GREENSBORO, NC — WGHP MyFox8 posted a story at 10:31 last night titled “Guilford County Commissioners to pet owners: spay/neuter or pay up.” The story, by Susanna Black, reports this. [WARNING: What you are about to read is false according to multiple officials.]
“The Guilford County Board of Commissioners passed an ordinance change Thursday night that imposes a $200 fine to pet owners who don’t spay or neuter their animal.
“Under the new requirements, all owned dogs and cats over six months of age must be spayed or neutered. The only exception is to buy an unaltered animal permit from Animal Services for $200.”
That surprised me because the agenda for the County Commissioner’s meeting said that the commissioners were to set a time for a public hearing on this proposal at last night’s meeting, not consider the proposal.
I brought this to the attention of Black and copied the station’s news director. Black replied that the agenda was “wrong” and said she had confirmed with County Commissioner Justin Conrad that, indeed, this ordinance had passed.
So I called my district commissioner Jeff Phillips who said that no ordinance had passed. I relayed this information to Black by email and copied the news director; and still, the story remained online.
I got an email from the County Attorney, who also said that no ordinance had passed. I forwarded his email to Black and copied the news director; and still, the story remained online.
Then I got a reply from the Clerk to the Commissioners, who wrote this:
“To briefly add onto the attorney’s comments, we have reached out to the Fox 8 Managing Editor first thing this morning to ask them to correct their story as it is misleading to the information posted and action taken at last night’s board meeting and causing some confusion for the citizens. As our Attorney has noted below, the Board did vote unanimously to set a public hearing on 09.21.17 to receive public input on the proposed changes.”
Here is a screen shot of the false story taken at the time of this post, more than 18 hours after the false story was originally posted.
Here is the proposed ordinance (scroll through it to find the proposed new changes). It is scheduled to be considered at the September 21st meeting of the County Commissioners. If you wish to reach the commissioners, you can do so here. You can find out who your County Commissioner representatives are here.