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Many Dogs Abandoned Due To New Roanoke Rapids Regulations

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ROANOKE RAPIDS, N.C. — Animal owners in Roanoke Rapids have had three months to get their doghouses in order. Those who do not comply with new ordinances will soon face stiff fines.

Until recently, dogs ran free in Roanoke Rapids. Then two pit bulls viciously attacked a resident who was gardening in her yard. That attack inspired an ordinance that mandates dogs be fenced in, among other changes.

Sandra Stevenson owns three dogs, and she needs a permit to do so.

"Our dogs don't really bite anybody or anything, so I don't think we should have to get pens for our dogs, but everybody does," said Stevenson.

Roanoke Rapids Mayor Drewery Beale said he applauds part of the ordinance that bans chaining animals outdoors. That rule has resulted in some owners surrendering their dogs to the city.

Nearly 20 animals have been given up so far. If the dogs can't be adopted, the county will put them down.

Cyrus Ahyoung trains animals for a living. He's willing to take the dogs and turn them around.

"When the dogs come here, we're going to try to give them some training," said Ahyoung. "And hopefully training makes them more readily adoptable."

In May, Harnett County passed similar changes. Dangerous dogs must be spayed or neutered, kept in a secure pen with "beware of dog" signs and identified with a tattoo or implant. The Harnett animal shelter said it's not seeing an increase in abandoned dogs.


Fred Taylor, Reporter
Terry Cantrell, Photographer
Dana Franks, Web Editor

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