Feral dogs: recent attacks drawing attention

Published 07/23 2014 07:05PM

Updated 07/23 2014 10:14PM

"It was frightening because, if I had already gotten out of my truck when they came up, I would have been, I could have been (attacked) along with the cat," said Marilyn Woodham.

It was a scary Monday night for Marilyn, after she came home and heard vicious barking while getting out of her truck.

"One of them had the cat in its mouth and the other one was trying to pull the cat away, and I didn't have anything to defend myself or to try to get them away from the cat,” Woodham said.

Three large black dogs were just a few feet away, and she screamed at them until they released the cat and ran away.  But the cat died the next day.

She called Dothan Animal Control yesterday morning, but they didn't respond.  So we contacted them today to find out why.

"We did receive a call that people wanted a trap,” said Sergeant Adrianne Woodruff with Dothan Animal Control.  “There were places of priority on the trap list, because an animal had been killed by these dogs.  The trap was set early this morning by our animal patrol officer."

She says animal control only operates during normal business hours, and with limited traps and a shortage of staff, she says they're doing the best they can.  However, she says if someone feels threatened by animals, they should call 9-1-1.

"I will also say this, please keep in mind that you always have the right to protect yourself if you're being attacked by a dog.  Take the necessary steps that you need to,” Woodruff said.

She also says you should avoid doing things that may attract dogs into your yard, like leaving food scraps.

Woodham says her biggest concern is for her neighbors.

"These dogs could attack their children, as well as any of us, and that's my greatest concern, is for them, and also we do have elderly people and some disabled that cannot get out,” said Woodham.  “If they're out, they could not get out of the way of these dogs."

She says she wants the community to get involved and help out Dothan Animal Control where needed.

Animal control says they will continue to monitor the Woodhams' yard and others in hopes of catching the dogs. 

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.