Local News

Durham Officials Tell Woman To Remove Signs For Missing Dog

Posted July 11, 2006 10:17 a.m. EDT

— Cindy Sands' dog, Houston, has been around for 13 years. But, a few weeks ago, the blue-eyed beagle took off.

"To me, this is like a child missing," said Sands.

Houston has a medical condition and needs daily medication. Immediately, the search was on for Cindy Sands and her husband, Jeff. They started their quest with a handful of fliers.

However, a city ordinance prevents people from putting signs on utility poles and traffic signs. The Sands were told Houston's signs had to go.

"I was livid, really," said Cindy Sands.

"I didn't want to upset anyone," said Joe Sands. "We're just trying to find our beagle."

The Sands said they were told to remove the signs or face a $500 fine. The city said fines are a last resort, and they are rarely used.

"Standard procedure is to ask them to take them down," said Bonnie Estes with the Durham Planning Department. "We usually give them a day or a couple of days."

The Sands pulled Houston's roadside signs. Now they are taking the door-to-door approach. But they wish the city could take a more neighborly approach as well.

"I understand rules are rules," said Cindy Sands. "But I wish they could be more compassionate, you know."