More than 200 dogs living across the greater Charlotte area have restrictions on where they can go, where they can be, and who they can interact with because they have been deemed "potentially dangerous," according to public records. The NBC Charlotte's Defenders investigation team found not all of these dog owners are taking the safety precautions mandated by law.
An animal could find itself on this list after it attacked children, adults, pets, or livestock. In some cases, the attacks sent people and animals to the hospital with serious injuries.
Animals on this list have been saved from euthanization but only if their owners agree to strict safety requirements.
Our Defenders investigation uncovered owners in multiple counties breaking those rules and some of their dogs are attacking again as a result. Police said the dogs really are not the ones to blame. Instead, it's their owners.
"It's really a shame for all involved," Gaston County Animal Control Task Force Advisory Board Vice Chairman Reggie Horton said. "I think the onus is really on those owners to be extra responsible."
The most dangerous dogs, like the dog that killed a baby in Salisbury earlier this year, are euthanized. Dogs surrendered by their owners meet the same fate, but animal control records show the rest, many of them repeat offenders, live in every kind of neighborhood you can imagine.
"As a neighbor, I would be concerned," Union County Sheriff's Office Lt. Scott Green said. "It's not something anybody would like to have next door."
Where are these dogs?: Search our database
The NBC Charlotte Defenders have compiled a list of more than 200 dangerous dogs across the greater Charlotte area. Scroll to the bottom of this article to review the database.
Gaston County: Stiglitz
One of the potentially dangerous dogs lives next door to 14-year-old Shawn King in Mt. Holly. Gaston County Police Department records show the dog, named Stiglitz, bit the boy in November 2016.
"I just felt him on my leg," King said. "It was one of those things that at first you were not scared of the dog and afterward you would avoid it. The dog got my leg that time, but it's big enough to get to my face."
As a result of that attack, his owner is supposed to follow 12 safety requirements, including keeping the dog fenced-in or in a kennel, micro-chipping the animal and muzzling and leashing the dog when outside of the home or lot, according to police records.
King and his mother say the owner isn't following all of those rules.
"I want to see him on the leash," Robynne King said. "It was my animals first. I let that go four or five times and now my child got injured and I need it fixed."
Like Stiglitz, the region's potentially dangerous dogs come in all different breeds and so do their owners.
"Some people are perfectly willing to have a dog that will bite somebody and they know it," Lt. Green said.
Already fined for his lack of compliance, the owner of Stiglitz could soon face the same, plus additional financial penalties, if he doesn't get into compliance and stay there.
Union County: Joker
Up until recently, Joker lived in Indian Trail next to Chestnut Square Park. After twice biting joggers, UCSO required the dog be confined in a locked kennel with a chain linked top at all times effective February 14, 2019.
"Your dog is not to be inside your home, nor allowed to run free," the document clearly states. "Your dog is not to be outside of its kennel at any time unless going to a veterinarian and it must be leashed and muzzled when going to the veterinarian's office."
When we visited the home in June, the lady who answered assured us the black and white mix that came to the door was not the same dog.
"That's not Joker there?" we asked.
She said "no."
"Ok, because Joker is not allowed in the house," we replied.
"I know that," she said. "He is not."
As we left, we saw the woman in the back of the home, leading the dog back to the kennel. Joker's owner, the woman's roommate, later confirmed he bends the rules from time to time depending on the weather and lets the dog inside.
We shared our discovery with the sheriff's office.
"We'll definitely follow up with it and put them on our radar so to speak," Lt. Green said.
After our visit, the owner moved Joker to York County and the sheriff's office alerted animal control there.
"A couple days after we spoke I ended up re-homing him to my other address in York County," Robert Rudock said. "He's not Charlotte's problem anymore and I no longer see the relevance."
USCO said the agency alerted York County Animal Control.
"Our Animal Control Officers told him he would need to follow up with York County and follow their rules and laws," UCSO Chief Communications Officer Tony Underwood said. "We then notified York County Animal Control to alert them of the situation."
Iredell and Rowan counties: Kane and Abel
Kane and Abel's owner also failed to keep the dogs secure at all times, according to records.
The dogs were first in trouble in Mooresville in 2016 for attacking a dog and a dog's owner and then again in Salisbury in 2017 for attacking another dog while "outside the required enclosure," according to Iredell County and Rowan County records. As a result of the violation, Rowan County warned of a possible fine and imprisonment for the owner.
Catawba, Gaston, and Mecklenburg: More dogs
Records from Catawba County identified multiple potentially dangerous dogs that attacked again.
We also identified two other potentially dangerous dogs who attacked again after violating safety requirements. The dogs, their names unknown, originally lived in Gaston County, but Gaston County Police Capt. Reid Rollins said the owner moved them to Charlotte without telling anyone where they attacked another dog again in April.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department records show the dogs were covered in blood when police arrived on Beaver Creek Drive.
"The attack happened within 100 feet of the closest school bus stop," an activity card said.
The dogs were first deemed potentially dangerous in Gaston County in October 2018. As a result of the second animal attack, animal control euthanized the dogs and issued an arrest warrant for the owner.
Since limited resources make this so challenging for police, Lincoln County does not allow potentially dangerous dogs to live there. The county's documented 33 potentially dangerous dogs since 2017. According to records, 19 of them were euthanized and the others were transfer by their owners to another county or state.
"We alert the county they are transferring to and follow up as well," Lincoln County Animal Control Administrative Secretary Lindsey Houser said.
Penalties: What happens next?
While every county's potentially dangerous dog regulations occasionally vary, officers periodically check to make sure owners are following the rules, but they can't do it alone.
"Really, to be absolutely certain, they'd have to be there 24/7," Horton said. "That'd be impossible."
Map: Locate the dogs: Find dangerous dogs in our neighborhood
Editor's note: This database was compiled using available public records. It may not be a complete record of all cases. The addresses and other information provided to NBC Charlotte via public records are as of the date of the original incident. NBC Charlotte cannot verify if the animals listed here still live at each of these locations.