Wandering dogs are killing wandering cats. It is all our fault. How do we feel about causing this pain and distress?
It does not matter on which side of the Atlantic you live, feral dogs or wandering domesticate dogs, are a danger to outdoor cats, including, of course, feral cats. But how big a problem is it?
We hear a lot about feral cats and the “health hazard” they represent to us but I don’t recall seeing much about feral dogs and the ongoing raw danger they represent to people and their outdoor cat companions.
The problem of roaming feral dogs, or domesticated but out-of-control dogs, killing cats and being a danger to people appears to occur with similar regularity in the UK and USA based on press reports but that is misleading. The law in the UK curbs irresponsible dog ownership.
There was a recent case in Cleveland, USA. It is not known if the dogs are truly feral or wandering pets.
In attacks that occurred in Cleveland, Ohio, a pack of three or four dogs were the culprits. They roamed and killed – we are told 15 cats so far. They killed cats without an apparent motivation to eat but simply to kill. One of the cats was living in a shelter and was dragged from it and killed. The dogs appear to be well fed and outdoor domestic dogs. They were a variety of breeds: Doberman and Labrador for example.
In a similar story across the pond, also from October 2014, a pack of three “wild dogs” have been roaming around the town of Strood in Kent, UK. One resident said the dogs looked like hyenas. She was referring to the coloring and markings. They are much smaller than a hyena. They are probably more like the African wild dog. These dogs appear to be genuinely feral and I wonder if they are African wild dogs.
You only need to watch the first 30 seconds on this video to see the dogs but the attack on a cat takes place towards the end I believe:
The same gang of canine killers had killed earlier. The first attack was on a black cat named Coco, a much loved companion. In all, seven cats have been killed on this housing estate.
“Coco was a one in a million cat who we’ll miss so much. They (the dogs) may well go for a child if they are hungry enough – they pose a big threat.” (Amanda Tye, 32, Coco’s owner).
On both occasions the authorities did not find the dogs to capture them. This is probably one of the problems: how to track the dogs down, capture and if necessary euthanise. Then there is the wider issue of stopping these events happening through improving dog ownership.
The problem as I see it a double whammy: irresponsible cat and dog ownership. All cats should be kept in until the problem is resolved.