On Tuesday, some rather wonderful dog news came out of Anderson County, North Carolina; the County Council voted unanimously in favor of new legislation that would see stricter rules brought into play against those mistreating their pets – specifically against those using firearms with intent to injure or kill.
The move comes following the ordeal of Amara, a two-year-old Boxer that was found wandering the streets of Townsville in January this year. Severely underweight, blind, and with sores on her head, Amara was in a bad way. It was later discovered that she'd been shot and left to die after her pet parent grew tired of her, though he won’t face prosecution due to North Carolina law.
All of that could be about to change, though, after the County Council heard the first reading of the new ruling and voted in its favor. The ordinance reads: "If the animal is unwanted, it must be taken to a certified shelter or recognized rescue shelter. Shooting of a canine with a firearm for the purpose of euthanasia is prohibited unless the animal has been severely injured and it is the only way to prevent undue suffering."
There are exceptions to the ruling, including situations involving rabid animals and instances where pets have been causing damage to livestock or personal property. The ordinance must be read and voted on twice more before it comes into effect, and it would then rely on law enforcers to ensure that it was being carried out.
Amara's pet parent won’t face prosecution, but it is hoped that this new legislation will stand up for pets everywhere. Amara, meanwhile, is coming on well since her ordeal: "[Amara] is a different dog now than when I first got her. She romps and plays and runs in the backyard … Amara still is frightened by loud noises and she still gets startled if someone or something comes up on her too fast. But she has come so far. And she is safe now," said Heidi Wagner, founder of Boxer Butts & Other Mutts rescue center, which has cared for Amara since she was first picked up.
We wish Amara all the best for the future, and hope she finds a loving home soon. Meanwhile, let's just hope that other councils follow Anderson County’s example.