Friday, July 23, 2010

What To Do About A Mangy Mad(Rabid) Dog When You Have Three Small Children

There is no cow in this story. But the dog in the picture above is much like the dog in this story. Click on the picture above to enlarge it.
In 1971/1972 we lived far outside Mobile,Alabama near the University of South Alabama. This was really out in the countryside. Not in town at all. There was a large red clay gully one block from our house. Motorcycle people loved to ride and jump their motorcycles in the gully. I once encountered a rattle snake down in the bushes in the gully. I heard the rattle and backed off thinking "You can have it snake. This country living is more dangerous than city living around Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C."
From time to time we would see roaming packs of wild dogs. This area had a problem with loose stray dogs. No fenced yards down there. I would say we were almost 15 or 20 miles from downtown Mobile. I do believe it was still in Mobile County though.
Finally one day a mad mangy rabid dog showed up foaming at the mouth and threatening us. As we had three small children under the age of 6 who liked to play outside in the yard this was a problem.
I called the animal control people who sent a man out. He had a long metal pole with a net on the end of it. He took a look at this mangy mad rabid dog who was foaming at the mouth and said I can't do anything you will have to call the police.
So I called the police or the sheriff and they sent a man out. He looked over the situation and this is what he said, "I can't do anything until to dog bites someone".
Now even though that startled me I thought about it a minute and said to him, "Well, if you were in my situation what would you do?" He looked at me and said, "If I were you I would wait until I leave and then I would shoot the dog".
So I waited until he left. Our next door neighbor had a 22 rifle. I told my wife to get the kids inside the house. I got ready to shoot the dog from a across the yard. Just as I was lining up the shot and ready to shoot my wife stepped out from the corner of the house right in the line of fire. I paused as she saw me and stepped back out of sight. I shot the dog and killed it.
To remove the mangy rabid dead dog carcass I did not touch it. I used a shovel and put it in a garbage can. I took the garbage can down to the gully and threw the dead dog down the hill. A week or two later I went back and there was nothing left but skin and bones and a skull.