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Biting back: Health services wants change in vicious dog policy

BY LAURA LEWIS, Staff writer

BOLIVIA--Brunswick County's dangerous dogs may soon fall under the control of Brunswick County Animal Services.

The county's dangerous dog ordinance has received initial approval for a change designed to give it more teeth, health director Don Yousey said.

The Brunswick County Health Department board on Monday approved a change to enable the county to take possession and destroy dogs deemed a danger to the community.

The change, to be forwarded to county commissioners, is tied to a year-old case involving Supply resident Edward McRae Bryan II of Nags Head Road, who owns two pit bull dogs.

"It wasn't being handled properly," Yousey said, noting the dogs were declared dangerous after they attacked and killed a neighbor's dog last year.

In July, Bryan was cited again by Brunswick County Animal Services after neighbors complained his pit bulls were unleashed in the neighborhood.



The ordinance, as currently written, mandates the owner must keep such dogs confined within a secure enclosure and must have them leashed and muzzled when outside.

Under the change, if an owner doesn't control such dogs, "we will be able to take them," Yousey said. "If they become the property of this county, they will be destroyed."

The change will enable the county to do something before someone gets hurt, he said.

"We don't want to go through this again," Yousey said, explaining why the department has asked for the change.

For now, Bryan has his dogs back after paying close to $500 in fines and boarding costs, animal services director Richard Cooper said.

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Too close to home for my liking. If owners would be more responsible and understand the nature of the breed BSL wouldn't be spreading so fast. But I also blame the media hysteria for this problem. Dogs get loose and bite no matter the breed, but "pit bull attacks" sell papers and get votes.
 
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