Loose drug dog leads to pound controversy - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Loose drug dog leads to pound controversy


An adorable-looking golden retriever has been at the center of a controversy that led to a debate between Carrollton city leaders and volunteers that work with strays.

The disagreement even wound up on the agenda for the Carrollton City Council's meeting Monday night.

But this story has an ending that could have Buddy wagging his tail.

Buddy is the drug dog for the Carrollton Police Department. The retriever is worth $6,000 and is an official K-9 unit.

But his handler had difficulties with Buddy, including keeping him safe.

Twice Buddy got loose. After the most recent time, his handler gave up his duties and turned control of Buddy back over to the department.

Until a new home was found for Buddy, the temporary fix was to house Buddy at the municipal pound.

"We spoke with our vet, and he stated that it would be a safe and secure place for Buddy," Chief Robert Turner said.

As a police dog and taxpayer asset, Buddy needed to be under lock and key.

"We just don't want anyone out there while Buddy was there. We wanted to have control of the scene while Buddy was there," Turner explained.

But a group of volunteers had keys to the pound, allowing them to come and go as they cared for the animals. They were unhappy when city leaders asked them to turn over the keys and come walk the dogs and care for them under the supervision of a police officer.

Volunteers like Brittany and Jana Huggins said the volunteers had found homes for dozen of dogs while volunteering for the past 18 months. She said altogether the Friends of the Carrollton Dog Pound have saved 75 dogs and many cats.

Some were insulted by the demand that they turn over the keys, saying they had done nothing to foster mistrust.

Words with bite were said, and a standoff ensued.

Ultimately, all went well at Monday night's council meeting.

Buddy was at the pound only for two nights. The K-9 is temporarily living with the police chief until a new officer is chosen to become his new buddy.

That means the council said Monday night that the volunteers can get their keys back to the pound.

It's a story that might make you howl with joy.

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