NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Can a dog be euthanized even if it's never bitten anyone? The answer is yes. Honey is a 2-year-old boxer mix that, according to her owners, is very sweet and has never attacked anyone, but Animal Services have a different view of the dog.
"She's definitely outgoing and she really just wants to be pet," explained Honey's owner, Ashley Aiena. "But I guess people think she is mean."
Animal Services paper work tells a different story than what the owners describe as "outgoing." They deemed Honey as a potentially dangerous dog in June after five separate civil and state citations were filed reporting the owner's inability to keep the dog controlled.
"All of the different accounts have stated the dog is snarling. It sneaks around behind them. It does a sneak attack sort of situation," said Steve Watson, of the New Hanover County Animals Services.
After deeming a dog as potentially dangerous, a packet is given to the dog's owner, and Animal Services educates them on the county rules for having a potentially dangerous dog.
Those rules include: four "beware of dog" signs must be purchased and visibly placed on the property. If it is an outside dog, it must be confined in a pen with four sides, locking gate, secure top, and a concrete bottom. If the dog is taken off of the property it must be leashed, have a basket muzzle, and be controlled by a competent adult.
Honey was found running loose without a muzzle in November, making it her sixth citation.
"We get to a point where it becomes an issue of public safety, and if the owner doesn't comply then we have to take the dog from them," Watson explained.
"You're not just taking away a dog, you 're taking away our child," sniffled Aiena. "We love this dog with all of our heart. It's been very, very stressful and I am loosing it over this. It's not right."
To prevent a potential escalation, New Hanover County Animal Services have denied the Aiena's appeal to euthanize Honey. The Aiena's have until January 29 to take their appeal to Superior Court. If Superior Court denies their appeal also, Honey will put to sleep.