New Hanover Co in NC killed roughly half of its dogs and cats in 2013. And the pound wants to kill yet another dog, an owned pet named Honey who has never bitten anyone, because she allegedly sneaks and snarls:
[New Hanover Co] deemed Honey as a potentially dangerous dog in June after five separate civil and state citations were filed reporting the owner’s inability to keep the dog controlled.
“All of the different accounts have stated the dog is snarling. It sneaks around behind them. It does a sneak attack sort of situation,” said Steve Watson, of the New Hanover County Animals Services.
Emphasis on SORT OF, I guess. No one has been bitten. But for whatever reasons, Honey’s owners seem to have repeatedly failed in keeping her confined. And after the county declared Honey potentially dangerous, she was picked up running loose again last November, making that a sixth citation against the owners. As punishment, the county wants to kill the healthy 2 year old dog:
“We get to a point where it becomes an issue of public safety, and if the owner doesn’t comply then we have to take the dog from them,” Watson explained.
Well, SORT OF public safety, if you close one eye and squint with the other. Again, no one has been bitten.
Owner Ashley Aiena is heartbroken:
“You’re not just taking away a dog, you ‘re taking away our child,” sniffled Aiena. “We love this dog with all of our heart. It’s been very, very stressful and I am loosing [sic] it over this. It’s not right.”
Ms. Aiena filed an appeal with the pound, requesting Honey be allowed to live but the pound denied the appeal. The family has until January 29 to take the appeal to superior court.
Any dog with teeth could be described as a potentially dangerous dog. It seems the real issue here is the owners’ failure to keep the dog confined. What are the reasons for this? Could the problem be solved with a fence? Does Honey need a coyote roller bar on her fencing to prevent her from climbing? If Honey is killed, will the owners get another dog and face similar confinement issues, effectively hitting reset on the six citation cycle? How is the public served by killing Honey?
New Hanover Co needs to take a fresh look at how it handles owned dogs picked up running loose. The current protocols aren’t making anyone safer and are violating the animals’ right to live, which New Hanover Co obviously doesn’t respect anyway.
(Thanks Lisa and Clarice for the link.)