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CoastLine: Animal Rights, Ethics, and Current Practices

Brunswick County Sheriff's Office
Winnie is a pit bull terrier mix, is about 2 years old, and has been at the Brunswick County Animal Protective Services Shelter since February 21st.

One community in Virginia is looking closely at its animal ordinances.  A Wicomico County council member observes that the governing body did a good job of putting ordinances in place to protect people from dangerous dogs several years ago, but they hadn’t done much to protect dogs from people who are irresponsible or cruel.  That’s according to the Delmarva Review.  So the county is reconvening a Dog Review Committee – this time -- to look at regulations through the dogs’ eyes. 

In the Cape Fear region, there are a smattering of animal rescue organizations, there are different dangerous dog ordinances from municipality to municipality, and there are vastly differing practices among residents across southeastern North Carolina – which ranges from broadly rural to urban to suburban -- when it comes to the care of their companion animals.    

It was 2012 that the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office acquired Animal Protective Services. 

On this edition of CoastLine, we’ll find out why that move was made, how it’s working, and what the current standards are in Brunswick County.  We’ll explore why a new animal advocacy group has opened up shop there recently.  And we’ll also hear from one animal ethicist who studies the moral constructs that do exist or, perhaps, should exist in the relationships between humans and animals.   


Jeff Sebo, Ph.D., New York University; Research Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Associate Director of the Parr Center for Ethics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Mary Beth Mount, Vice President of Advocates for Animal Rights in Brunswick County under the auspices of the Humane Society of the United States. 

Captain Mose Highsmith, Captain of Professional Standards / Staff Attorney for the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office


Animal Protective Services, Brunswick County Sheriff's Office

Brunswick County Sheriff's Office Animal Adoption Facebook page

For a smile: 

Captain Highsmith's adopted puppy Howie:  How's Howie Facebook page

Jeff Sebo's dog Smokey also has his own page:  Smoky Sebellody

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.