Clovis News

Clovis is ‘dogged’ by a problem – a wary pack of pooches that evade capture

Abandoned dogs in Clovis evade capture

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For the past few months, Clovis Animal Services officers have been dogged by a problem.

Animal control officers have been trying to catch five large dogs abandoned along the west side of Leonard Avenue, between Ashlan and Dakota avenues, formerly county land that was annexed into the city to build new homes. Now they’re asking for a little help from the public.

The dogs live under a dilapidated mobile home that’s surrounded by trash and exposed pipes. To get there from the street requires walking on a dirt trail pocked with holes and small ditches that are difficult to walk.

The area has a running creek, so water isn’t an issue, and the dogs aren’t coming for food set in humane traps.

Animal control officers captured one of the dogs in a trap recently and “he was terrified,” said Betty Cochran, the city’s animal control services supervisor.

The dog is in the city’s shelter where it’s becoming acclimated to humans. A trainer is being hired to make him potentially adoptable. Cochran wants the other dogs to become adoptable, too, but first they have to be captured.

Only two other dogs have been showing up in recent days.

Residents posting on the app Nextdoor have been critical of the city’s efforts, but Cochran said the dogs come out only at certain times of the day and aren’t appearing consistently. City workers also don’t want to chase the dogs, fearing they could get into the nearby street and get struck by a vehicle – or run free across a wide open area east of Leonard Avenue.

“For a long time, when we would go out there we wouldn’t see them,” Cochran said. “There’s a canal and shade trees and some huge open properties so there is no way to corner them.”

Now she said the city is considering fencing an area if they know the dogs are staying in a certain portion of the property.

While the dogs have been elusive, Cochran said they show no signs of aggressiveness other than postings on the neighborhood Nextdoor app that one or more may have chased a bicyclist, a story that Cochran hasn’t verified.

“We have not seen any aggressiveness,” she said. “A lot of our information is kind of coming third hand.”

Critics on Nextdoor say the city hasn’t been consistent with setting traps, but Cochran said the city moves the traps around depending upon where they see the dogs.

There’s a canal and shade trees and some huge open properties so there is no way to corner them.

Betty Cochran, Clovis Animal Control Services supervisor

The dog captured went into a trap set with dry food, said Cochran.

Cochran is appealing to residents and workers at nearby housing developments not to feed the dogs. If the dogs aren’t fed, Cochran said, they are more likely to be enticed by the traps set by the city or two wildlife trapping companies called in to help.

On Tuesday, Clovis animal control offered tips to residents on Nextdoor to help capture the dogs and appealed for patience as the city attempts to lure them. The city is asking residents to help by:

▪ Encouraging neighbors to stop feeding the dogs so they will seek food inside the traps.

▪ Email or call Clovis Animal Services at 559-324-2450 or the Clovis Police Department, 559-324-2800, when a dog is trapped.

▪ Call Clovis Animal Services at 559-324-2450 with any other questions.

Marc Benjamin: 559-441-6166, @beebenjamin