Wild dogs killing pets and terrorizing community

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 6:38 PM EDT
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MONTGOMERY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A pack of wild dogs is killing family pets and destroying neighborhoods in the city of Montgomery, and officials are now bringing in expert techniques to capture the dogs and solve the growing issue.

Security video started capturing the dogs walking through the city at night around six months ago, Mayor Greg Ingram said. The pack has grown to around 15 dogs after having more puppies and are getting more aggressive.

Ingram said the dogs appear to live in the woods outside of town and used to be fed by an older woman who recently died. The dogs are now digging through people’s trash cans and killing pets that are left outside.

“A lot of cats have been killed in Montgomery,” Ingram said. “These dogs are fast and they’re smart. They’re wild dogs; they know how to survive.”

The city has received more than 100 reports of wild dog attacks and sightings in recent months, Ingram said. In an effort to solve the problem, the city has spent more than $5,000 to purchase a tranquilizer gun and darts to safely capture the dogs and transfer them to the Fayette County Animal Shelter for care and to be adopted to caring families.

The city has already captured two dogs over the past couple of weeks, and has established a new tip line for people to call when they spot the pack of dogs. Residents can call (304) 981-1580 at any time to reach a city official that will handle the report.

“I actually got one with the dart up here by the bridge,” Code Enforcement Officer Brian Whittington said. “Hopefully, we can get more. I just hope the community will reach out and try to help us out a little bit.”

Resident Kerry Bingaman was a victim of the wild dogs. She was woken up one morning to a lot of commotion on her porch and found two stray cats that she would feed dead on her doorstep. She looked out the window and saw a group of five to eight dogs walking down the street.

“The food bowl was empty and the cats may have been waiting or they may have been eating some that was left over from the night before,” Bingaman said. “The dogs caught them off guard.”

Bingaman said her cat is no longer allowed to go outside, even with a new large gate that has been put on their porch. Her mother is also afraid to walk the family dog without carrying pepper spray.

Montgomery Pawn Shop manager Robert Strickland said he has seen a large increase in customers looking for pellet and BB guns to chase the wild dogs away from their pets and trash cans. Some neighbors have even started using firecrackers to scare the animals away.

“If it’s becoming a nuisance like that they need to be taken to a shelter, socialized or unfortunately done something with,” Strickland said about the dogs. “I don’t think they want to kill them or anything. They just want them to leave their animals and their trash cans alone.”

The city is hoping none of the dogs are harmed, although Ingram said some residents have been shooting and killing the wild dogs whenever they are spotted. The overall goal is to protect the wild dogs and get them taken care of.

“When you have citizens coming in furious, mad, in tears because their best pet has just gotten killed, it’s time for the government to take action of some sort,” Ingram said. “We feel like this is the most responsible thing we could do.”

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