by Leslee Kulba
Wild West blogger
A headline in the Smoky Mountain News, “Swain Residents Want Common Sense Animal Control,” leaves one wondering if there isn’t an allusion to what Commissioner Mike Fryar referred to as Buncombe County’s “Dog and Pony Show.” As you may recall, the ordinance started out trying to ensure more humane treatment for dogs, but somehow horses got added in, and nobody consulted the equine experts. After the ordinance was passed, there was public outrage. Horse people showed up to tell the commissioners they couldn’t afford to build the kind of housing the commissioners were requiring for their horses. Horses go from pasture to pasture, and by nature they don’t go into little caves, because that’s where the snakes and vipers hang out. Eventually, the commissioners backpedaled, telling the public how great an exercise the whole thing had been because it showed how government grows by listening and responding. Remaining in the ordinance were requirements that dogs have adequate socialization, and I remain hopeful somebody will give me a form-based chart that shows, say, a per-pound number of friends and excursions each breed of dog requires.