An odd occurrence happened to me this winter. The short version: Late one cold evening we heard an odd sound at the front door. Our dog started barking. I didn’t see anyone at the door. No one rang the bell. So finally I carefully cracked open the door and a head started to stick its way in!
A dog’s head.
A rather large, cold, somewhat thin pit bull was parked on our front stoop and would not leave. He wasn’t acting aggressive but with a pit bull you can’t tell (they are good dogs, get a bad reputation, but you never know how he’s been raised/trained). Any other type of dog my wife would have taken in at least for the night. But with our own dog and two small children in the house we couldn’t take the chance.
We called the police who did come and after several tries was able to capture the dog. While waiting for Animal Control a guy (I never saw him before in the neighborhood) who claimed to be the owner showed up claiming the dog had gotten out of his yard and he’s been searching all night. The police seemed to accept it, no trouble was made, and the guy was able to leave with the animal.
All’s well that ends well I suppose.
But that got me thinking.
Loose, wild feral dogs are a BIG problem already in many places urban as well as suburban and rural. After a wide spread SHTF event that problem can be even bigger.
Hungry, afraid, cold – these animals can be very aggressive and dangerous.
They don’t scare easily.
Don’t back off with a token show of force.
May travel and attack in packs.
May carry disease (not just rabies) and parasites.
Probably won’t retreat if a single member of the pack is injured or killed.
Not only people but any small live stock you may have – chickens, rabbits, goats etc. – are at greater risk.
Packs of feral and near-feral dogs are already in many states. That will only get worse.
Some will be set “free” by their owners after an SHTF because they don’t have (or can’t afford) to provide for them or take them on escape.
Some will break free.
Some will be abandoned.
Either way, dog attacks risk will be much greater after an SHTF event.
One more thing to be aware of and prepared for.
Dogs can mess you up! Packs are particularly dangerous. I’ve often argued that even in day-to-day life, this can be a threat. Places like NJ do not allow citizens to protect themselves against the 4‑legged or the two.
A few years back a mother and infant were attacked by a stray, and it wasn’t ended until the Police showed up and shot it. Everyone else had to stand around yelling, and waiting for the Police while mom and baby got chewed up.
Animal control mace is legal in most states even if human/personal protection mace isn’t.
I know from personal experience it works on dogs, though it was only 1 animal coming at me.
Good short article. This has been a growing problem as people have run into hard times in some cities. In the north west some smaller cities have noticed small packs of feral dogs that have formed due to people letting their family dogs go instead of turning them into the animal rescue or pounds.Myself on my travels in the outlands, I was stalked by several wild dogs.I got tired of it and dropped one (the biggest). That did keep them at a distance. But if I had not had a weapon or was a novice in the woods it might have turned out a little different. I reported this to the local LEO’s and they were aware of the growing problem. Nuf said.
Great writeup and good points to consider. I differ in some regards however… while I advocate everyone should remain vigilant of a growing problem with feral dogs, we need to keep a few things in mind. People will be hungry when the supermarket shelves run dry… dog will be on the menu. You are equally likely to see a serious decrease in the number of cats, dogs, pigeons, and even rats once food supply runs out. Another point to consider, dogs have been domesticated over centuries and wont immediately revert back to man eaters… they are quite frankly, weak. I have seen the aftermath of a fight between a labrador and coyote… the coyote was half the dogs weight and still kicked the larger dogs butt. So, as I said, the need for vigilance is paramount and unknown dogs should be handled with caution, but post SHTF, Im more worried about the two legged predators.