Alpaugh residents unleash concerns on stray dog dilemma

(Rigo Moran)

Residents of Alpaugh voice concerns on rampant stray dogs problems along with inconsistent animal control response at Board of Supervisors meeting

ALPAUGH – In a “dogged” pursuit of change, residents of Alpaugh have shed some light on issues with animal control in the community.

For the Tulare County Board of Supervisors meeting on April 2, the board met in the community of Alpaugh, in the Alpaugh School Cafeteira, at 6 p.m. to extend meeting accessibility and hear from citizens in that part of the region who might not be able to make the routine meeting times.

During the gathering, one member of the Alpaugh community, Araceli, took the opportunity to share her concerns about the animal control situation in Alpaugh.

“The animals are just out of control at this point,” Araceli said.

She explained that the community has dogs running in the streets, and after multiple attempts to contact animal control, nothing has been done. According to Araceli, people at her office have been attacked by dogs outside, and even when animal control showed up, they still turned a blind eye.

“There’ve been several incidents (when the) location where I work, people have been attacked. Animal control has come but nothing has been done. The next day the dogs are loose,” Araceli said.

Acaceli also said the abundance of dogs is putting children in danger, noting there is a school nearby with loose dogs running around. She recalled a time when her own daughter was made victim of stray dogs as well.

“(On) my Street, my daughter got bit and animal control came but really didn’t do anything,” Araceli said. “They didn’t take the animals.”

She continued by saying she’s even spoken with the supervisor of animal control, who she said promised to bring her a dog trap to catch the dogs. She waited to receive the traps but no one ever followed up to deliver them.

After her comments, Chairman Larry Micari asked the staff to pass along her information to the Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency to the correct people at animal control.

When asked about the animal control situation in Alpaugh, the Tulare County Animal Services said the agency “will continue to work with the residents of Alpaugh to address their complaints as it is a common issue we are seeing throughout all our rural communities.”

According to the county, so far for 2024, the Tulare County Animal Services has received 18 calls for service from the community of Alpaugh, all of which were received and responded to by Animal Control Officers. Only one of the calls was regarding a bite and two were regarding loose dogs.

The animal services also stated that Alpaugh is not the only community complaining about the number of stray animals. This year, since January 2024, animal control officers from the Tulare County Animal Services have responded to 1,853 calls for service from all areas of Tulare County and have taken in over 1,700 animals to our county shelter.

Additionally, the animal services noted that many dog owners let their pet roam free. This could be purposeful or because of aging/broken fences, or an overall lack of confinement/fencing in their yards.

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(Rigo Moran)

“We find, in responding to calls for service, that the majority of these dogs are owned or being fed/cared for by residents,” Tulare County Animal Services said. “A large number of these dogs are also unaltered, which makes them more likely to get loose from their yards looking for a mate and more likely to display aggressive behavior.”

The Tulare County Animal Services also pointed out there is also currently a national shortage of veterinary professionals, which is causing the entire country issues when it comes to accessing basic veterinary care such as vaccinations and spay/neuter services.

Tulare County Animal Services started its spay/neuter clinic has sterilized and vaccinated several thousand animals in Tulare County since the clinic opened in 2021 and is working to meet the high demand and need for managing stray dogs in rural communities.

“TCAS is invested in the welfare of our residents and the animals in our communities. We will continue to respond to calls for service from our communities in order to promote the health and welfare of their pets and residents to the very best of our ability,” Tulare County Animal Services said.

Community members can report lost or stray animals to Tulare County Animal Services by phone 559-636-4050 or online at 24petconnect.com/BreedRequest/Found. Know that Tulare County Animal Services only covers the unincorporated areas of Tulare County.

Residents who live within city limits are to contact their respective city’s animal control. This includes Dinuba, Exeter, Farmersville, Lindsay, Porterville, Tulare, Visalia and Woodlake.

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