Last Wednesday, Sylvester Police and Worth County Animal Control units were dispatched concerning a possible dog fight at a residence on Peach Avenue. While in route to the scene, Animal Control Officer Jody Yarbrough received information that a person may have been bitten by the animal, and SPD had shot the dog.
Upon arriving, Yarbrough found a bulldog that had been shot in the neck. The dog was wearing a thick collar with an eight foot chain attached. He says the dog was injured and acting defensively as he attempted to use a control pole to capture the animal. However, the dog was being extremely aggressive and would try to bite anyone who stepped within ten feet. The attempts to capture the animal were unsuccessful, and the animal escaped into an adjacent property off of Willingham Street.
A female bulldog also lived in the area, and neither dog had been spayed or neutered, so the animal control officer suspects that may be the reason the dog broke loose and wandered into the neighborhood. However, with all of the commotion, other dogs in the neighborhood were also becoming anxious.
The wounded bulldog ran out into Highway 82 near Sunbelt Ford, and because of the traffic hazard, SPD again attempted to stop the animal with lethal force, and they were again unsuccessful. Yarbrough says he does not know how many times the animal was shot, but the dog did not stop. It was determined that the dog was a threat to people as well as the other animals in the area. So, the police officers brought out a shotgun and finally put an end to the chaotic scene.
Yarbrough says the owner of the animal could not be found. However, the owner of the female bulldog was located to ensure the animal was up to date on her rabies and other vaccinations.
From this incident, the animal control officer says there are four things dog owners should keep in mind. First, keep your dog secure in your yard as leash laws apply to both city and county residents. Second, ensure that your dog is wearing appropriate I.D. and rabies tags at all times, so the animal can be identified. Third, get your dog vaccinated annually, and the law requires dogs to be current on their rabies vaccinations. And, finally, have your dog spayed or neutered to prevent these situations from occurring.
Yarbrough says there have been at least four incidents in the last six weeks involving dogs in heat. He encourages all dog owners to visit www.spayga.com for more information on getting an animal spayed or neutered at a reduced cost.