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Mooney: Policy implemented as a last resort

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The Ellis County Press

FERRIS – Chief Frank Mooney has revised his controversial police department policy instructing officers to shoot feral dogs in the city limits, according to statements he made in a letter to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

The letter to PETA on official City of Ferris letterhead said the policy will still remain in effect "until we find a means to ensure the citizens who live in Ferris are safe and able to come and go as they please without being threatened," Mooney told PETA’s Theresa Chagrin.

"I can assure you that there will be no action taken against animals that are not aggressive towards humans.

"I am the proud owner of four dogs and two cats myself so I do appreciate the concern," said Mooney, who was hired several months ago from the town of Jacksboro, north of Fort Worth.

Chagrin and PETA, headquartered in Virginia, have agreed to help Ferris safely get rid of the feral dogs, which animal control officer Misty Clark said travel in packs.

"The problem we have encountered is that the feral dogs know what the [animal control] traps are for and fail to go inside them to get trapped," Mooney’s letter states. "We are willing to discuss this process with you as I am sure your organization has a number of approaches that have been tried and proven effective."

Since the Dec. 19 policy was enacted, the Ferris dog policy story was picked up by every major and medium-sized newspaper and media outlet in the country, plus dozens of papers worldwide.

Though Ferris City Manager David Chavez said the FPD has not acted on the policy to date, there have been incident reports from other parts of Ellis County where property owners are now shooting wild dogs.

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