Family distraught after Animal Control orders dog put to sleep

Family distraught after Animal Control orders dog put to sleep

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NBC CHARLOTTE

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on February 19, 2013 at 7:21 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 19 at 7:29 PM

MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- A Mooresville family is looking for a last minute reprieve for their pet.

He's scheduled to be put down after repeated complaints from neighbors who say he terrorized the community.

Animal Control officers and the family are hoping their story will serve as a lesson for others.

There's no mistaking Ash loves his owner.  He covers Nealie Loudin in kisses on the family couch.

Ash's look-a-like littermate and constant companion, Coal, is not here, though.  He's in quarantine at Animal Control, waiting to be euthanized.

Trouble started in 2008 when neighbors say Cole got out.

“It went after a neighbor and cornered him in the carport,” said Animal Control worker Chris Royal.

Animal Control deemed Cole a potentially dangerous dog—a legal term that means he had to stay on his owners property.  If not, after three strikes county law says the dog is to be euthanized.

“It’s public safety, that’s what my job is to protect the public.  They're scared of these dogs and when you do not follow the ordinances you’re going to reap the consequences,” Royal added.

Neighbors documented the dogs on the street multiple times with pictures and complaints.

The Loudins say they've tried everything—put in both an electric fence and a regular one and take full responsibility but wonder if there's a better solution, a way to save their dog.  They admit they could have done a better job of making sure the dogs didn’t get out.

“Our 8-year-old was coming home from school and left the front door open and we were not vigilant enough.  My older son and I went to Target, my husband was home working and we were not vigilant in making sure the door was closed and it was our fault,” Nealie admitted.

Even the Animal Control worker is distraught, tearing up during our interview.

“To euthanize any dog it tears at your heart, so I feel sorry for the family, but it has to be done,” Royal said.

Loudin is struggling to explain it to her youngest.

“I told them he was going to be an angel dog and heaven really needed a sweet dog.”

The family is appealing the decision, but we're told it's unlikely they'll win.

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