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PETA: Gunning down dogs not a safe or humane option

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The Ellis County Press

FERRIS – Ferris Police Chief Frank Mooney’s policy for shooting wild dogs in the city got more than the attention from Fox News and every major newspaper in the country last week.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals got involved, with the PETA Cruelty Investigations Department director writing Mooney and Mayor Jim Parks over the controversial policy, alleging Ferris of possibly "breaking the hearts" of residents.

"Under the new policy, Ferris police officers will likely shoot owned family dogs, breaking the hearts of the citizens who love them and creating a liability for the city of Ferris," said cruelty investigations specialist Teresa Lynn Chagrin, whose organization is headquartered in Norfolk, Va.

Chagrin’s two-page letter was sent Dec. 24, a day after The Ellis County Press broke the story; Mooney, who has not returned requests for comment on the policy, refused to talk with PETA or other media outlets, according to employees inside Ferris Police Department who spoke on the condition their names not be used.

"Feral dogs can and should be euthanized with the help of sedative drugs when needed and intravenous injections of sodium pentobarbital," Chagrin stated in her letter.

"I have euthanized many, many feral dogs in this way, gently and with respect.

"With the availability of this humane alternative, I hope that you agree that gunning down dogs in the roads and fields, whether they are friendly or not, is not a safe or humane option."

City Manager David Chavez was the only city official to comment on the policy, maintaining support for the directive based on instructions given to officers that only dogs without collars and breeds that roam in packs are to be shot.

Mooney’s policy, handed down Dec. 19 to all officers and personnel, instructs officers to use shotguns and that if boxes of slug rounds run out, that he would get more.

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