Can Professional Gunmen Stop Fayetteville’s Stray Dog Problem?
by Sharon S.
July 23, 2011

Fayetteville, NC is considering an extreme measure to clear their streets of 150 stray dogs that officials say live in packs, threaten neighbors and kill pets. The town wants to hire professional gunmen to fix the problem.

The Fayetteville Observer ran a story about the problem earlier this month and afterward Mayor Tony Chavonne received a proposal from a Fort Worth, Texas organization called the “Dangerous Animal Task Force” offering to rid the town of the dogs.

The written proposal stated the task force would send four members of their team “with trucks and tranquilizer darts to hunt the dogs for two weeks.” The darts would have GPS chips in them which would allow the gunmen to track down animals that were shot, but still able to run into the woods.

The stray dogs would then be transported to the County Animal Shelter, presumably to be euthanized.

Dr. John Lauby, director of the Animal Services Department told the Fayetteville Observer, the number of packs of stray dogs is “unusually high” this year because more owners are abandoning their pets. The retired veterinarian also reported that dogs can turn “feral” very quickly after people leave them behind.

Lauby and his officers have shot and killed nine wild dogs in the past few weeks.

City manager Dale Iman reviewed the task force’s literature and recommended the proposal to the City Council. He said, “I think we have a good chance of making an impact.”

Dangerous Animal Task Force would charge $29,000 for their “deployment”, but would not guarantee any specific results. The cost of the service would be split between Fayetteville and the county.

In their proposal, the task force described their mission as “to assist law enforcement and other local authorities in emergency situations and natural disasters where dangerous animals are involved.”

The Ohmidog blog reported on this story and brought up some very interesting alternatives to shooting dogs in the streets. “Rather than a gun-toting dog posse, wouldn’t it make more sense to seek help from a group like Best Friends Animal Society or the Humane Society of the United States, who could evaluate the animals as individuals, rather than as trophies?”

“If Michael Vick’s dogs, after what they went through, could be rehabilitated and become family pets, don’t these deserve a chance? And why isn’t anyone speaking up for them?”

The blog also said the town of Fayetteville doesn’t have its own animal shelter. This fact surely played a huge role in the large number of dogs left to fend for themselves.

Fayetteville’s plan appears to be shortsighted. It doesn’t account for dogs that will be abandoned in the future, solutions like spay and neuter programs or building a safe animal shelter where owners can relinquish their pets when they are unable to care for them.

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