Former Deputy Criticizes Commissioners Over Animal Ordinance

Retired Johnston County deputy Angela Bryan of Four Oaks (standing) accused Johnston County Commissioners on Monday of sweeping animal welfare “under the rug”. Commissioners disagreed. WTSB Photo

A retired Johnston County sheriff’s deputy had some tough questions for Johnston County Commissioners on Monday.

Angela Bryan of Four Oaks asked commissioners why the county has been neglecting the welfare of animals in Johnston County. Specifically, Bryan, who retired as a deputy in January of this year, asked why no action had been taken after she appeared before commissioners in May asking for a section of the current animal control ordinance be updated.

Bryan said the current ordinance does not require “shade” for dogs.  She said dogs need shade in the summer to protect them from the heat. They will need shade or a shelter in the winter months to protect them from the cold.  She asked why had no action been taken on her request since she first addressed the issue in May.

“Common sense don’t work anymore with people,” Bryan said, adding she had pleaded with animal control officials, commissioners and the sheriff’s office to help.

“I am asking for quick help to get some changes for these animals. Its time. I want some help.”

Bryan accused commissioners of intentionally downplaying the seriousness of the problem. 

Commissioner Chairman Tony Braswell said no one had swept anything under the rug. He asked Bryan to coordinate her concerns with county manager Rick Hester and county attorney Jennifer Slusser. Braswell said Hester and Slusser would be glad to start the process today.

Bryan replied, “With all due respect I asked for help 6 months ago.” 

Slusser asked Bryan to provide an itemized list of animal welfare advances she would like to see included in any ordinance update, Slusser said the process may not happen as quickly as Bryan would like to see.

“Why has it taken 6 months to get something done that is so simple,” Bryan questioned. “I am asking why. That’s pushing it under the rug.” 

Chairman Braswell told her no one was against protecting animals saying he had two dogs and many other board members had dogs and other pets. Braswell said the county had to do things in a proper manner and to make sure any ordinance changes are legal, and a public hearing held, before any revisions could be enacted.

Another suggestion raised during the meeting was additional training for county animal control staff to recognized animal neglect.