Guardians of Angels Humane Society a Chatham County non- profit formed to inspire an adoption center for cats and dogs began a discussion between retired Animal Control Director John Sauls and two animal advocates. Ten years later, GOA is hosting an evening with current Animal Control Director Leigh Ann Garrard on Monday, May 12 from 5:30 to 7 pm at the Pittsboro Roadhouse on Courthouse Circle.
“GOA has a history of reaching out to Animal Control, now known as Animal Services, as they are on the front line of animal issues in Chatham County," said GOA board member and Education Team Leader, Nicole Edwards. “Because GOA advocated for a time limit on tethering, some people got the wrong impression that we were adversaries with the county,” she added. A recent vote by the commissioners defeated a time limit with all but now resigned Commissioner Sally Kost voting against it. “While we still would like to see a time limit, the new ordinances which include humane tethering standards are a significant improvement and step forward,” Edwards said. One of the mission’s of GOA is to identify neglect and cruelty in the county, and it is up to county authorities to investigate it. The new ordinances were an initiative of Animal Services.
One of the accomplishments of the last ten years includes training more than 200 Deputies, District Attorney’s, Assistant DA’s and Animal Control Officers in anti dog fighting techniques at Central Carolina Community College via the Humane Society of the United States. GOA Vice President and legal advisor Cabell Regan is planning another for 2015. “There are thousands of dog fights going on in the United States each day, and we believe that Chatham County is no exception,” Regan asserts. According to the Humane Society of the United States, North Carolina is the number one state for dog fighting and large rural counties like Chatham provide the perfect cover. “I am personally and professionally offended by this practice, and riding along with dog fighting is the gun and drug trade,” Regan said. “24/7 tethering is the ticket to keeping fighting dogs and this immoral practice is also connected to pet theft as fighters are looking for bait dogs," Regan explained. “We will be advocating for the Sheriff’s office, Animal Services and Commissioners to focus on this hidden crime,” he added.
After a recent meeting with Health Department Director Layton Long, GOA volunteer Debbie Tunnell sees great improvement in the performance and attention to animal issues in the county. “He seems to have the right experience, focus and attention to detail,” said Tunnell. Long took the helm of the Heath Department in December of last year. GOA founder Terry Dorsey and Tunnell met with Long to set a tone of partnership and cooperation. “We get a lot more done working together, than we do by taking shots at each other and that has always been the GOA philosophy. I think we are finally getting to the issues that the county should have been addressing for the last ten years,” Dorsey commented. “Of course time will tell, but this is the best county team that we have had in place since GOA began and we should not have to push the county to do its job, pit citizens against commissioners, or put down so many adoptable animals which is why GOA was formed in the first place,” Dorsey said.
Help us end animal suffering and euthanasia in Chatham County