 2016 5:40 p.m. EST

— A Spring Lake man is fighting to get his dog back after he said it ran away from home was adopted by a soldier at Ft. Bragg.

A Rottweiler named Bear got away from his home outside Spring Lake sometime around the first of the year.

“I left him with my parents to go out for New Year’s night. [When I] came back, my parents said he wasn’t outside,” said Earl Boone.

Boone said he went to Cumberland County Animal Control to look for his dog and file a report. Somehow Bear ended up at the Fort Bragg Veterinarian Clinic. There, a Facebook page has a lot of pictures of animals found on post.

“The dog was held there and then it was put in for foster care, and that was about on day eight after it was brought in,” said Ft. Bragg spokesman Tom McCollum.

The dog was adopted by Ft. Bragg soldier Marquita Preston. WRAL News was able to reach Preston by phone, but she had no comment and would not let the dog be seen.

According to records from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, Bear slipped out of Preston’s backyard in the Bragg Estates neighborhood off post and ended up down the block at Christy Outman’s house. She posted Bear’s picture on social media, where Boone saw it and came to claim the dog.

“Bear just immediately knew of his scent. He knew him and he just bolted out my door as fast as he could to jump into his arms,” said Outman.

Preston took her adoption papers from the Ft. Bragg clinic to the sheriff’s office and went to Boone’s house with deputies and got the dog back. Boone said there’s no doubt the dog Preston adopted belongs to him.

“There’s no doubt in my mind. He spent the night with me, in my bed,” said Boone.

Cumberland County spokeswoman Sally Shutt said that Cumberland County will take over animal control operations on post beginning March 1. After that date, Military Police will call Cumberland County officials to pick up any stray animals found at Ft. Bragg.