Belhaven mayor: Most dog owners unaffected by ordinance changesPublished 10:16pm Saturday, August 17, 2013
Belhaven’s been quiet in the three months since its city council revised its dog ordinance. Mayor Adam O’Neal said peace and quiet was exactly the outcome sought.
O’Neal said the dog ordinance was too lenient to put a stop to one Belhaven resident who was “terrorizing the neighborhood.”
“Laws are there because some people don’t have common courtesy and blatantly disregard their neighbors,” O’Neal said.
In response to several complaints about a barking dog, the city opted to update the ordinance in order to give Police Chief Fred Clingenpeel the
authority he needed to resolve the issue.
“The guy got like two or three citations,” O’Neal said. “Little old ladies were calling and crying that they couldn’t get any sleep.”
The revised law gave Cingenpeel the authority to remove the dog from the home. Since changing the ordinance, the dog in question has been the only one seized. O’Neal said the ordinance would not affect 99 percent of dog owners. He stressed that Belhaven was still a dog-friendly community and pet owners should not be concerned.
“We’re dog lovers in Belhaven – the police chief owns a dog, himself – but we can’t let it disrupt neighbors,” O’Neal said. If you know the dog is barking and you love them. You’re gonna do something about it.”