Neighbors concerned about impalement of wildlife jumping fences in South Charlotte

Some south Charlotte neighbors are upset with their homeowners’ association after spike fences were installed because they say they are harming wildlife in the area.

Channel 9 reporter Almiya White spoke to locals about an incident over the weekend that raised alarm.

Sue Dickenson and Carol Turnbaugh said they were walking through their neighborhood when they came across a deer hanging from a spiked fence.

“We started hearing this loud noise and we knew it couldn’t be good. And then we started to hear the howls and the pain of this deer,” Dickenson told Channel 9.

Dickenson and Turnbaugh said the deer was impaled on a spiked fence.

“They just jump over like they normally do and they hook onto the spears,” Turnbaugh said. “And if it doesn’t kill them instantly, they suffer, like the one the other morning did.”

ALSO READ: Deer Dilemma: City of SC Facing Intrusive Neighbors Debate

“It’s something I never wanted to see again, that’s for sure,” Dickenson said.

“Our worst nightmare happened,” Turnbaugh said.

The women said it was an ongoing issue, so they decided to raise it on the Nextdoor app, where other residents also voiced their concerns.

“We complained, asked and pleaded,” Turnbaugh said.

Dickenson and Turnbaugh said they raised their concerns with the HOA. The association responded that the fence is a standard design, installed by the developer, and meets all codes.

In a statement, the HOA said removing the spikes would require replacing the entire fence at significant cost to homeowners. The association said that even if the fence is replaced, there is no guarantee that wildlife will not be harmed trying to cross or jump over it.

“While we are saddened by the loss of wildlife, the fence is a standard aluminum retail design installed by the developer along a public street and sidewalk. The fence meets all applicable building codes and zoning ordinances. Removal of the spikes would require the replacement of the entire fence at significant cost to the owners and will require the approval of a special appraisal by the majority of the owners to cover the expenses. Even if the fence were replaced, there is no guarantee that wild animals will not attempt to cross or jump over it, resulting in serious injury or death of the animal. There is nothing the HOA can reasonably do to prevent this from happening in the future,” said Derek Greene, president of the homeowners association.

ALSO READ: Chronic wasting disease in deer worries North Carolina wildlife officials

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department commented on the matter, saying the spikes on the fence were not the reason for the wildlife impalement.

“Honestly, it’s not the spikes. The main problem is the two crosspieces at the top,” said Bryan Harkey of CMPD Animal Control. “A deer folds its legs when jumping over objects but the hoof just passes between the top two brackets leading to impalement. From what I understand the purpose of the two top brackets is to keep it from whistling when the wind blows through the fence.

Dickenson and Turnbaugh said they still held out hope that something would change.

“We just hope there’s someone with a heart who will come together and just know that they don’t want the animals to suffer,” Dickenson said.

(WATCH BELOW: Deer’s Dilemma: SC City Faces Intrusive Neighbors Debate)

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