Doug Long said he’s tired of cats hanging around his house in Archer Lodge.
He’s sick of them leaving footprints on his cars. He’s sick of them messing with his pets.
If the town doesn’t do something to control loose animals, Long said, he’s going to take matters into his own hands.
“I’m getting ready to resort to start firing,” he said.
The Town of Archer Lodge hasn’t made good on its plan to provide animal-control services. Johnston County Animal Services had provided animal control in the community but stopped doing so on Jan. 1.
As a town, Archer Lodge is required by state law to handle rabies control and dangerous dogs within its borders. The county stopped covering Archer Lodge in fairness to other towns.
Town leaders had hoped to draft an animal-control ordinance by January, but that didn’t happen.
Now, Archer Lodge hopes to contract with the Town of Clayton to handle animal complaints on a case-by-case basis.
Archer Lodge Mayor Mike Gordon recently met with Clayton Town Manager Steve Biggs and Clayton police leaders to hash out a deal.
Biggs said he’ll ask Clayton councilmen on April 20 if they’re interested in helping Archer Lodge. If they are, Biggs said, the town could charge Archer Lodge a fee per every animal-control call.
“I think it’s likely that we could do that,” Biggs said. “We could certainly look at it for a year and run a test case.”
Biggs said he doesn’t think the town could do a long-term contract with Archer Lodge. Also, he said the town wouldn’t add staff to help Archer Lodge. Clayton employs one animal-control officer.
Archer Lodge leaders have known since last spring that Johnston County Animal Services planned to drop the town. The plan was for the county to back out in the fall, but Archer Lodge leaders asked for an extension until Jan. 1.
Calls coming in
Town leaders say the delay in writing their own animal-control rules stems from not knowing what the town’s needs are.
Gordon, the mayor, said the town has received eight to 10 calls for animal control since Jan. 1.
One resident contacted the town after her neighbor’s pit bull attacked her Australian shepherd on March 22, according to an email sent to the town clerk.
Wanting to document the attack, the resident said she first called Johnston County Animal Services. The people there told her they would send an officer out but then called back to say the Town of Archer Lodge was responsible.
In the email, the resident said her family has good neighbors, and she added that she didn’t want to cause trouble. However, the woman wrote that she wants to look out for her children and their pet.
“If something is to happen in the future because of their dogs, I need to know that the authorities have been made aware of this situation,” she said in the email.
Gordon said he thinks Clayton is willing to provide animal control on a contract basis. On Monday, he asked his fellow councilmen to call the Clayton leaders they knew and seek their support.
Gordon said if Clayton could help out for a year, the town could draft its own animal-control ordinance during that time.
“We are trying to figure out how invested we should be and, if a staff person was hired, how much time would be designated for animal control” Gordon said.
Dunn: 919-553-7234, Ext. 104