Dog round ups are a regular occurrence in which dogs found roaming outside are rounded up, brought to one or more locations, and shot. This is a form of population control that has been a common practice in our northern communities for as long as we can remember.
Dave and I have been discussing the controversy surrounding the shoots/culls. We have never hidden that it has happened and that a solution is urgently needed. Part of the horror of this happening is the complacency surrounding the events.
Their faces are on the blog—Bette Davis, Bekka, the sweet pups from January of this year when 6 aggressive dogs died but 27 were saved. Or, the pups and dogs from another roundup – 12 while I was away – when an unknown number of deaths occurred. Or, in September 2010 we took in 24 – Kibbles and Barney are from that round up – 5 dogs died then – big aggressive dogs that no one could touch, and who evaded live traps.
The solution is to NOT LET IT GET THAT FAR!!
We feel there needs to be an Animal Controller in each Community. Not an animal enforcer. Complaints would go to the Council. If someone’s dog had pups; the pups would go to a safe haven and the mom would be spayed—solve both problems. If someone died and left dogs behind, then the dogs would be taken to a safe haven—right away. The Animal Controller would also educate the owners on responsible animal care—how often to feed a dog, how to provide shelter for dogs, that dogs need fresh water daily. The unwanted dogs need to be removed on an ongoing basis—not just when the dogs start running in packs. By then they are feral/aggressive/unruly/big. Hormones are running rampant in intact adult males and females. They are hungry. They chase children because the kids have food in their backpacks—a scary situation just waiting for a tragedy that so preventable. Don’t let it happen! Stop the creation of wild dogs. Remove them as soon as they are unwanted—when they still have a shred of trust of humans.
To look at statistics; over 3 years we have provided a solution to culls—now called round ups. We average 150 feral/stray dogs from the round ups per year times 3 years equals 450 dogs. They would have been shot too. There is nowhere else for them to go, maybe the puppies would have found a safe haven, maybe not, some had demodex. Some were simply shy and scared.
Dave and I know that we are not alone up here in the north country. Last year we rescued 270 dogs—180 were feral/shy/scared/wild. There are a few rescue groups working very hard. 64 more dogs were saved last year—and multitudes of cats. These groups are doing a commendable job. But the need far surpasses the aid. The sheer volume of unwanted pets is staggering. Where did they all come from?
It seems that we have regular arrivals from north of us—the result of clearing other communities of dogs and puppies. We spay and neuter the adult dogs only to have another influx of young adults show up again in a few months. It seems that dogs are being imported from other areas. It just isn’t making any sense—and the problems continue.
We are looking for viable solutions. We are hoping to implement a Coalition of Communities to set up education programs—relevant to our areas. Education is the key to responsible pet ownership. Spay/neuter will follow responsible pet care. One dog at a time. The lost souls will not be forgotten.
*Note: The photos on this page are all dogs saved from round ups.