Humane progress is being made every day although sometimes it's in inches or feet, not in miles! Regardless, forward progress in the humane treatment of animals is always a cause to celebrate. On this page we bring you positive animal welfare  news of events in North Carolina Counties.

We hope these stories and events will ignite your "inner activist" and get you involved in promoting the well-being of animals in your own community--even if it's a bake sale or car wash to support local animal organizations. All efforts are appreciated and worthwhile.

To locate the cities and counties referenced below, click on the "cityscape" or the
 NC "map" graphic, respectively.

Dog Tethering Ordinance (Mar. 3, 2009)
The Raleigh city council unanimously passed an ordinance on Tuesday, March 3, 2009, that will regulate the unattended restraint (tethering) of dogs as follows:

*   It will be illegal for a dog to be tethered for more than 3 hours total during a 24-hour period.
*  Any device used to tether a dog must be at least 10 feet long & attached in a way to prevent
*  The tethering line must be attached with a buckle-type collar or body harness.
*  The tethering device cannot weigh more than 10% of the dog's body weight.
*  The tethering device must allow access to food & water. (No mention of dogs being able to
         access shelter, though!)
*  Violators will be charged with a misdemeanor and face a civil penalty of $100 per day for
         each violation.

This ordinance effective July 1, 2009. 

Changes Begin in NC Counties

Brunswick County

Dangerous Dog Ordinance approved. Click link, then go to Chapter 1-3, Article VIII.

Brunswick Area Responsible K-9 Owners (BARK) Dog Park now open at 5550 Main Street, Shallotte, next to the ball park, tennis courts, & recycling center. For more info, call 910.253.7723. Park will be maintained by the County. (Feb 2010)

Proposed Revisions to Animal Control Ordinances submitted by CHTA with assistance the Humane Society of Eastern NC and the Citizens for Humane Reform.

Sheriff's Department to Manage Animal Control (Jul 2012)

Buncombe County

Yadkin County Adopts Lethal Injection as Preferred Euthanasia Method for Unwanted Pets (Jul 21, 2010).

Yadkin County

New Hanover County

New Hanover County Animal Control Shuts Off the Gas!
Source:  WECT, Dec. 15, 2009
Reported by Max Winitz, Posted by Debra Worley

   Officials at the New Hanover County animal shelter have decided to stop using carbon monoxide chambers as a method to put animals to sleep.
   "Jean and I are both proud to be proactive in doing away with the chamber," said Dr. Bob Weedon.
Some call the euthanasia chambers inhumane.  Jean McNeil and Dr. Weedon support using a chamber to euthanize out of control animals.
Since August, staffers have administered sedatives to dangerous dogs before euthanizing them with another injection.
McNeil had a meeting with her staff earlier this week to discuss the progress.  She says her staff is comfortable with the technique and feel they don't need a chamber at this point.
The staff will likely sell the chamber, which is valued around $15,000.
The county will also save a few thousand dollars a month, since they will no longer need annual maintenance to rent carbon monoxide tanks.

Wake County

Citizens "Doggedly" Pursue Anti-Tethering Ordinances to Protect Dogs on Chains 24/7. (Nov. 2010)

County Contemplates Changes in Animal Ordinances Pertaining to Dogs. AKC Has Issues With Changes. Click HERE  for the Pros and Cons.  Click HERE for the Draft Ordinance. (Jan 2011)

Lincoln County Shelter Being Investigated for Non-Compliance with State Euthanasia Regulations, Administrative Issues, and General Lack of Organization.  (Jan 2011) Read the inspection reports.

Gaston County


News Record - Friday, October 22, 2010
By Joe Killian, Staff Writer

    New laws aimed at puppy mills and irresponsible breeders passed at Thursday’s meeting of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, but not everyone was on board.
The changes to the county’s animal control ordinance have been debated for months. Some animal advocates said tighter regulation of breeders is necessary to crack down on animal cruelty. But a number of legitimate breeders said they felt the new laws would make it harder for them to operate.
Some of those changes include the requirement of a permit for breeders whose animals breed more than six litters a year or for high-volume retailers that sell more than 50 dogs a year.
State law required that two votes be held to change the existing ordinance unless the first vote was unanimous. That was a hurdle the commissioners couldn’t clear at their Oct. 7 meeting, when three commissioners said they had concerns about the law and couldn’t vote “yes.”
On Thursday, the changes passed 8-2 with Commissioners Billy Yow and Paul Gibson voting “no” and Chairman Melvin “Skip” Alston absent.
Yow said his chief concern was that the county hadn’t done its due diligence and wasn’t considering what the changes would mean for the understaffed animal control workers who would have to enforce the rules.
“Are you ready to vote to give them some more people to do these inspections?” Yow asked his fellow commissioners. “Are you ready to buy more vehicles? Are you ready to take on all of the challenges that we have to take on once you’ve passed this ordinance?”
Commissioner Linda Shaw , who led the committee to rewrite the ordinance, strongly disagreed.
“To sit there and say we haven’t given due diligence to this is just ludicrous,” Shaw said. We have been working for three and a half months on this, and I mean meeting almost every week. My members of that committee have worked very hard and very diligently.”
Shaw said her committee had worked to address the concerns of everyone from hunters to breeders to the owners of exotic pets.
The latter were worried about having to register with the county under the new rules.
She said she was satisfied that the group had reached as close to a consensus as was likely.
“Let’s move forward with this ordinance, and let’s stop the abuse of these animals,” Shaw said .
Commissioner Kay Cashion changed her vote this time around, saying attending one of the committee’s last meetings changed her mind.
I did not vote to support this at our previous meeting, but I did make the statement that I thought some more discussion should occur,” Cashion said.
“I was very impressed with the effort both sides were making to come to an agreement.”
Among the concessions made to pass the new laws: High-volume breeders now will have to register with the county, but no fee will be charged.
Shaw’s committee will next tackle laws on animal tethering, which promises to be even more controversial.
   Contact Joe Killian at 373-7023 or

