High Point to tackle animal abuse

11 05 2010

SUNDAY, MAY 9, 2010 (Updated 3:00 am)
By E.A. SEAGRAVES
Staff Writer

Humane Society of the Piedmont and Triad Laws for Paws supporters appeared at the High Point City Council meeting Monday night to ask for stricter laws against animal abuse and neglect.

Ginny Wiltsey, executive director of the Humane Society of the Piedmont, shared many photos of neglected and abused animals with the council.

There was an empty chain where a dog had died and decomposed while restrained to a tree, dogs running loose along the streets, full grown dogs that were skin and bones.

“This is a reflection of our community,” Wiltsey said. During High Point Furniture Market, Wilstey said the Humane Society received three phone calls about animals running around, the condition of those animals and problems with getting help when market visitors called.

“I’m ashamed,” she said of the animals’ condition. “We want to get together with officials and come together to make a difference in the treatment of animals or the lack thereof.”

The council said it already had plans to look at some of the issues at the next public safety committee meeting, to be held the first week of June.

Councilman John Faircloth, chairman of the committee, invited Wiltsey and members of the Humane Society and Triad Laws for Paws to attend the meeting.

Wiltsey said placing the issue on the committee’s agenda was a big milestone. “It’s my understanding they weren’t very animal-friendly,” she said of council. “They seemed willing to listen and to act.”

Wiltsey said there are three components needed to help animals — education, stricter laws and better enforcement. She said the current ordinances are too vague.

Triad Laws for Paws, part of the Humane Society of the Piedmont, includes various professionals — from veterinarians to lawyers — who provide different perspectives in dealing with animal abuse and neglect.

“It’s a great collaborative of professional people,” Wiltsey said. “The thing is we’re not … out there screaming and yelling for changes. We all know it’s needed. So does council. We want to work to make changes for … the animals.”

Contact E.A. Seagraves at 883-4422, Ext. 241, or elizabeth. seagraves@news-record.com

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