Common sense animal law?

I’ve received a lot of questions about the “animal feeding” ordinance we voted on Monday so I thought I’d do my best to explain.

I understand politics is a full-contact sport to many. I understand people have a tendency to exaggerate because our political climate has everyone forgetting that the “other side” is just as human as they are. Let me be very clear: common-sense and critical thinking have not been suspended.

I am an animal lover. I share my home with two dogs we rescued through the great work that Surry Animal Rescue does. I am grateful for compassionate people and I believe that how we treat animals reveals a lot about us as people.

To that end, I believe that in order to protect the safety of wildlife (and people too) many of them don’t belong in populated areas with cars and trucks.

This ordinance does not suspend trapping and neutering programs and we still encourage responsible rescue programs in Pilot Mountain. I will personally speak with Chief Bottoms so that the intent of the law is not lost on those tasked with enforcing it.

This law is in response to some who have baited wildlife into the heart of town irresponsibly and without regard for the safety and well-being of the animals. Reportedly in an effort to do harm to their neighbor. There have been issues with skunks, deer, vultures, and I’ve seen at least two-dozen stray cats in one or two front yards in a downtown neighborhood on multiple occasions.

These are not examples of feeding starving animals. These are not examples of compassionate rescue or trap, neuter, and release. I promise I would never do anything to undermine the efforts of my fellow soft-hearted allies to all of God’s creatures. I trust our police department and staff to enforce with common sense and decency toward our neighbors of all species.

Evan Cockerham

Pilot Mountain Commissioner