Group protests dog roundup in Fayetteville

Animal rights protestors

August 16, 2011 7:00:47 PM PDT
Cumberland County animal control officers are under fire for hunting down wild and stray dogs in the county.

A group of animal rights activists marched through downtown Fayetteville Tuesday afternoon, protesting the way wild dog packs are being hunted by animal control.

Activist Amy Frey says she's on a crusade to save innocent lives.

"We are concerned about the shootings in our neighborhoods, of these feral dogs," Frey said. "We can't confirm information whether the dogs are being shot lethally on-sight or if they are being put down."

"It's incredibly inhumane to be shooting animals on sight," activist Melissa Katzenbeger said. "Pets do get out of their yards once in a while, and they are not trapping these animals and assessing them for behavior."

The county has hired a private company to track and capture up to 150 dogs that are reportedly roaming neighborhoods. So far, the county says 22 animals have been captured and 33 have been shot and killed.

The animal rights activists say they object to lethal force.

"I'm sure that not every time they shoot a shot, they are killing instantly," activist Kathy Hynes said. "I'm sure the animal is injured at some point, and they have to track it down and finish the job."

In an e-mail statement, animal control director John Lauby said in part, "Their goal is to trap the dogs. If the dogs cannot be trapped and are in a safe area, then off-shelter euthanasia is used."

Wild dog packs have been reported in several neighborhoods and have reportedly killed 15 pets this year.

Many residents support the county's efforts.

"I am an animal lover, but it's dangerous to have these dogs running around, especially with children and its dangerous to others dog too," resident Lauren Slepian said.

The activists say they are not opposed to euthanizing dangerous dogs but want to make sure that animal control doesn't kill someone's pet or friendly strays that could be adopted.

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