In the last few days there’s been a new threat to the wild Colonial Spanish mustangs of the northern Outer Banks — off-leash dogs.
The Corolla Wild Horse Fund, which manages the herd of about 100 wild horses, said they’ve been notified of at least three instances in the last week of dogs chasing and harassing the horses.
“In one case, we were told that a dog actually bit one of the horses. This is so incredibly dangerous, for both the dog and the horses,” the CWHF said.
In a video posted on the fund’s Facebook page, a large white dog is seen chasing a group of horses on the beach, with the mustangs in return charging at the dog.
“This dog’s life was certainly in danger and he is very lucky that the stallion did not severely injure or kill him,” the fund said. “It’s also lucky that no humans were injured during this incident. 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.”
Currituck County, where the wild horses live, has a county-wide leash law stating that canines must be leashed at all times. Violation of the ordinance is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 or up to 30 days in jail.
THE CWHF asks that anyone who witnesses incidents of dogs harassing horses to immediately call the Currituck Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number at 252-232-2216 or the fund at 252-453-8002.
“Please do not put your pets, the horses, or yourself in danger like this. It is illegal, irresponsible, and negligent,” the CWHF said.