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Dangerous Dog Fines

Weaverville is cracking down on dangerous dogs owned by irresponsible owners.  In the past several years, residents have had dogs attacked by several pit bulls running loose on the streets. But Police Chief Greg Stephens tells News 13 the problem has all but disappeared after the summer's enactment of stiff penalties for owners who let dangerous dogs run loose.

"Yes, there was a time people would say here's this idyllic little town that's being terrorized by this person, and he can't take care of his dogs," said Maura Dearth. Her dog 

was attacked by a pit bull living at her neighbor, Bill Barnes' house. Barnes, at the time, said the dog belonged to his son. Other neighbors said their dogs had also been victims of attack by the pit bull living at Barnes' house.

"I've apologized to all my neighbors for this," said Barnes of the incidents. "I have been less than neighborly and not restrained my dog." Barnes has since relocated both pit bulls living at his house that once roamed without leashes. He has an older pit now he says is no longer aggressive and a small dog. Both he told News 13 stay in his house.

But another incident on top of the cases related to Barnes' dogs, prompted Weaverville's council to pass a stiffer dangerous dog ordinance.

"Their dog was attacked and later had to be put down because of the attack," said Weaverville's Police Chief, Greg Stephens.

Another set of pit bulls, attacked that dog. They too, had been roaming the streets unleashed. Now anyone with a dangerous dog that doesn't follow town ordinances could face penalties from $250 for not registering the dog with the town, to $1000 a day for an unregistered dog that attacks another dog or person. Longtime Weaverville veterinarian Jonathan Allen isn't convinced the new ordinance will deter irresponsible dog owners, but he does believe the new ordinance will give police and the district attorney more leverage when it comes to prosecutor a dog owner who breaks the law.

by Kimberly King

Follow Kim on Twitter @KimKingReports


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