10 years ago, a fourth-grade boy in St. Louis was nearly “eaten alive” after being attacked by a wild dog. And now, some in the area say the threat has returned in force:
Alderman President Lewis Reed is sounding the alarm. “I’ve witnessed packs of dogs, 10 and 15 dogs running together, and I’ve seen all these dogs I’m talking about they don’t have collars, they don’t have tags, these are truly wild dogs,” he said.
The alleged problem has reportedly gotten so bad that some parents have begun escorting their children to school while carrying golf clubs for protection. However, Health Director Pam Walker says that while the city has reported 360 dog bites this year, the cases stem from dogs with registered owners:
“Bite cases are owned dogs. They keep talking about this like it’s packs of feral dogs running through the city, we don’t,” she says.
Walker said the city would like to hire additional dog catchers to help deal with the problem but that government officials are struggling to come up with the $500,000 required for the project.
A video posted by 21st Ward Alderman Antonio French that supposedly shows a feral dog “menacing” a pair of school children doesn’t live up to the hype. In the actual video, the dog appears shy, running away from French, who pursues it with his video camera while screaming. You can wach the video here and judge for yourself.