Online Originals: Concerns over welfare of dog in Kinston highlights community’s fight against animal neglect

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KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — People in the city of Kinston have been fighting animal neglect for years.

They’ve called for changes to laws and ordinances on pets kept outdoors. The city has a regulation requiring owners to ensure there is adequate food and water when there are freezing or simmering temperatures. In 2018, concerned animal lovers got the city to add another requirement to the ordinance, adding adequate shelter to the list.

It is roughly defined as a shelter large enough for the animal to stand up in and turn around in. The shelter has to be raised so no water can get into it. It must have three sides for protection. And if the animal is tethered, the tether must be long enough for the dog to reach his shelter.

There is a Facebook post that has resurfaced this year after over three years of concern. The post mentions one dog in particular that the community has been worried about.

People in Kinston claim the animal has been left outside in extreme conditions with hardly any shelter, food or water. One concerned citizen, who wished not to be on camera, said people from all over the city have tried to offer assistance to the owner, from new housing for the dog, clean bedding and blankets to food and water.

Each time, the owner refused, and on some occasions even threatened citizens for trying to help.

9OYS spoke with city officials who said, according to the regulations in the ordinance, the dog owner is following the guidelines. Kinston Police Chief Tim Dilday tells us they have been aware of this particular dog for a long time. Dilday said they had officers out multiple times this week to check on the well-being of the dog and ensure he had adequate food, water and shelter.

Dilday told 9OYS his officers, as well as animal control, will continue to monitor the situation and keep tabs on the animal.

Kinston Mayor Don Hardy said he understands why people are so passionate about this issue. According to him, the owner is in fact in compliance with the law.

“Any complaints we have go through our police department, animal control, and the state and county, to make sure the individual dog owner is in compliance with the ordinance”, Hardy said.

Hardy said he is aware of this particular dog, and from what he knows, the dog enjoys being outside in the weather.

Animal advocates tell 9OYS they will continue to push for improved regulations in Kinston to protect pets. They invite anyone who wants to join their efforts to contact the Lenoir County SPCA and the Kinston City Council.

Kinston City Council meetings are every first and third Tuesday of every month.

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