Hired guns bid to rid Fayetteville of dogs
Professional dog hunters from Texas (where else?) may be called in to help “solve” Fayetteville, N.C.’s stray dog problem.
A Fort Worth, Texas-based outfit called the “Dangerous Animal Task Force,” or DATF, for short, offered its services to the city in a letter last week to Mayor Tony Chavonne, the Fayetteville Observer reported.
The Observer reported earlier this month that up to 150 “wild dogs” are roaming city neighborhoods, ”killing pets and threatening residents,” and that the county’s Animal Services Department had limited resources to capture the feral canines.
(There is no city animal control office, which may help explain why there’s a problem in the first place.)
DATF (no, that’s not them in the photo — just a generic posse) has proposed sending four representatives to the city who would spend two weeks hunting the dogs with tranquilizer darts.
The darts would include GPS chips that — assuming the darts stay intact — would allow the hunters to find animals who kept running after being shot. The animals would then be taken to the county animal shelter.
I’m sure you can guess what would happen there — although that part of it isn’t being talked about much.
City Manager Dale Iman briefed the City Council this week about the “task force,” saying, ”I think we have a good chance of making an impact.” The two-week “deployment” — to use DATF’s terminology — would cost $29,000, with the city and county splitting the cost.
According to the group’s letter, its mission is to assist law enforcement and other local authorities in emergency situations, natural disasters and other events in which dangerous animals are involved.
The company’s website — it does not appear to be a non-profit organization, though it does seek donations – is a pretty bare bones affair, peppered with photos of violent animals and Homeland Security and FEMA logos. It offers no information in the way of actual cases it has handled.
Nobody asked me, but my advice to Fayetteville would be to think hard about calling in hired guns. Their shoot- first-ask-questions-later approach could easily lead to some pets being bagged along with the so-called feral dogs — and while the professional hunters will only be tranquilizing them, some missing and wandering pets could be swept up, and subjected to step two.
Rather than a gun-toting dog posse, wouldn’t it make more sense to seek help from a group like Best Friends Animal Society or the Humane Society of the United States, who could evaluate the animals as individuals, rather than as trophies?
There was a time in America when bounties were placed on dogs. Calling in gunmen is a little too reminiscent of that for me.
I’m not disputing that many or even most of the dogs to be hunted are dangerous — but does a generation or two living back in the wild make them hopeless cases?
If Michael Vick’s dogs, after what they went through, could be rehabilitated and become family pets, don’t these deserve a chance? And why isn’t anyone speaking up for them?
Posted by jwoestendiek July 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, bounty hunters, city council, dangerous animals, dangerous animals task force, darts, datf, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, exterminating, fayetteville, feral, help, hunters, hunting dogs, north carolina, pets, posse, problem, professional, shooting, shooting dogs, shooting strays, strays, texas, tranquilizer darts, wild