Cumberland County trying to trap packs of wild dogs
Posted July 29, 2011 2:57 p.m. EDT
Updated July 29, 2011 11:01 p.m. EDT
Fayetteville, N.C. — Packs of wild dogs in Cumberland County are more than a nuisance. They are a threat to public safety which animal control officers are trying to limit by asking the public for help.
"We have got to do something to protect the citizens of our county," said Cumberland County Animal Control Director John Lauby.
The agency is stepping up its efforts to trap, remove and euthanize about 10 packs, or up to 150 dogs, which 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 other 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.
"Think more of a lion or tiger walking around in dog's clothing," Lauby said.
Sean Lawson has seen and heard the evidence of the pack in his neighborhood on Abbottswood Drive near Ramsey Street. He described hearing barking, growling and scratching on the side of his house. "I thought someone was trying to get inside the house," he said.
Officials have asked that residents report when and where they see the dogs, so that traps can be placed.
"Our preference is to trap them and capture them and bring them here and deal with them humanly here in the shelter," Lauby said. 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.
An outbreak of rabies among the pack dogs, county health director Buck Wilson said, would likely create an imminent public health hazard.
Animal control and health officials advise that residents have their pets vaccinated against rabies and to not feed any stray dogs they might see.
Cumberland County has had seven other reported cases of rabies this year. Four have involved raccoons and three have involved bats.
Of those cases, only three tested positive for the disease. The other four had unsatisfactory results.