Ferriday to start picking up stray dogs

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 18, 2009

FERRIDAY — Come January, stray dogs in Ferriday might not be so brazen when it comes to digging in garbage and stepping out into the main drag.

That’s because January is when Mayor Glen McGlothin said he hopes to have the town start picking up strays and otherwise loose dogs.

“I have just gotten so many complaints, and the aldermen have gotten complaints and everybody else has gotten complaints, and it has finally come to a head, and we have to do something about it,” he said.

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Ferriday’s feral dog problem has been a problem for years, and while the topic has come up several times, nothing has been done in recent years.

“Anybody who has been through Ferriday knows we have a dog problem,” McGlothin said.

The town already has a leash law on the books, but currently doesn’t have any personnel trained to handle the animals.

Likewise, the town is short on space to house animals that are picked up.

McGlothin said that, if he can’t work something out with the local non-profit group that owns the former animal shelter in Ferriday, the police station has a six-animal pen behind it that can be repaired.

“The cage is going to take a little work,” he said. “We are going to have to put a top on it, we have to put some water there and have to build some kind of inside shelter for the dogs to bed up in.”

As for personnel who can handle the animals, McGlothin said he has two town employees in mind who he would send to the LSU Veterinary School to learn proper handling procedures.

“I don’t want to be killing any dogs, but I know we’re going to have to, so I am going to have these guys trained right,” he said. “We want to do it right, we want to do it lawfully and we want to do it humanely.”

The root of the problem is not so much in people abandoning animals, though that is a problem, as it is in the unmitigated reproduction of feral — and pet — dogs, McGlothin said.

“We’re going to see if we can’t get somebody to come in and offer a spay and neuter program,” he said.

The owners of any animals that are picked up will be responsible for the costs the town incurs, McGlothin said.

“I know that there are a lot of dogs in Ferriday that do not have owners, and I know a lot of people that, when you ask them for money, all of that love and devotion to that dog will dry up,” he said.

“But we’re going to insist the dog have a collar on them with tags, and we’re going to insist the dog be confined, not run the streets, and have his rabies shot and identification.”