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‘Struggling just to survive': Animal group wants better life for tethered dogs

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CREEDMOOR — A team of Granville County volunteers have mobilized to provide shelter, food, vaccines and health care to dogs — and not to stray dogs, but to the furry pets who are left tied up outside their owner’s homes.

Dogs Deserve Better Piedmont, based in Granville, has been providing education and community outreach around the county, most recently in the Twin Circle neighborhood of Butner. The group is teaching dog owners about spay and neuter programs and state-required rabies vaccinations.

Dogs Deserve Better also is coordinating a free rabies vaccination clinic Saturday with Granville County Animal Control.

“We realized that while most of the dogs in our county are loved and cherished family members, there are so many more that are struggling just to survive,” said Ellen Highland, a spokeswoman for Dogs Deserve Better. “In April of 2019, Dogs Deserve Better was formed with the simple mission of helping our community’s outdoor dogs live a better life.”

Dogs Deserve Better, a nonprofit organization, has been working in the Town Circle neighborhood for months.

“This is the same location where we had previously sponsored a free spay/neuter program, in which 17 dogs and seven cats were altered and vaccinated,” Highland said. “A second initiative in this same community was spearheaded by Granville County Animal Control, and resulted in almost 60 feral cats being trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated and released back into this area, making it a safer home for both owners and their pets.”

To help make the spay and neuter programs affordable, Dogs Deserve Better partnered with the Community Partnership for Pets, a Henderson-based nonprofit. The Humane Society of Granville County also has a spay and neuter program for low-income families.

The groups say it’s important for pets to be spayed or neutered to prevent unwanted animals from ending up in shelters, where they may be euthanized.

“Pet overpopulation is another major problem,” Highland said. “Stray and feral animals reproduce at an alarming rate. Thousands of unwanted cats and puppies are born each year in our county alone. These animals are at risk of carrying diseases, including rabies, and spreading that disease to pets that are living outdoors.”

Preventing rabies

There have been three reported cases of rabies in wild animals this year in Granville County. The most recent case, in early February, involved a rabid raccoon at the Twin Circle Mobile Home Park in Butner. Granville County Animal Control officers responded, confirmed the raccoon was rabid, and notified residents in the area, according to a county press release.

State law requires all owned dogs, cats and ferrets older than 4 months be vaccinated for rabies.

In an effort to prevent an outbreak and control the spread of rabies, Dogs Deserve Better has been working with Granville County Animal Control to offer free rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats.

The group is holding a free rabies vaccination clinic Saturday, Feb. 29, from 9-10:30 a.m. at Gazebo Park in Butner. Animals can receive a one-year vaccination, and three-year vaccinations are available to pets with a certificate showing it has received a previous rabies shot.

All cats must be in a carrier and all dogs must be leashed. Vaccinations will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis. For questions, contact the Granville County Animal Shelter at 919-693-6749.

The Granville County Animal Shelter, 5650 Cornwall Road in Oxford, provides $6 vaccinations for dogs and cats Monday through Friday.

Doing more

Dogs Deserve Better has been providing and assembling fences for homes that tether dogs outside. The group says dogs that are free to move around have a better quality of life. The group also provides kennels for outdoor dogs that may otherwise be tethered.

“Tethered dogs often lack attention and love they so desperately crave,” Highland said. “These dogs are in jeopardy of becoming aggressive and an aggressive dog is potentially a dangerous dog.”

Dogs Deserve Better also supplies food and flea or tick medicine. It gives emergency medical care and other services to dogs. Many Dogs Deserve Better members are volunteers at the Granville County Animal Shelter.

“We work strictly from donations and fundraisers,” Highland said. “Every penny we receive goes to helping the animals. Everyone involved is an unpaid volunteer. Your support would be greatly appreciated. Together we can continue striving towards making our simple mission a reality.”

Visit for more information about Dogs Deserve Better.