Local News

Durham Families Want Solution To Stray Dog Problem

Posted October 17, 2002

— Residents at Duke Park are frustrated with the stray dogs that enter their area. They claim animal control should be doing more to prevent the problem, but animal control officers claim they are doing the best they can.

Stewart Waller claims as many as nine stray dogs have terrorized his neighborhood for weeks.

"These are killer dogs. I don't know where they come from, but someone is letting their dogs out and they're forming packs," Waller said.

A few months ago, stray dogs killed Waller's cat.

"I looked down in the ivy and he was dead. The dogs had snapped his neck," Waller said.

On Wednesday night, Waller was the target.

"The big chow just lunged towards me and the others started following," he said. "It's a big problem for us. We actually started looking for somewhere else to live."

Instead of moving, Waller said he is building a fence to keep his family safe.

"I think it's ridiculous. It's like living in a Third World country," he said.

Two weeks ago, stray dogs killed Laura Lawton's cat.

"We were inside and heard our kitty cat screaming," she said. "It was terrible, very traumatic."

Both Lawton and Waller called animal control.

"The woman said, 'Sir, I couldn't catch them.' She sort of had just a defeatist attitude," Waller said.

While WRAL was talking with Waller Thursday, animal control officers came out and took eight dogs. They say the problem is widespread.

"We're putting out fires every hour of every day around the clock with a very limited staff," animal control officer Cynthia Bailey said. "You're talking about animals that can run through, run under, over things that we just can't get to."

Still, Waller thinks the city needs to do more.

"What are they going to say when one of my kids is killed? My kid shouldn't go outside? Someone, do something about the dogs, please," Waller said.

Animal control has not determined whether the dogs captured Thursday are adoptable or if they will need to be put to sleep. Bailey admits there is still a problem with stray dogs in the area, and she said if anyone comes across any stray animals, they should not approach them, but instead get a good description and call Animal Control or 911.

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