Controversial Pitt Co. dog auction delayed

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – After an auction by the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office putting three dogs up for grabs caused controversy, the auction originally scheduled for Thursday morning was rescheduled at the last minute.

The auction actually began, but as the dogs were being announced the county attorney told deputies to seize the sale. It has been rescheduled for next Thursday, February 2, at 10 a.m.

Many people are worried the dogs will end up in the wrong hands.

The Sheriff’s Office said the auction is part of a civil suit, meaning the dogs aren’t the property of the Sheriff’s Office or Pitt County. The Sheriff’s Office is required to hold such auctions for these civil actions.

“He owed someone money who pursued the financial means through the animals, which is what made the order come through,” said Lt. Kip Gaskins with the Sheriff’s Office. “We had to follow the order, so that’s how it came about.”

Gaskins said it isn’t an ideal situation, but deputies have to do their jobs.

“As law enforcement officers we deal with difficult situations every day,” said Gaskins. “This just happened to be another difficult situation. We don’t have the luxury of picking and choosing what orders to follow and what orders not to.”

The dogs will stay with the Sheriff’s Office until next Thursday.

According to a legal notice posted on the department’s Facebook page, a black long haired German Shepherd, a black Labrador/Pitbull mix and a Belgian Malinois were to be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

The post had been shared almost 200 times before it was taken down. Comments poured in from people are wondering if there were any alternatives to selling off the animals, fearful they’ll end up in the wrong hands.

Pitt County commissioner Glen Webb took to the post after several complaints, explaining the auction is part of a civil suit and the dogs are considered property, saying they are trained, but they aren’t police dogs.

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