Pittsboro official's dog is back in custody

Owner charged with violation

CorrespondentFebruary 2, 2011 

Sanford Animal Hospital is holding Pittsboro Town Commissioner Clint Bryan's dog in quarantine after it bit a vet tech during an exam.

Gidget the dog is back in custody after being shuttled between home and two animal clinics in two counties over the past several days.

Her owner, Pittsboro Town Commissioner Clinton Bryan, was charged Tuesday with violating the state's rabies confinement law, a Class 2 misdemeanor, Chatham County spokeswoman Debra Henzey said

The dog, a Yorkshire terrier, was confined Jan. 24 at Jordan Lake Animal Hospital after biting a veterinary technician's finger, veterinarian Dr. Leslie Staggs said.

The dog's rabies vaccination expired in October, triggering the state's 10-day quarantine to check for rabies symptoms.

Staggs said the animal hospital offered to keep her for free. Bryan left the dog but came back Friday to get her. The clinic staff notified the health department, as required by state law.

Chatham County Health Department Director Holly Coleman said she talked with Bryan on Jan. 25 and Friday and explained to him the possible consequences of his actions. Bryan then took Gidget to her regular vet for confinement at the Sanford Animal Hospital in Lee County. On Saturday, he returned to Sanford and took the dog again, against the advice of the clinic's staff.

On Monday, Coleman issued a seizure order for the dog, but before animal control officers could deliver it, they learned that Bryan's wife had returned Gidget to the Sanford clinic. The dog will remain there until Thursday, when her confinement was originally scheduled to end, officials said.

Bryan is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 9 in Pittsboro. Henzey said the penalty for a Class 2 misdemeanor can range from a fine to 30 days in jail.

Bryan has not returned phone calls and e-mail messages seeking comment.

He was appointed to the Town Board in 2007 to fill the seat of his father, Clinton Bryan Jr., who died after a battle with cancer.

tammy.grubb1@yahoo.com or 336-380-1325

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