Local News

Cumberland Animal Control Officers Get New Training Against Dangerous Animals

Posted October 27, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT

— No one wants to hurt an animal, but what if that animal is dangerous, and you have tried everything you can think of to capture it? Cumberland County animal control officers say they will now use deadly force against dangerous animals as a last resort.

Thursday, they were trained to use that deadly force.

The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners has authorized animal control officers to use deadly force as a last resort.

Trainers from theNorth Carolina Wildlife Resources Commissionand the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department are showing officers how to do it safely.

"It's some of the same aspects as hunting as far as knowing the difference between a safe shot and a non-safe shot,"says Brent Spivey of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

"They're going to exhaust all other measures possible before deploying this type of force," says Gary Dudley of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

Commissioners made the decision to train the officers after a pack of wild dogs repeatedly threatened people in a grocery store parking lot.

Animal control officer Carlton Person stresses that this type of force will not be used routinely.

"We aren't out here to shoot any dog or animal running loose. We are out here to protect the public and learn how to protect the public if they are out here running loose," he says.

The county anticipates it will be several weeks before the nine animal control officers are trained and ready to use the shotguns in the field.