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[whitespace] Cat apparently killed by roaming dogs

Saratoga--Recently, Saratoga resident Carol Carrillo found her 20-pound white short-hair cat, Bob, lying on her property, dead of a broken neck, the apparent victim of a dog attack.

According to Carrillo, her neighbor across the street drove by an hour later and told her that she had seen Bob being killed on Carrillo's property, not by a human or a coyote, but by three dogs that looked "big and puffy."

Around the same time, about three blocks away, a friend of Carrillo, who lived north of Cox Avenue, was getting out of her car. Two dogs that looked like wolves ran across her driveway and scared her. The dogs had strange ice-blue eyes, were a light beige or grayish beige, and appeared to be some husky breed, Carrillo's friend said. Although she was unsure whether the dogs were wild or owned, Carillo's friend said they looked well-nourished, and that she thought one of them had a collar.

Naturally, Carrillo was upset about the possibility that a pet owner had allowed his or her three dogs to roam free without leashes--in violation of the city's mandatory leash law--and kill her cat. "He was a very mellow guy. I'm just so furious this happened to him," she said.

Carrillo said that she called the Humane Society of Santa Clara Valley and that a representative of the organization said there was nothing the Humane Society could do, unless Carrillo knew who owned the dogs.

Maureen Strenfel, animal behaviorist for the Humane Society, said that people should report loose animals to Animal Control immediately, even if they know the owner, or it's the first time they see the animal running loose

"What we're trying to do is get the average pet owner to understand that there are responsibilities that come with owning a pet," Strenfel said. "It's not that there are bad dogs. There are irresponsible owners who are not living up to their guardianship of the animals."

Cat owners can also take precautions against dogs attacking their cats by tacking a cat fence to the top of the backyard fence so that the cat can't climb over the fence, Strenfel said. This way, the cat can still enjoy the outdoors, yet not be exposed to hazards such as cars, accidental poisoning and other animals.

Cat owners should also realize that the city leash law applies to cats, and that they should keep their cats on leashes if they want to take them out for walks, Strenfel said.
Rebecca Ray

For information about animal behavior, people can call the Humane Society's free animal help line at 408.727.3383, ext. 753.

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