The small town of Ferris, Texas has resorted to drastic measures to control its wild dog population. The town of 2,300 people has given the okay for its police to shoot the dogs.
For years dog owners have dumped their dogs around the town’s environs. The hungry dogs formd packs and scavenge the town for food.
Although the police will not hunt for the dogs without cause, they will respond when a resident asks for help. The police will first try to catch dogs humanely. If that does not work, shotguns will be used.
“It’s not a task anybody relishes down here,” Police Chief Frank Mooney said. “You have to take care of the situation now or wait until someone’s dead.”
Ferris authorities claim they have tried other methods with no success. Ferris has one animal control officer. When the 50-100 dogs see the animal control vehicle, they flee, making capture nearly impossible.
Predictably, animal rights advocates are outraged. They claim the city could trap the dogs or mete out punishment to those responsible for dumping the dogs on the streets.
Some have called for the drastic action out of fear that a small child will eventually be mauled.
However, opponents have expressed concern that family pets will be killed. Critics have said if the dogs are going to be shot, then shoot them with a tranquilizer, take them to a shelter, seek a home for them or euthanize them humanely. They claim wounded and frightened dogs will only become more dangerous.
The city remains unconvinced.
“We haven’t gotten any since this new policy went into effect and I hope it stays that way. I hope the dogs get the message that we’re out here and you need to go somewhere else,” said Chief Mooney.
Ferris is about 20 miles south of Dallas.