Local News

Apex Council Passes Ban on Livestock

Posted April 3, 2007 6:42 a.m. EDT
Updated April 4, 2007 7:20 p.m. EDT

— Apex leaders have outlawed livestock from within the town’s limits in the wake of 80 sheep being confiscated from a downtown house.

For years, the town knew about sheep at David Watts' house on West Moore Street. Neighbors often complained about the flies and the smell, but since Watts was not selling any sheep and kept them only as pets, the town said he was not breaking any laws.

Now, Watts faces 30 counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals after animal control officers learned the sheep had been neglected.

"That's all we could do is keep complaining, because something had to be done,” said Apex resident Caroline Prince

Apex Mayor Keith Weatherly admitted to WRAL that something should have been done sooner.

"We dropped the ball,” Weatherly said. “We should have been more vigilant, under our public nuisance ordinance. It seems to me there could have been several remedies for this other than animal control."

Apex Town Council members passed the new ordinance Tuesday evening, banning all livestock, with the exception of horses, within the town limits. They said they realize there may be some residents who have a pet potbelly pig or a goat, and said depending on the response, they may revisit the newly adopted law before it takes effect.

Watts not only lost his sheep, but may now lose his house. A town inspection showed the roof is coming apart, the stairs are not up to code and there are holes throughout the house. Town manager Bruce Radford said the property may be condemned.

The new ordinance takes effect June 1.