- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Two dead pet dogs were discovered in the last month near their owners’ homes in St. Inigoes during a continuing effort, St. Mary’s animal control officers report, to round up a pack of wild dogs.
Brian Corbin let Gizmo, his 5-year-old Pekingese dog, out of his home off Grayson Road early Sunday morning, at the dog’s insistence. Gizmo had been cooped up in the garage with another dog and their five small puppies in compliance with an animal control officer’s suggestion late last week.
“I just went back in the house for a moment,” Corbin, 33, said this week. “I went back out, [and] he was gone.”
Corbin’s search for his pet ended Monday afternoon, as he walked along his road and spotted Gizmo’s body in a wooded area about a tenth of a mile from the residence.
“His whole throat was completely torn out,” Corbin said.
County officials said that about 10 days before last weekend’s attack, a Bassett hound was found dead on the property of a residence on Fenhagen Way, off Jutland Road.
“There’s a pack of wild dogs in that area. At this time we think it’s three to five dogs,” Tony Malaspina, the county’s animal control supervisor, said Thursday at his office in Leonardtown.
“Last year, we caught three of their puppies and put them down,” he said, “and four [more] puppies this spring.”
The puppies were caught using traps that had been set out after people had complained about wild dogs running loose in the area, Malaspina said, and those measures continue after the two reported pet deaths, the first attacks attributed to the wild dogs.
“We have not been able to catch the mother” of the wild dogs, he said. “We have traps set in the area, and we’re also patrolling the area.”
Corbin said that not only pet owners are affected by the problem.
“A lot of people down here have chickens and ducks that they’re protecting,” he said. “People down here are on the hunt for [the wild dogs]. They’re taking any means necessary.”
Corbin has three young daughters at his home, and he said, “Now, they’re a nervous wreck, and they don’t want to go out without me.”
Malaspina suggested that pet owners in the area continue taking precautions.
“It would be a good idea at this time to keep their animals confined,” he said.