Monday, December 1, 2003

Dogs no longer threat in suburb


Four wilds strays killed or captured

By Liz Oakes
The Cincinnati Enquirer

WYOMING - The four stray dogs that had chased deer across yards and frightened residents for months have been caught, police and animal-control officials said Sunday.

"We've caught one and destroyed three," Chief Jackie Roy said. "Those were the ones that were running together as a group."

Police had stepped up patrols and animal-control officials had flown over woods in a helicopter trying to find the animals. At a city council meeting two weeks ago, residents said they had killed an eight-point buck and threatened people.

"It's a relief for me, because I don't have to look over my shoulder every two minutes," said Suzanne Levine of Hickory Hill Lane, who said she had been confronted by the dogs and started carrying Mace when she walked her puppy.

One of the dogs was caught in a trap on Hidden Valley Lane on Wednesday, officials said.

That same day, police staking out Hidden Valley Lane shot three more of the dogs, killing two of them, Roy said. The fourth dog, which was injured, was caught in the trap the next day, he said.

Andy Mahlman, operations manager for the local Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said the injured dog was euthanized.

The dog caught unharmed is now at the shelter, he said. Mahlman said a veterinarian will decide if it also should be euthanized.

"I don't think it would be a good candidate for adoption," Mahlman said.

The SPCA had received a flurry of calls about the animals since the pack's existence was publicized two weeks ago.

Animal-control officials on Nov. 21 placed a trap by Dumpsters in Winton Woods, where officials thought the dogs had been getting into garbage. The SPCA also placed a trap in Springfield Township; all three traps were removed over the weekend.

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Department had even loaned use of a helicopter in an attempt to spot the stray dogs from the air, Mahlman said. But thick brush hampered efforts, he said.

"There's always going to be stray dogs," Roy said, but he hopes the capture relieves residents' worries. "If it was my family, I wouldn't want them to be afraid there was a pack of dogs out there, either," he said.

Several residents wished they had been told about the dog pack earlier.

"I would have liked to have known about it a little sooner," said Alyson Richards of Brocdorf Drive. "That kind of upset me a little bit, because I have a 2-year-old."

They might not have played outside if she had known the extent of the problem, Richards said.

"I think (city officials) have a responsibility to at least inform people, and then they can take the action that they need," said Gloria Peerless, who also lives on Brocdorf.

She added, "Neighbors don't always tell neighbors."

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E-mail loakes@enquirer.com




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A note about changes in the Enquirer

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