Brother Wolf Animal Rescue to host public forum on controversial dog tethering issue in Buncombe County

From a Brother Wolf Animal Rescue press release:

Brother Wolf Animal Rescue to host public forum on controversial dog tethering issue in Buncombe County

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (Jan. 28, 2015) – Brother Wolf Animal Rescue will host a “Public Meeting on Dog Tethering in Buncombe County.” The meeting will be February 5th at 6pm at the Haynes Conference Center, Room 209, at A-B Tech Enka Campus, 1459 Sandhill Road, Candler, NC.

The public is invited to attend, and if citizens want to speak at the meeting, they must RSVP to to get on the speaker list.

“The results are in from our poll over the weekend, and we were blown away. Our goal was to get 1,000 responses over this next week, but we exceeded that in less than 48 hours! And the results couldn’t be more clear:

99.25 % of respondents agreed that “… county government should consult with local animal agencies when creating or amending legislation that affects animals in our community.”

“That didn’t happen the week before when county commissioners voted in controversial new animal ordinances. We rescue animals in the county every day, and we were never consulted on this issue by county commissioners,” says Denise Bitz, Founder and President of Brother Wolf Animal Rescue.

“Probably most controversial is the amendment to extend the minimum dog tether from 10 feet to 15 feet. Most everyone we’ve heard from agrees that it’s a meaningless change that effectively endorses dog tethering in Buncombe County.

“There are many dogs in the county who live out their entire lives, 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the end of a chain. Can you imagine living your whole life tied up to a 15 foot chain, 24/7? That’s effectively what the county commission just endorsed,” says Bitz

In the poll over the weekend, 95.29% of respondents also voted that dog tethering should be banned in Buncombe County.

“We get that the issue is controversial. We get that there are cultural and economic factors that greatly complicate this debate. But on tough issues like this, we only grow as a community with open, transparent discussion, where all sides are heard,” says Bitz.

“So given the poll results, we have decided that Brother Wolf is going to facilitate a public forum on this issue. We’ll invite regular citizens from across the county as well as veterinarians, animal control officials, animal behaviorists, the Sheriff’s office, and the County Commissioners, all to share in the discussion.

We want to hear from other communities who have already navigated this issue. Indeed, twelve other municipalities in North Carolina (including four other counties), have already banned tethering. Some questions they’ll be answering:

•    How did they broker compromise?
•    Did they have a transition plan to help folks get into compliance?
•    Did any dogs get dumped into the shelter system as a result?
•    Did folks get help with fencing costs?

“We’ll have as many meetings as it takes till everyone who wants to speak on the issue is heard. Then we’ll write up a summary of the comments from all sides and submit a fully informed set of recommendations to the County Commissioners for their consideration.

“Our community deserves an informed, transparent debate on this issue. And all the dogs in our community living out their whole lives at the end of a chain deserve our best effort on this,” says Bitz.

About Michael McDonald
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