Packs of wild-roaming dogs pose extreme safety threat to rural California: authorities

"Dog attacks are increasing in frequency."

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Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
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California authorities claim that packs of wild-roaming dogs pose a severe threat to remote communities, slaughtering animal livestock and attacking humans that dare to come within close proximity.

Riverside County animal control officer Harvey Beck sounded the alarm and said people need to be extra cautious of what they might encounter while traveling to a rural area, claiming that these dogs are "no joke," the Los Angeles Times reports.

Concerns have brewed, according to Beck, from canines with unrestricted access to the outside world, specifically, dogs that roam in packs, hunting and eating livestock, other pets and wildlife.

A herd of goats and two sheep were slaughtered earlier this spring by a pack of free-roaming canines consisting of three Labrador mixes, two Queensland blue heelers, and one husky. Facebook users chronicled the bloodbath with graphic images and horrifying descriptions, according to the outlet.

A woman was murdered in broad daylight by a pack of wild canines in 2018. Beck said that the situation is particularly bad in Anza, but that only paints part of the picture.

A report published by the US Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services shows that domestic dogs are the second-most lethal livestock predators, trailing behind coyotes.

Dog killings are increasing in frequency and coyotes and canines are responsible for over 70 percent of predatory sheep killings. Approximately 13,200 adult sheep were killed by canines in 2014. That number had increased by over 10,000 in the year 2019, according to the outlet. In 2015, canines were responsible for 11.3 percent of cattle and calf killings.

The Department of Animal Services in Riverside County has started to be proactive about the bloody canine situation and has begun to take proactive measures, such as delivering a spay-neuter bus to the area, hosting educational and vaccination clinics on occasion, and urging individuals to confine their pets to indoors and fenced areas.

However, Josh Sisler, the animal control field services commander, explained to the outlet that containing the problem comes at a challenge and the county's efforts can be easily undermined with one breeding season or bad actors.

"For years we tried the straight-up enforcement route," said Sisler, who explained to the LA Times that enforcement simply did not work due to dog owners not liking fines or their pets being rounded up by authorities.

However, he said, "Once they learned about the problems and were given opportunities" which include their pets being spayed, neutered, and vaccinated, the majority welcomed the measures.

A resident of Anza named Chance spoke to the outlet and said the feral canine problem has grown increasingly worse within the past few years that she is afraid to exit her vehicle in fear she will become the canines' next victim, referring to them as "bush puppies."

She explained that she has had to call Animal Control on multiple occasions and they directed her to shoot the wild dogs. However, Chance said she couldn't follow through with the instruction as it "didn't feel right" knowing they could be someone's pets.

However, Sisler told the outlet that he was shocked to learn the resident had been ordered to shoot a canine which he asserted is not a normal policy or request.

Another resident named Beck explained that the problem is Anza itself, as it attracts people "who don't want to follow the rules or laws. They think they can get away from that up here."

He said that people drive down to the area to dump their dogs that they no longer want, according to the outlet.
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Comments

Dean

Sounds like all of the illegals. Round them up and neuter 'em.

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