Each month on WWAY, we bring you the latest from the New Hanover County Dangerous Dog Appeals Court. Now, a Brunswick County woman wants the same appeals process where she lives.
“I saw that Wilmington has animal court and you are a part of it and it seems to be more fair than what we have here in Brunswick County,” said Linda Janus.
We asked the Health Department in Brunswick County for a rundown on the procedure for a dog complaint in the county. “When we receive a complaint of a dangerous dog we go out to investigate the complaint, collect the evidence and we provide that to the health director,” said Brunswick County Environmental Health Director David Stanley. He (the health director) is the person who designates dogs dangerous in Brunswick County.”
If there is enough evidence, the dog is declared potentially dangerous, which happened to all three of Linda Janus’ American Eskimos last month. “I’m not saying my dogs didn’t get out of the yard because they did, but being declared potentially dangerous is something I don’t agree with. The whole process is also quite stressful for me and my dogs. They had to be taken away from me for 11 days.”
Linda does not like the dangerous dog label for her dogs. As a result there will be an appeals hearing on Thursday with her, the accuser, witnesses and the health director. “My neighbor says the dog bit him. When he showed me the wound there was one. By the time animal control got here there was two and the police (Brunswick County Sheriff’s Dept.) had to come. They wanted us to settle it as neighbors,” said Linda.
If Linda’s dogs are again deemed dangerous by the Brunswick County health director, she still has more recourse. If she chooses to pursue it, she can go before an appeals committee. There is even one more appeals step after that; an appeal to Superior Court. Linda hopes it never gets that far.
“I’ve posted No Trespassing signs, Beware of Dogs signs – everything humanly possible to try to prevent them from getting out. I just want them to be able to live their last few years the way they’ve always lived it. My dogs are 14 and 15 years old. They’re part of my family,” Linda said.
Stanley said he will consider looking into New Hanover County’s Dangerous Dog Appeals Court procedure.