Tethering committee appointment questioned | Orange County | Indy Week
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Tethering committee appointment questioned 

A member of Orange County's Animal Services Advisory Board is calling for the removal of a member of the subcommittee studying whether the county should limit or ban the practice of chaining dogs.

"Ms. [Alane] Koki has misrepresented herself, and it is an insult to the community," Ross Oglesbee said. "This woman should be prosecuted for the violation of the public trust."

Oglesbee, the Carrboro representative to the ASAB, confronted Koki and her colleagues at an April 11 meeting of the tethering committee, and followed up with an April 12 e-mail to county commissioners urging them to review Koki's appointment.

A story in last week's Independent ("Member of Orange County's chained-dog study panel has ties to dog-fighting") detailed Koki's background as a breeder of pit bulls and her connections to known dog-fighters—a history she didn't include in her application for the "animal wellness/health expert" seat on the committee considering changes to the county's laws.

"This is outrageous," Koki replied to Oglesbee.

In an interview later, Koki denied being involved in dog-fighting or having a prior business relationship with local breeder Tom Garner, a convicted dog fighter who keeps about 50 pit bulls on chains at his home near Hillsborough.

In an e-mail to Animal Services Director Bob Marotto, Koki complained that her application to the committee—which is public record under N.C. law—had been provided to the press, and called questions from the Independent "harassment."

"I will not have my professional credibility, nor my long history of responsible canine ownership, questioned nor attacked," Koki wrote.

Meanwhile, the committee will hold a public forum on dog tethering April 23 at 7 p.m. in the courthouse at 106 E. Margaret Lane in Hillsborough, and is scheduled to make recommendations by June 1.

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