Local News

34 wild dogs captured in Cumberland County

Posted August 9, 2011 4:54 p.m. EDT

— Animal control officers in Cumberland County has picked up 34 wild pack dogs in the past two weeks, officials said Tuesday.

Cumberland County Animal Control on July 29 announced it was stepping up its efforts to trap, remove and euthanize about 10 packs, or up to 150 dogs, that have been reported in several areas of Fayetteville, including Village Drive, McPherson Church Road, Cliffdale Road, Haymount, Kingsford, VanStory Hills, Glendale Acres, Murray Hills, Raeford Road and the downtown area.

The animals, some of which may be pets abandoned by their owners, may be carrying diseases and have already killed some smaller animals. A pack that attacked and killed a fox could be at risk of rabies. Test results on the fox, which was killed in the Raeford Road area, had an "unsatisfactory result" for rabies, meaning public health officials must treat it as a positive case.

An outbreak of rabies among the pack dogs, county health director Buck Wilson said, would likely create an imminent public health hazard.

All captured dogs are taken to the county animal shelter and evaluated. Those found to be ill are euthanized immediately. All others must be held 72 hours in accordance with state law. During that time, they are evaluated, and any that show signs that they may be adoptable are held for further evaluation. Aggressive dogs are euthanized after the 72-hour period.

One captured pack dog was evaluated and determined to be safe to adopt out and now has a new home, officials said.

Animal control and health officials urged residents to have their pets vaccinated against rabies and warned them against feeding any stray dogs they might see.

Cumberland County has had 11 confirmed or suspected cases of rabies this year.

The animal control office is open during business hours Monday through Friday at 910-321-6861. Residents should call the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office at 910-323-1500 after 5 p.m. and on weekends.