NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) — Feral dogs are getting past fences and killing pets in New Iberia.
People living in Iberia Parish say this problem isn’t new, but after one family lost 10 pets from continued attacks, they made it their mission to ensure something is done.
“My daughter woke up in the middle of the night, heard a loud noise, went outside and almost all of her show rabbits had been slaughtered,” remembered Sarah Riggs in the latest Iberia Parish Council meeting.
This terrible memory is not just hers. It’s her neighbors and many others living across Iberia Parish sharing encounters with wild dogs attacking in packs and leaving behind gruesome scenes.
As fellow victim District 6 Iberia Parish Councilwoman Natalie Broussard explained, “They’re not killing for food. They’re just killing to kill.”
Councilman for District 7, Paul G. Landry said the dogs are getting so brazen they’ve even been aggressive to a woman sweeping her patio in the middle of the day.
“I don’t know the answers either,” Landry said. “I did order a crossbow.”
Riggs asked, “What is it going to take before somebody takes notice? Are they going to start killing small dogs? Are they going to kill, hurt a small child?”
According to Herff Jones, Interim Rabies Control Director for Iberia Parish, he knows of a dozen dogs that travel from wooded areas into the city for unattended food, but that’s just one pack. Traps have been ineffective because the dogs are too smart to take the bait.
Jones said, “Animals born feral and never domesticated are a difficult target. That’s what we’re dealing with.”
The price of solving the problem isn’t making it any easier. According to the Iberia Parish President Larry Richard, adding three or four animal control officers (ACO) to the two existing full-time ACO’s could fix it, but that’s not in the budget. Bringing in a Wildlife Specialist is their plan for now.
Jones could not provide a timeline for the specialist but said they are in the “Very beginning of investigating who does this, how they’re going to do it, and what’s the cost associated with it?”
Rabies control said there are things citizens can do to lessen the problem. First, spay and neuter your pets. These feral animals started somewhere Richard asserted. Second, don’t leave food unattended outside, especially overnight when these packs are most likely to strike. Third, be aware of where your roaming outdoor pets are.