Roaming dogs recurring issue in Old Town

Published 9:40 pm Friday, July 22, 2016

Selma Old Town resident Carol Moore was woken Tuesday night by the noises of a group of dogs attacking Fat Cat, a 5- to 6-year-old cat she has had since it was a kitten.

“They came all the way up to my carport, which is right off my front porch. I heard barking and then I heard the cat screaming,” Moore said. “I ran out yelling and the dogs ran [away.]”

Unfortunately, Fat Cat didn’t survive the attack.

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The pack of roaming dogs has become a growing concern for several residents in the area, according to Moore.

She said the pack consists of about five to six dogs.

Nora Curtin, Selma Animal Shelter director, said only one official report of the dogs has been made, but she encourages people to call the shelter should they see the dogs or have problems with any dogs.

According to the city’s leash law, it is “unlawful for the owner or any person having custody of any dog to allow or permit a dog to run at large within the city and its police jurisdiction.”

“The dogs have owners, right there in Old Town. They need to put their dogs on a leash or chain them up,” Curtin said. “We’re going to pick them up and they’re going to have to pay to get them out.”

Curtin said if people’s roaming dogs are picked up, the owners must pay a $25 pick up fee.

On top of that, the owner must pay an additional $7.50 per day the dog is kept at the shelter. The owner must also provide proof of the animal’s rabies shot, or must purchase a rabies shot for the animal, before it can be released.

According to the law, if the animal is not claimed within seven days after impoundment, it becomes property of the animal shelter.

“If your yard is not fenced, that dog must be on a leash,” Curtin said.

In turn, Curtin said outdoor cats must also stay on the owner’s property.

Moore said a main concern for her is that if the dogs are attacking small animals, there is the potential they could attack children or even adults.

“It’s just not safe,” Moore said.

To report wondering dogs, call the animal shelter at 877-2204 or police dispatch at 874-2204.