(An update to this story can be found here.)
Apparently gunning down stray dogs on the streets wasn’t enough for the dog unfriendly officials of Cumberland County, North Carolina.
Now they want to slay, within 72 hours, every dog that comes into the shelter who is, or appears to be a mix of:
American Staffordshire terrier, Rottweiller, Akita, chow chow, Doberman pinscher, German shepherd, Great Dane, Presa Canario, Siberian husky or mastiff. There’s a convenient catch-all pit bull category as well.
They’re not doing it yet, despite what you may be reading on the misinformation highway.
But they’re talking about it.
The county’s Animal Control Board is recommending that authorities limit the adoption of the above dog breeds, or, as one county official referred to them, ”attack animals.” (Clearly, they haven’t met many Great Danes.)
The idea is only in the discussion stages, but many websites are reporting –erroneously — that the new policy goes into effect today.
“I’ve probably had 1,500 emails,” said John Lauby, director of Cumberland County Animal Control. (Here’s hoping he gets about 150,000 more.)
Lauby told a Fayetteville Observer columnist that misinformation on the Internet led people to believe the county will ban adoption of pit bulls and other breeds starting Monday, and immediately euthanize any members of those breeds in the shelter.
In reality, the county hasn’t taken that medieval step, it’s just considering it.
“We’re looking at a list of animals used as attack animals,” County Commissioner Charles Evans said. “It has been suggested that something needs to be done about those.”
The recommendation would have to make its way through a committe and then require approval by the county commissioners before going into effect. But it’s scheduled to be introduced at a meeting tonight. (6 p.m., at Cumberland County Animal Services, 4704 Corporation Drive, Fayetteville).
Lauby said animal control constantly receives calls from residents complaining about dogs behaving aggressively or running loose, preventing people from getting into their cars.
“We have an inordinate number of pit bulls in the county that are chasing people, chasing dogs, they’re on school grounds and generally bother people,” he said. “The reality is that about 80 percent of our calls are related to that particular breed.”
Complaints from the public also led Cumberland County to hire an outside contractor to capture stray dogs in and around Fayetteville — a massive roundup that started in August and, at last report, led to more dogs being gunned down than caught alive.
Fayetteville doesn’t have its own animal control department, instead relying on the county office to handle dog-related issues.
As I’ve implied before, that might be part of the problem — the problem, in my view, being not just too many uncontrolled dogs, but too many unenlightened public servants, who see dogs as foes and death as a solution.
Maybe it’s the army base influence. In any event, someone needs to usher Cumberland County into modern times.
In a way, the proposed policy — while it it lists some new ”public enemy” breeds, like the husky, and some returning ones, like the shepherd — would only formalize what’s already common practice in the county.
Since April, Cumberland County Animal Control has taken in nearly 1,300 pit bulls, but only 124 have been adopted. The shelter has taken in 180 Rottweilers since then, only 26 of whom were adopted. Of 96 chow chows received at the shelter since April, 15 have been adopted, according to the Fayetteville Observer.
The rest are euthanized.
Now, some want to make it official, banning the adoption of any of those breeds and guaranteeing a death sentence for all of them, or any mixes thereof — all based on what will likely be, judging from the wisdom they’ve shown so far, an uneducated guess.
In addition to complaints, worries about liability issues are also behind the proposal. The county fears it might be held responsible for any damage done by dogs adopted from its shelter. Most shelters handle that with a simple waiver.
If you’d like to give Cumberland County officials a piece of your mind — and it appears they could use it — continue reading for contact information.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 5th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoptions, aggressive, akita, american staffordshire terrier, animal control, attack animals, automatically, banned, bans, breed, breeds, bully breeds, captured, chow, contact, cumberland county, death, doberman, erroneous, euthanasia, euthanized, fayetteville, german shepherd, great dane, internet, john lauby, kill, killed, liability, mastiff, north carolina, petitions, pit bulls, pitbulls, presa canario, proposal, purge, reports, rottweiler, shelter, shot, siberian husky, strays, three days
The rural North Texas town of Ferris — about 20 miles south of Dallas — has approved a policy that allows authorities to shoot “wild” roaming dogs.
Ferris City Manager David Chavez said the Ellis County town approved the policy because it was becoming a dumping ground for unwanted pets. People drive out to the country to release pets they no longer want, but the starving animals breed, form packs and wind up scavenging for food, he said.
Ferris Police Chief Frank Mooney said the city would shoot only “potentially violent dogs,” and only as a last resort — after attempts to humanely capture the animal had failed.
Every dog (like every human) is “potentially violent,” especially when it sees a lynch mob coming after it. My dog once roamed the streets himself, and gentle as he is, I’m sure he might have given indications otherwise if someone came after him with a rope or pole, much less a shotgun, which the new policy permits. I’m not entirely sure smalltown Texas lawmen should be acting as judge, jury and executioner.
As you might expect, the new policy has enraged animal welfare advocates.
“It’s unfathomable to me that the city of Ferris just outlandishly wants to go out and shoot these stray dogs,” Niloofar Asgharian, a board member of the nonprofit Animal Connection of Texas, said in a story in the Dallas Morning News. “It doesn’t do anything except that these dogs end up dying a slow, miserable death.”
Animal welfare advocates have suggested trapping the animals and better enforcing laws that prohibit dumping dogs.
“It seems like a cruel punishment to the animal when the blame is on people,” said Sherwin Daryani, the executive director of Operation Kindness.
There are 50 to 100 feral dogs roaming Ferris’ streets, said Misty Clark, the city’s lone animal control officer.
The town of Ferris can be reached through this contact form.
(Image: From dallasartsreview.com, ”Stray Dog,” a painting by Roger Winter, an artist and teacher from Denison, Texas, who served on the faculty of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 29th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, aggressive, animal connection of texas, animal control, animal welfare, contact, dallas morning news, dogs, dumped, feral, ferris, law enforcement, news, ohmidog!, operation kindness, opinion, policy, shoot, shotgun, texas, wild