Stray canines infest Shelby
by Paisley Boston
Feb 20, 2014 | 3058 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Shelby's community clean up has lead to a dog infestation.

In Tuesday's Bolivar County Board of Supervisor meeting, Supervisor Preston Billings said Shelby is undergoing a massive dog uprising.

"Dogs have been coming into I guess what was once their home site. We have a multitude of dogs, puppies and pregnant female dogs," said Billings.

"I guess they are coming from the exterior part of the county in efforts of going back to their regular habitat," he added.

According to Billings the animals have been attacking citizens and he is requesting help from the county and dogcatcher to assist in controlling the situation.

"We are talking about 35 to 50 dogs traveling in packs. They are coming early in the morning or late in the afternoon," he said.

"I can't tell citizens what to do or not to do in this situation. Use good judgment to protect yourself and your family and that is all that I can tell you," continued Billings.

Sheriff Kelvin Williams said he is well aware of the situation and he has been working diligently to control the massive dog invasion.

"I really do not know how to completely resolve the situation other than try to continue helping the dogcatcher," said Williams.

He said he has been receiving multiple phone calls from citizens who are outraged about the recent dog uprising throughout the county.

"Over the years and prior to me taking on this position, we have assisted municipalities by getting dogs off of the streets," he said

"We only have one dogcatcher for the second largest county in the state. The dogcatcher has a large load and he is trying to catch up. One person can not do it all, he works from one end of the county to another," added Williams.

Williams said the dog catcher is suppose to be responsible for the rural areas but the sheriff department has been generous in trying to assist the county with the current dog situation.

According to Williams the animal control person has a trustee or inmate who assists him and they have not been able to keep up with the number of calls and complaints.

"There are times when we receive calls about dogs and by the time we get there, the dogs are not there. Dogs are very smart and I think that they can recognize the animal control truck," he continued.

"Once the dog catcher retrieves dogs, he then takes them to the shelter which is very overcrowded with dogs. That place has just about been filled to its capacity with dogs," he added.

According to Williams, the county uses the Cleveland-Bolivar County Animal Shelter and it is intended to be for Cleveland but the county pays for the use of the shelter after retrieving dogs in the county.

"We set traps and we have even asked some towns to buy traps. We do not mind going out to assist them with setting the traps up," he added.

Animal Control and Dispatcher Richard Brown said that he responds to around 40 to 50 calls a day and he is doing his best to take control of the current dog situation.

"There are times when I respond to calls about dogs but when I get there the dog is gone or in the process of fleeing after he or she sees my truck. If it is really cold, they tend not to come out," said Brown.

"We are really getting ready to see a large number of dogs because of the warmer weather," said Brown.

He said one of the primary reasons that the county is experiencing such a large number of stray dogs is because dogs breed twice a year.

"If we can gain control of the stray female dogs then we can slow down the population," he added.

Brown said that he is doing the best that he can to regulate the problem but he also needs the help of citizens.

"I advise citizens to please reframe from feeding stray animals. Some stray animals become vicious once they have been feed," said Brown.