Empassioned plea from Ashvegas reader: Stray dog who lives in Country Club of North Asheville neighborhood should not be captured, put down

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Here’s the note from loyal reader Caroline:

Hi Jason,

I was hoping you could draw some attention to this subject:

I live in the Country Club of North Asheville neighborhood, I’ve been renting here for about 6 months. However, a longer resident of this neighborhood is a stray dog, of 7 years. “Barnaby”, “Black and Tan”, “Rascal”, “Wally”…he has a lot of names. Numerous houses feed him, I personally give him 2 warm meals a day, chew sticks, you name it. Lately I sit with him an hour or so outside ever afternoon, and he cautiously eats chicken out of my hand. I have been aiming to take him in myself, however he won’t let anyone touch him. He loves people, he loves other dogs, he is non-agressive, harmless, awesome dog.

Someone in the neighborhood doesn’t seem to think so. This morning when I woke up, I looked outside and saw Animal Control’s 2 vehicles parked outside. I ran outside as fast as I could and began to explain to them that this dog is very well loved and I am currently working on befriending him. They talked about putting traps out for him, and catching him. Neighbors were coming outside of their houses to see what was going on; people driving by were stopped in the middle of the road, screaming and crying at the AC officers. They didn’t manage to catch him, but they came back tonight warning me that anyone caught feeding him will be given at $200 fine as he is un-neutered, not up to date on shots, and no tag.

This dog’s biggest fear is being trapped. He comes in my porch to eat every day, but is very scared someone will be behind him. If he is caught by AC in a cage, there is no telling how he will react, and the shelter will deem him “un-adoptable” and most likely euthanize him. At that point, there is no guarantee that even Brother Wolf or Animal Compassion Network will be able to get him before he is put-down. As of this moment, he is still roaming somewhere, however they will be back to get him. He is such an amazing dog. Please take a look at the pictures I’ve attached of him in the last few months…it shows a lot about him. This Link is a video I posted on Facebook of him talking!!

I’ve spent my entire night talking to teary-eyed neighbors who, like me, are scared to death that this dog will be caught and slip through the cracks and be put down. He is a salvageable dog. This neighborhood has been taking care of him for 7 years and there are so many aside from myself who are willing to adopt him and teach him what it’s like to be loved.

Please draw attention to this if you can, there are many many people upset by this. My good friend is a reporter for WLOS and I am going to see if they can cover anything on this story. The shelter needs pressure from the community to help save this dog – and myself and my neighbors cannot rest until we get a promise that he will not be put down.

Thanks for the “ears”,


Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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  1. Carolinemwilliams February 3, 2012

    Thanks all for the comments, and thanks to Jason from Ashvegas for posting this story. The battle is far from over; animal control will most likely come back to try to take him. Us neighbors are keeping up with each other each day to make sure one of us has seen him, so that we know he’s still around and not at the shelter. If we don’t see him for a day, we’ll head to the shelter to claim him. I know there are a lot of people out there worried about him. If you’d like to see pictures or a video of him, I’ve made them public on my facebook account, so just click the links below. Also the link posted by Scott is the News 13 story from today. Thanks everyone!!!



  2. Craig February 2, 2012

    We call him “Benji” — he always seems to be on some kind of mission as he walks around the neighborhood. He is harmless, even keeps away from the turkeys. We heard that he may have been owned by someone on Baird Cove Road who passed away, but can’t vouch for that. It sounds like Benji eats pretty well, since I know a few other people who feed him and give him water in addition to those mentioned in the story.

  3. Jilliebeans4 February 2, 2012

    I too live in this neighborhood in North Asheville and my family has named this wonderful little “neighbor” of ours.. Wally the Wonderer. He is such a pleasant sight to see as I watch him take his daily stroll down all the different streets….making sure everything is okay! He also visits our house every afternoon to play with our dog Rufus. I open the door after I hear Wally’s howls for Rufus to come out and off they go in the yard like two children during recess. Wally has kept to himself for almost eight years now (some say even longer) never bothering anyone. He has been loved and fed and looked after by many, many people in our neighborhood for all these years. Although Wally has never let anyone actually touch him (for reasons we will never know) it has never changed how we all feel about him. When Animal Control showed up with their truck and van to “help” Wally..my heart broke! I approached the “officers” with anger and determination stating that in know way will they take him away!!
    I understand the role Animal Control plays in keeping our community safe and helping animals that are in need of real help, but this is a situation that is far different. Wally knows no other life than the one he has…he knows no other home than the one he has….and he knows no other kind of love than what we all give him here, in our neighborhood. To trap Wally, cage him, and put him in solitary confinement for three days (which is what Animal Control says they will do) will kill him. He simply will not survive the trauma of that experience.
    We (and of course Wally) need all the help and support we can get to keep this wonderful fella here with us. He deserves the right to live out his life meandering our streets, visiting our homes, and greeting us with his friendly “howls” ….. with Wally around…. everything just feels right!!!!

  4. Scott February 2, 2012
  5. Jeff February 2, 2012

    Caroline, I live in the neighborhood, and I agree. I have seen him several times. He’s a sweet, harmless dog. It would be a terrible thing for animal control to just catch him and process him. (a $200 fine for feeding him. Good grief.) It’s a long time for him to be on his own, though. How does he make it through severe winters? It would be great if he could be corralled by someone just to find him a good, safe environment. But not animal control. This is NOT that kind of case. Any solutions out there?

    1. Ncmcdaniel February 2, 2012

      What a cool story! Six Dinner Barnaby! Please folks in that neighborhood, advocate for him 24/7. Thanks Asheville Animal Control for standing down and listening to the neighborhood folks.

      1. Jilliebeans4 February 3, 2012

        There are many of us here that will never, ever stop advocating for him and will see this through until we know that he is safe and secure from now on…Sadly, Animal Control has not backed down. In fact, a neighbor found them in her back drive looking for him in the evening and they asked her if she would set a trap for Wally (which they had brought with them)..she promptly said NO and they left… promising to come back!!!
        Does anyone know anyone in Animal Control? Or in the Police Department? Or any official at all that we could get to speak up for our furry friend?

    2. Jilliebeans4 February 2, 2012

      Hey Jeff….Wally (my family’s name for him) seems to be a survivor..he has a lot of self preservation. He has endured some brutal winters here I’m sure but does have the opportunity to go inside different enclosures throught the neighborhood where blankets and beds are laid out for him. From what I understand he will go inside a place as long as he knows he can get right back out. If we all play a small role in keeping an eye out for him I think he will continue to thrive. I also suspect as he ages he will “chose” one of us as his resting place and begin to stay put there. I, for one, really enjoy driving home and seeing him basking in the sun with a flock of turkeys pecking all around him!!! He’s pretty amazing!


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