Last month the town of Fayetteville, NC considered hiring professional gunmen to clear the streets of wild dog packs because they threaten neighbors and kill pets. The feral packs formed after a record number of pet owners abandoned their dogs by turning them loose.
Officials ditched the hired guns and contracted with a company that uses more humane techniques. But ultimately most of the dogs will still die.
The pair of two-man teams from Mims Wildlife Control has already removed six dogs from Fayetteville neighborhoods. According to John Lauby, director of Animal Services, they will continue to trap the estimated 150 stray dogs for the next 30 days.
The roundups were immediately put into action over fear of a rabies outbreak and because the feral packs have increased their attacks on wildlife and pets.
Fayetteville decided against using professional gunmen from the Dangerous Animal Task Force after City Manager Dale Iman found the Teaxs-based company was “not a registered entity” and that it didn’t “have a lot of experience to go by.”
Instead the town turned to a local company called Mims Wildlife Control which is not authorized to kill dogs during their roundup attempts.
Mims will use humane traps that will be placed inside small tunnels that have been dug by the pack dogs so they can move freely through wooded areas.
“We’ll be able to capture a lot more of them humanely and bring them to the shelter,” Lauby said to the Fayetteville Observer.
All of the dogs caught will be brought to the animal shelter and kept for three days by law. Lauby, who is a retired veterinarian, said each dog’s behavior will be “assessed for adoptability” and “some that have not been with packs for long can be found homes.”
But he doesn’t have much hope for the majority of the dogs which will be euthanized. “Feral dogs are not like pets that you and I know,” he said. “They are like wild lions and tigers; they are very dangerous.”
Lauby told the County Commissioners the problem originated with dogs that are lost, abandoned or turned loose by their owners. He told them Fayetteville needed to educate residents about the responsibilities of pet ownership.
“We’re going to have to deal with this problem in the county for years to come,” said Lauby.
Photo from cod gabriel via flickr.