Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Guilford County Leash Laws In Knots

As most are probably aware Guilford County passed new laws a while back making it illegal to keep dogs on a chain. No doubt the intent was good and I'm not faulting County Commissioners or animal rights activists for trying to do the right thing.

But sometimes the road to Hell is paved with good intentions and those who go there do so on the highest of horses.

Take for example a neighbor of mine just about a block from my home whose real name isn't Fred but I will call Fred for the sake of this example.

Fred is somewhat developmentally disabled and on Disability because of his reduced mental capacity. This allows Fred to spend lots of time with his beloved dogs every day.

Fred, a white man and his wife, a black woman, raised several children who turned out seemingly normal and have grown up to have seemingly normal children of their own. Most every weekend and sometimes during the week the grand kids come to visit and play with Fred and his two big but gentle dogs and the laying hens I gave Fred years ago who stopped laying eggs a long time ago but Fred can't bare to kill because he and the grand kids love them so.

Fred and his family have been neighbors living in a run down rented house belonging to one of Greensboro's most well known and notorious slum lords for over 20 years without incident. That is, until recently when Fred ran afoul of Gulford County Animal Control.

You see, despite the fact that a 4' chain link fence surrounds Fred's back yard the dogs can still jump over the fence.

Now one of the dogs is slightly more passive-aggressive around strangers than the other dog so Fred thought it a good idea that he keep that dog on a chain inside the fenced in back yard while he attempted to train the second, always friendly, never met a stranger, dog to stay inside the yard. And it wasn't like these dogs are ever ignored, no matter the weather Fred walks both these dogs no less that 2 miles round trip at least twice a day. I know this as I see him out walking them just as he has walked all his dogs for 20 plus years.

But recently when one of his dogs decided to take a stroll on its own some new to the neighborhood, busy body, can't mind their own freaking business "neighbor" called animal control who found the dog running loose, followed it home, and cited Fred for allowing his dog to run loose.

And then to add insult to injury cited Fred for having his other dog chained up in the back yard.

I don't think that's the way the law is supposed to work. I have other neighbors whose dogs sometimes get loose. A little female pit bull up the street comes to visit every once in a while. I pet her and play with her for a few minutes then tell her it is time for her to go home. She knows exactly what I mean as she turns and runs straight home.

The German Shepherd 3 doors up breaks out of the house when his little girl leaves home. He's learned how to turn a door knob. He's worried about her and searching for her. I chase him back in his house and close the front door.

The Rotweiler across the street occasionally escapes and goes for a hard run. Everyone is scared of him except for me and the man and woman who own him but the truth is: the only place he will attack anyone is in his very own yard. When I see him I take him home and put him up. All he wants to do is run until he is tired, he won't even chase a cat.

But unlike the busy body new neighbor, I would never call animal control unless a dog were an actual problem. You see, dogs were born to run and expecting them to do anything else is just plain wrong. And I doubt that one in a hundred animal rights activists treat their dogs as well as my developmentally disabled neighbor Fred treats his dogs. Seriously, how many of you walk your dogs 4 miles per day? Everyday?