Henderson County

Lee County

Lincoln County

Asheville -- Dog TetheringOrdinance (Sep. 22, 2009)
From: ChainFree Asheville []
Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 9:16 AM
Subject: Council Votes 5-2 to Ban Chaining in Asheville, NC

Last night, in a vote of 5 to 2, Asheville's City Council voted to ban "unattended tethering" effective today! 

The law states that unattended tethering will be disallowed meaning attended tethering is OK. You can still tether your dog for any amount of time if you are outside with your dog.

Although the law is effective today, owners of chained dogs will not be cited until January 2011. During the next 15 months, ChainFree Asheville and the City will work to communicate the alternatives available to people who are chaining, and of course, we will continue to build fences, provide dog houses and offer our new training programs. Peggy Irwin, ChainFree Asheville 828.450.7736

Comment From Durham County Animal Control:
This is great news as Durham is getting ready to transition into our final 6 month warning phase before ticketing in July 2010. We have a similar ordinance tethering on while attended physically. 
Cindy Bailey, Durham County Animal Control

County Adopts Mandatory Spay/Neuter Ordinance (March 2010). (Ordinance Chapter 6, Section 63).

Gaston Gazette -- Gaston County Changes Adoption Policies (Oct. 31, 2010)
by Michael Barrett

    Gaston County Animal Control has eliminated a controversial policy at its Dallas shelter that prevented many dogs and cats from being adopted.
    Incoming animals that were found to have health or temperament problems were previously deemed “unadoptable” by the shelter. Those saddled with that label could only be adopted by animal rescue groups, but not average residents.
    Now, visitors to the shelter seeking a pet will be advised of any potential issues with a dog or cat. But if they’re willing to assume all risk and waive the county of any liability, they can adopt most any animal they like, barring special circumstances.
“With the thousands of animals the rescue groups are already placing, we’re certainly hoping this will help spur some more placements,” said Animal Control administrator Reggie Horton.
The dramatic shift in policy is part of a wave of recent changes at the animal shelter, which has been a target of criticism from animal advocates for years. Last month, Gaston County commissioners voted to begin euthanizing animals only by lethal injection, fazing out the carbon monoxide gas chamber that many people see as less humane.
    The temperament testing that shelter staff members conduct on incoming animals has also been vilified. Horton said the purpose was always to ensure that residents ended up with healthiest and happiest pets, rather than them later realizing animals were sick or unfriendly, leading them to regret their decision.
Critics have said many animals were unfairly labeled unadoptable simply for being shy or skittish.
    The change was prompted by a recent focus group of concerned residents that was formed to discuss issues at the shelter. Patti Bracken, the group’s facilitator, who is also president of the Animal League of Gaston County, said the policy changes have been monumental.
“I think we’re making a lot of progress,” she said. “It’s very encouraging.”
    Horton said shelter workers will continue to conduct health and temperament testing on incoming animals, and advise visitors of their findings before an adoption. The paperwork adopters must sign has been changed to more clearly absolve the county of any responsibility in the event things don’t go well, he said.
    Bracken said the focus group meets once a month at the Citizens Resource Center in Dallas. About 30 to 40 people showed up for the first session in August, and four committees were formed to discuss specific animal control issues.
    “It’s a huge community effort and it’s wonderful that people are getting involved and that they care about the animals in Gaston County,” she said. “It’s really building a coalition between the community and Animal Control, and that’s a win-win situation.”
    Anyone who would like more information about participating in the focus group can contact Marcie Bonar at 704-866-3194, or To view animals for adoption, visit Gaston County Animal Control at 220 Leisure Lane, Dallas during regular business hours; or log on to You can reach Michael Barrett at 704-869-1826.

Greensboro County

Animal Cruelty Convictions Now Carry Jail Time Thanks to Susie's Law. (Dec. 2010)  Governor Bev Purdue signed the bill into law June 24, 2010, complete with Susie's "pawprint' signature. Susie's website.