Palo Alto pestered by stray dogs
Animal control officers fail to flush animals out

BY S.L. WYKES, Mercury News

Thursday, September 21, 2000

Frustrated dog hunters in Palo Alto decided Thursday to leave it to the colonel.

They're hoping that boneless fried chicken will prove more interesting than the dog-food bait they set out Wednesday to entice two stray dogs whose hunger has apparently led them to attack neighborhood cats along San Francisquito Creek.

The death of one cat and serious injuries of another have made the dog hunt a priority for the city, said Palo Alto Animal Services Superintendent Sandi Stadler.

She and a half-dozen others spent much of Thursday walking the dry creek bed. With Palo Alto police officers at one end of the creek and animal control officers from Palo Alto and San Mateo County at the other, the two groups converged, hoping to flush the dogs out.

Stadler and animal services supervisor Connie Urbanski stood somewhere in the middle, with a large span of netting between them. ``I don't care what I have to do, they're not getting by me,'' Stadler said.

After more than an hour of waiting, word came by radio that the dogs had not been seen at all despite a thorough walk-through. ``That's very disappointing,'' Stadler said. ``I guess we should have informed the dogs we were doing this.''

``These are very streetwise dogs,'' Urbanski said.

They had been seen this morning, sitting near the baited trap, and animal control officer Bill Warrior came within an inch of catching one of them, she said.

The trap bait will be replenished with the fried chicken, and if that doesn't overcome the dogs' distrust, the foot search will begin again, Stadler said.

``Fridays are hard. We never know if we'll have the manpower. Everyone's been so helpful as far as pulling together as a team. But this is a priority for the city,'' he said.

Warrior said the traps would be checked twice a day.

© 2000 The Mercury News.

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