Cumberland Co Animal Services in NC is offering a new service: shooting stray dogs with crossbows. Veterinarian John Lauby is director of Animal Services and says, although his ACOs haven’t used the crossbow on any dogs yet, they might use it in “extreme circumstances”.
Lauby said pack dogs are wily and can’t be caught, trapped or tranquilized. They are able to slip away before tranquilizer darts take effect and can’t be found once they do, he said.
Most encounters with pack dogs occur in neighborhoods at night, when the dogs are active, Lauby said.
Shotguns and rifles can’t be used safely in residential areas because of the danger of ricochets.
But shooting a crossbow in a neighborhood in the dark is what – safe?
Since Dr. Lauby appears to have already ruled out catching, trapping, tranquilizing and shooting the packs of dogs, I wondered how the crossbow could be described as a “weapon of last resort”. What are the county’s preferred methods for removing the stray dogs? In order to have a “last resort”, you have to have a list of preferred options that must be exhausted first. So what’s on this list? I asked both the county manager and the shelter this very question yesterday but haven’t received any replies. If I do, I will update this post.
The story has been picked up by the AP so perhaps public pressure will force the county to come to their senses on this issue.
Thanks to everyone who sent me links about this story.