Local News

Cumberland's attempt to corral wild dogs raises concern

Posted August 15, 2011

— Animal control officers in Cumberland County have received about 200 calls and emails from across the country since Friday protesting the county's effort to eradicate packs of wild dogs.

The county announced July 29 that it would step up its efforts to trap, remove and euthanize up to 150 dogs that had been seen roaming in 10 packs in several areas of Fayetteville. The dogs had killed some small animals and could be carrying rabies or other diseases, officials said.

Since then, animal control officers and a contractor hired by the county have shot and killed 33 dogs and captured another 22.

"I think it's horrible. I can't believe this policy is even in practice in this country," Stacey Morris of Staunton, Va., who wrote an email to WRAL News, said Monday.

"These people hired gunmen and killed scared, innocent dogs," Laura Roberts of Road Home Rescue in Cary wrote in an email to WRAL News. "How did they become feral or wild dogs? People dumped them on the street and they are trying to survive."

Animal Control Director Dr. John Lauby declined to comment, citing the negative publicity the eradication program has generated.

County spokeswoman Sally Shutt issued a statement stressing that the goal of the program is to trap the dogs alive but noting that many of the aggressive dogs are savvy to the cages.

"We are being proactive in preventing more pets from being killed and from having a child or even an adult attacked. We have to put the safety of the public first," Shutt said.

Fifteen pets have been killed in their own yards by pack dogs since Jan. 1, she said.

Dog trap, dog cage Cumberland's attempt to corral wild dogs raises concern

Henry Pridgen said seven wild dogs recently threatened him outside his mobile home, off Pamalee Drive and Murchison Road. He said he threw items on his porch at the dogs, ran inside and fired a pellet gun at them to scare them off.

"You have to walk to your mailbox. You have to walk up there, and you don't know what's going to happen, especially if you've got wild dogs in the area," Pridgen said. “There is a lady over there 97 years old, and she walks back and forth to her mailbox, and if they get up after her, (she would) be in trouble.”

Freddie Mims of Mims Wildlife Control set out cages to capture the dogs from beneath a nearby mobile home, where they had been living. Five of the seven dogs had to be shot because they couldn't be trapped, Mims said, declining to comment further.

Landlord Victor Cirello said Pridgen and other tenants, including many small children and senior citizens, were living in fear before the dogs were killed.

"I hate to see it happen. I love the animals," Cirello said. "It's not the animals' fault, but when it come to a human life, that's got to be the preference over everything, as far as I'm concerned."

Wild dogs also have been reported off Village Drive, McPherson Church Road, Cliffdale Road and Raeford Road and the Haymount, Kingsford, VanStory Hills, Glendale Acres and Murray Hills neighborhoods.

Dogs brought to the county animal shelter are assessed to see if they can be adopted, but officials say many of them are just too wild.


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  • newsmonkey Aug 17, 2011

    Wild dogs are extremely dangerous to people -- men, women, children, elderly -- to pets, to wildlife and to each other. Yes, it's unfortunate the dogs were turned loose, but kudos to Cumberland County for being adults and taking care of the problem. If those 200 callers don't like it, they can come out here and collect the sweet little rabid murdering pack animals, themselves. They better hurry up, before someone's beloved baby, grandma or poodle is killed.

  • Iworkforaliving Aug 17, 2011

    Cumberland counties animal control is doing a good job, unlike some of the worthless people collecting a check in franklin county. I was once lectured on how I was trying to get someone in trouble for asking them to check on someone keeping 35 dogs in 4 small pens on land he wasn't even staying at.

  • james27613 Aug 16, 2011

    If the dogs are now wild and part of the pack they need to be put down asap, if one child gets rabies that would be tragic.

    .22 is all you need to put them down.

  • mmtlash Aug 16, 2011

    I bet alot of these wild dogs aren't even former pets but probably the offspring...

  • Lost and Loaded Aug 16, 2011

    Nobody but the twisted wants to put down "innocent" dogs, these wild packs of formally domesticated animals are hardly that. They are very smart to the ways of man and hence many times more dangerous. Hard to catch, so they must be put down, they are just too dangerous to allow to run wild attacking pets, truly innocent other animals, and threatening if not even attacking humans. Most will never be capable of being well behaved pets again. It's not a perfect world poor bleeding hearts - and sometimes the methods we need to use keep our citizens safe may seem barbaric - but imagine the consequences if these animals were allowed to attack humans unrestrained. I'm sorry, animals don't have an equal right to exist w/humans, especially if they are aggressive or harmful to us.

  • penelope1 Aug 16, 2011

    I came across a pack of wild dogs when I was a kid; me and sister couldn't get off the school bus. They were vicious and they were covered in blood; I had no doubt they would have attacked us if we got off that bus that day. We noticed that all our chickens about 30 were all dead and our meighbors cow had been killed. They didn't eat any of the animals the just killed them. These type of dogs can't be made into pets. There are a lot of animal lovers out there but you wouldn't love these dogs if you came face to face with one. How would you feel if they killed a child?

  • kendudewalters Aug 16, 2011

    Seems obvious that many people have not been around or near wild dogs. They are dangerous and do not back down. I have been bitten and it is not a pleasant experience.

  • SouthernGirlJD Aug 16, 2011

    I say put the dogs down before they kill a child, even if the animals do not have rabies have you seen how packed the shelter in Cumberland County is?! I love animals and its sad, but sometimes these things need to be done.

  • lo5tinthewoods Aug 16, 2011

    I have volunteered for various rescues, and worked as a vet assistant. If rabies is suspected, you can A. Put the dog under quarantine for 6 months or B. Do a necropsy of the animal's brain to confirm rabies infection. For those who are upset about the dogs being shot, where will they be quarantined? Who will pay for it? Or should dogs who are possibly rabid be adopted into the community? This is not a pleasant sitution, but I do not see an alternative. I love animals and hate animal cruelty, but there is no other practical solution. Shame on the individuals who release unwanted, unspayed and unneutered animals into the community.

  • mchljam2 Aug 16, 2011

    Deathrow-Ifeelyourpain-Not, right on same situation with my husband, son and a neighbor. The neighbor who's company left their dogs roam free were almost minus one dog. Unless you are threatened you can't POSSIBLY understand. Very SCARY situation. Also the people commenting from areas is really a mute point since they nor their family are being threatened!!