Vicious dogs pose problems

Published 9:15 am Tuesday, April 14, 2009

WINDSOR – Bertie County Commissioners received an update of animals in the county during their April 6 regular meeting.

Two of the county’s Animal Cruelty Investigators, Donnie Taylor and Charlene Phelps, presented a report to the board informing them of their work.

“I have received 25-30 animal cruelty complaints,” Taylor said. “About half of those have been established.”

Taylor said he had not taken any warrants out for animal cruelty, but said he had worked to help people learn about caring for their animals.

He also said the county was facing a problem with dogs.

“We’ve got a vicious dog problem,” he said.

Taylor said he was working with both the town of Aulander and the town of Kelford because of vicious dogs – mostly Pit-bulls and Rottweiler’s – because they had a significant problem in their corporate limits.

“The towns of Aulander and Kelford have had about all they can take,” he said.

Taylor said he believed part of the problem was the county not being able to enforce the rabies vaccination law the way it should be. He said he would like the county to look at their laws and possibly explore the possibility of giving citations to pet owners not meeting county dog ordinances.

He also suggested it was possible that the county needed to look at bringing back a dog tax or some sort of licensing.

Cobb also talked about her work as an investigator.

She said she had not received the volume of calls Taylor had, but she had been forced to go to the magistrate for one warrant. The person was given the opportunity to surrender the animal and chose to do so, she said.

Cobb also talked about her newest experience as an Animal Cruelty Investigator in dealing with goats.

“I didn’t know anything about goats,” she admitted. “I received a call that a woman in the Indian Woods area had about 30 goats and they couldn’t walk.”

Cobb said after investigation, she found the animals could walk if they could get up, but had a tough time because their hooves were too long.

Seeking help from North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Cobb said she was able to provide the woman with instructions on how to care for the goats and had given her two weeks to comply.

Commission Chairman Norman M. Cherry admitted the group was chuckling at the report, but clarified.

“We’re laughing and it is humorous to a degree,” he said, “but it’s also a problem.”

Cherry asked Cobb to inform Bertie County Manager Zee Lamb once the incident was settled.

After the two presentations, a citizen offered to help.

Kent Williford of Williford Farms donated 50 bales of wheat straw for bedding at any time they are needed.