NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — On Wednesday, the Craven County Board of Commissioners heard public input on its proposed ordinance restricting the tethering animals.
12 counties in North Carolina have a law similar to it.
The meeting had dozens of people expressing their thoughts on both sides of the issue.
Commissioner George Liner said, “This is a hard decision. This is not a Craven County issue, but this is a national issue as well as a state issue”
The public hearing drew so many people the meeting changed locations to the court house in order to accommodate.
Nancy Daniels is against tethering and said. “I’d like to see just about everything change the only thing that they did was really set the rules for tethering your animal. It’s just a guideline and it won’t change anything. It won’t change the way dogs are forced to live each day.”
Daniels adopted a dog she says suffered from being constantly tethered outside by its previous owner.
“I think it’s personal responsibility,” said Daniels. “If they leave that dog out and it never comes in, then why have a dog in the first place?”
Those against restrictions on tethering said this is what they have been doing for years.
Tony Mitchell is a supporter of tethering options and said, “Tethering hounds and tying hounds is something we use as part of our training for hounds. It’s nothing barbaric about it; it’s just a tool that we have that we’ve been using for years and years”
Mitchell spoke at Wednesday’s meeting and said tethering has a time and place.
“Training my own hounds that are coming up, if my hound gets out on the road or whatever, and someone stops to pick them up, they can tie them until I get there,” said Mitchell.
Others who support tethering said more pressure should be placed on dog owners, and not the act of tethering.
“If you have someone who doesn’t treat his animal right, taking the dog off the tether and putting him in a fence is not going to improve the treatment of the dog,” said tethering supporter Henri McClees. “It’s in the man’s heart.”
Daniels said regardless of the commissioners’ decision, she’s in it for the long haul.
“The supporters are not going to go away, we’re going to keep working, and we’re going to do everything to make it a law and to make it right,” said Daniels.
The commissioners moved to take the comments they heard during the meeting and over the past few weeks into a final ordinance.
They plan to put that up for a vote in a later meeting.