I am an avid horse rider as I’ve stated before. I live in the country. In this area, people apparently do not care about their pets.
We have a HUGE stray dog problem in this area. Everything from packs of chihuahuas to packs of big dogs (rotts, GSF, dobbies, pits, etc).
Now the pack of barking chihuahuas are more annoying than dangerous. But I have had large dogs take interest in my horse while riding around the block, down the country roads, back trails, etc. A pit-mix has gotten 5 feet from my horse. Understandably, this makes him uneasy. I am scared that a dog or pack will get so bold that it will frighten my horse to the point he bolts or that either one of us gets attacked.
I have called animal control. I have called the humane society in the next town over (this town doesn’t have one, only animal control). No action from either.
Someone has recommended that I start carrying a handgun. I LOVE dogs. I don’t know how I feel about killing one, however I fear for the safety of MY horse and myself.
What should I do? Please help. I want my freedom and do not want to stop riding my normal route. However the dogs are really becoming an issue.
Any advice? I am trying to live a humane lifestyle. Shooting dogs doesn’t sit well with me but I am getting a little scared.
When you called animal control, what did they say? If you aren’t reporting a specific dog in at least a general place there’s not much they can do, however, if you gave them specifics they should be able to give you some advice. If you know where any of these dogs come from, that would help them too, even if it is generalized such as “I’ve had a brindled pit mix stalking me and my horse aggressively on Wooded Ave. several times in the last month. I’m concerned that he may become a danger to people trying to use this road. Is there anything you can do?”
You should also try and familiarize yourself with local animal control laws, (particularly, it sounds like, laws on roaming dogs and dangerous dogs) so you know what you can report and what AC can’t do anything about. This will mean they will take you more seriously, particularly if you are consistent, clear and reliable in your reports.
If you feel the need to carry around something for self-defense, carry around some pepper spray or something else that will not permanently hurt the animal. I would also try to get together with somebody to get the local animal control to do something about this issue. It is a risk for everyone in the community, even small children.