County defers father's dog-sitting case

April 17, 2008 9:43:42 PM PDT
A Cumberland County man will have to wait several weeks before he finds out if he can keep his son's dogs, while his son is in Iraq.

Henry Carroll already has three dogs of his own and county inspectors say five dogs are too many.

On Thursday, the county held a Board of Adjustment hearing to address the issue, but ended up deferring the case. The county attorney wants to further study whether the matter is a zoning or animal control issue.

I'm kind of relieved. Kind of, that's the word I reckon. It's the burden ain't lifted yet, but I got a little more time to prepare, right," Carroll said.

The problem arose after some neighbors complained about the dogs barking. County inspectors told Carroll he is violating a zoning ordinance prohibiting more than three dogs on private property.

Carroll went to the board hearing ready to argue that he only owns three dogs, and he is temporarily taking care of the other two until his son returns.

Carroll, his supporters and his landlord, Mike Urian, say they were hoping for some kind of resolution.

"There are a lot of military families that are currently finding themselves in the same boat. They don't know what to do with their animals when they are getting deployed. They are asking their friends, 'hey can you watch my dog while I serve overseas,' and all of these people are in violation according to the county ordinance," Urian said.

Carroll says he has received dozens of calls from across the country from people offering to take his two dogs.

However, Carroll said he will not give up his son's dogs, but give away two of his own pets if it comes to that, but he is hoping it doesn't.

While the county zoning ordinance has a three dog limit, the county animal control ordinance allows up to 8 dogs. What the county attorney wants to do is figure out in this case, which law applies.

The county commissioners may have to make a final decision.


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