There's been a lot of good news during the past year for pet owners. A second dog park opened on Pleasure Island. In August, the City of Wilmington opened its first dog park at Empie Park, just off Park Avenue.
The New Hanover County Animal Response Team is setting up a shelter staffed by trained volunteers during emergency evacuations, so people staying in an emergency shelter can rest assured their pets are safe as well. Carolina Canines for Service, the local non-profit organization that trains dogs to aid people with disabilities, is working with prosecutors and local law enforcement agencies to set up a shelter to serve as a temporary home for the pets of victims of domestic violence. That project is necessary because, often, a battered spouse is willing to stay in an abusive relationship rather than leave behind their loving pet that may also be abused by the batterer.
It's all good news for pet owners, and that's the way it should be. Pets bring unconditional love and joy into our lives. In return, we should provide places for them to play and socialize, and places where they will be safe from harm.