Get animals under control

Published 12:06 am Saturday, November 12, 2011

To the Editor:

Yes, sir, right here in “river city,” Washington, N.C., there exists a serious problem, namely animal control that, combined with slumlord ownership and rentals, is destroying once decent, peaceful middle-class neighborhoods.

This is a problem the Washington City Council has largely ignored and dealt with inadequately. The doing away with the city’s animal-control position was an inexcusable mistake, plain and simple. Expecting an overworked and overburdened county animal-control department to be able to deal adequately with the city’s multitude of animal-control issues illustrates little, if any,  knowledge of the city’s animal-control problem. Already spread too thin, the county animal-control department was spread even thinner when the city unwisely eliminated its animal-control position.

Thus, the city police are getting more and more animal-control complaints directed at them, especially concerning barking dogs. City ordinances are woefully lacking in dealing with cruel, irresponsible dog owners who chain and tie these animals outside and leave them there to face the harshest weather with the minimum to eat and drink. The dogs bark, disturbing neighbors, often several houses away, yet their owners do nothing! And, the City Council does nothing! And, the mayor does nothing! Is this because this problem of cruel, inhumane, irresponsible dog owners and slumlords and slumlord rentals doesn’t exist where they live?

The City Council has done a woefully inadequate job of regulating and controlling the city’s rental agencies.

If the City Council doesn’t deal with this dual problem of animal control and rentals, once decent middle-class neighborhoods will rapidly deteriorate into slums, and Washington will be the big loser!