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Dog chains under scrutiny in Edgecombe

chained up dog

A special committee has been created to examine the use of chains to leash dogs in Edgecombe County.

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BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Staff Writer

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

TARBORO — A special committee to examine the use of chains to leash dogs has been established by the Edgecombe County Board of Commissioners.

The committee was created during Monday's county board meeting after Janice Thompson, president of Tender Mercies, asked commissioners to adopt an ordinance banning the use of chains.

Thompson recounted examples of mistreated dogs tied up with heavy chains outside houses in the county. She said many of those animals were found to be living in freezing conditions and infested with heart worms.

Outlawing chains would just mean an influx of dogs at the Edgecombe County Animal Shelter, said Kathy Williams, who volunteers at the shelter.

Since North Carolina law doesn't require owners to provide shelter for their dogs, residents who can't afford fences would drop their dogs off at the county shelter, which would lead to a wave of euthanized animals, Williams said.

Board Chairman Leonard Wiggins launched a committee to look into the matter, reach a consensus and provide suggestions.

Wiggins appointed Thompson and Williams. Local resident and blogger Curmilus Dancy asked to be appointed to the committee as well. He said he didn't know much about dogs, but he wants to be on the committee because he's a supporter of the Sheriff's Office, which is involved in enforcing animal control for the county.

Wiggins added Dancy to the committee and told the three members he appreciates their advocacy.

"We want opposing views," Wiggins said. "That's what makes a good committee."

Wiggins said the committee should also look into whether the county needs a new animal shelter.

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