Outer Banks’ Wild Horses Being Harassed, Bitten by Off-Leash Dogs
"It is illegal, irresponsible, and negligent."
Herd manager Meg Puckett is reporting an alarming increase in incidents of free-roaming dogs harassing, chasing, and even biting the horses.
Puckett shared a video of a disturbing incident between a pet dog and a herd attempting to fend it off on the beach. One horse even becomes so angry that it appears to attempt biting the pestering canine. The owners of the dog can be seen watching from a nearby vehicle.
"This is so incredibly dangerous, for both the dog and the horses," she warned on Facebook.
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated occurrence. There have been three incident reports in the last week of dogs harassing the stallions. In one case, a dog actually bit one of the horses. It's an "unheard of" number, and Puckett told The Sun News that she has no idea why there have suddenly been so many.
"This dog's life was certainly in danger and he is very lucky that the stallion did not severely injure or kill him. It's also lucky that no humans were injured during this incident," Puckett's Facebook post continued. "Spooked, defensive horses are unpredictable and could have turned that aggression towards people, or they could have trampled beachgoers. Continued harassment could make the horses aggressive towards dogs even if they aren't provoked."
It is illegal for dogs to roam off-leash in Currituck County, even on beaches. It's also illegal for people to get within 50 feet of the wild horses. In no circumstances should the horses be fed or touched.
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Puckett ended the post with a plea. "Please do not put your pets, the horses, or yourself in danger like this. It is illegal, irresponsible, and negligent."
If you witness an incident, please immediately call the Currituck County non-emergency number at (252) 232-2216 or CWHF at (252) 453-8002.