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Craven County board to debate dog tethering restrictions

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NEW BERN, Craven County - The Craven County Board of Commissioners will discuss possible new restrictions on dog tethering at their meeting Wednesday evening.

Dog owners in Craven County might soon have to follow a new set of rules about tethering their dogs. Craven County Commissioners will listen to thoughts from the public about the issue starting at 7 p.m. at the Courthouse Annex, Courtoom No. 4, 302 Broad Street, in New Bern. Commissioners might even vote on an ordinance or they could just take feedback and revise the ordinance before putting it to a vote at a later date.

Nonprofit organization For All Animals is lobbying to ban dog tethering outright. Former Craven County Humane Society President Tyker Gonzales led a petition drive in January with a similar aim. Dare County severely curtailed the amount of time a dog can be tethered earlier this year.

"With no time limit and exceptions that cover up to 50 percent of dogs in the county what's the point of the ordinance?" For All Animals Director of Legislative Affairs Liz Holtz said in a press release. "The vast majority of the protections laid out in the ordinance like providing food, clean water, an area free of accumulated waste and protection from extreme weather are already required by North Carolina state law."

Some dog owners think more needs to be done to protect all dogs. The proposed ordinance would allow 24-hour tethering as long as there is adequate food, shelter and water. Some see opposition to this but Craven County Health Director Scott Harrelson said he sees both sides. "And then you have some responsible pet owners out in the county that say 'Wait a minute, I provide water, food, a clean area, shelter and I like to tether my animal," Harrelson said. "It's just the best setup for where I live."

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