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How many dogs were killed by New Hanover County and Wilmington law enforcement officers in 2013?

Ken Little
StarNews

Q. How many dogs were killed by New Hanover County and Wilmington law enforcement officers in 2013? Do you have numbers for other years?

A. The exact number of dogs dispatched in 2013 by law enforcement agencies in New Hanover County was not available, but officers only take the life of an animal as a last resort, said Capt. Kenneth Sarvis, a deputy sheriff in the Support Services Division of the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.

That office has overseen the county’s Animal Control Services unit for the past two years.

“We did have to dispatch one pit bull last year inside the city due to it biting, running loose and biting multiple individuals, including its owner,” Sarvis said.

Killing a dog is the least preferable measure taken by animal control officers and police, Sarvis said.

“We never want to have to do that but we never want somebody in the public to get injured,” he said. “We would try to exhaust every option. If we can keep a person from getting bit by an aggressive dog, we would certainly use that (option).”

Situations involving an animal “being a terror to the public,” or those involving an attack an officer, have to be dealt with quickly, Sarvis said.

Officers responding to a call are often the first to encounter an aggressive dog. Animal control officers are then called out, Sarvis said.

Animals are only put down “if that was the only option we had,” he added.

RELATED LINKS:

Who sets the New Hanover County Animal Shelter’s hours for adoptions?

How can I find out if an animal is registered with New Hanover County?

User-contributed question by:
Harold Mann

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