Letter to the Editor: Dogs on the Settlement

We all heard about the horrible tragedy of the young lady killed by a ‘pack of feral dogs’ on the Settlement recently. However, it might behoove us all to understand the problem in more depth.

The Settlement has long been the recipient of unwanted dogs (and cats) from surrounding communities being ‘dumped off’ there, just as many local farms have experienced. This, of course, is done to avoid the owners having to pay a ‘drop off’ fee to turn the unwanted animal into local animal shelters. Most of the dogs involved in this particular incident were strays from who knows where, so unapproachable, and of course, had to be disposed of by any means possible, which ain’t always pretty.

I have friends and relatives on the Settlement who have often tried to feed and adopt such dogs but many times the animal is too spooked and disoriented to allow this, thus the ‘feral packs’ begin to form. The Tribe has also held clinics to assist in the medical needs of dogs brought in by their owners. I’m not sure how they might be able to solve the ‘dump off’ problem from neighboring communities other than to put up locked gates to their lands.

Mary McBee