Wild Dogs Park Controversy

Wild dogs park controversy: Animals create tension between people, shrewdly avoid capture again and again

Wild dogs create tension between people at Houston park, avoid capture

dog living in park in The Woodlands December 2014
A wild dog in Cranebrook Park as captured by a KHOU cameraman. Photo courtesy of KHOU News/Channel 11
Cranebrook Park sign
Cranebrook is a popular 5-acre neighborhood park in the Village of Sterling Ridge. TheWoodlandsParks.blogspot.com
dogs living in park in The Woodlands dog food on ground December 2014
Some area residents leave food out for the wild dogs. Photo courtesy of KHOU News/Channel 11
The Woodlands trees forest dense foliage
The thick underbrush in the heavily wooded area is thwarting animal control officers from catching the wild dogs. Woodlandtrees.blotspot.com
dog living in park in The Woodlands December 2014
Cranebrook Park sign
dogs living in park in The Woodlands dog food on ground December 2014
The Woodlands trees forest dense foliage

An estimated half-dozen to a near dozen wild dogs living in one of The Woodlands-area parks have some residents feeding them and others requesting the animals be tracked down and removed, stating the strays bark at them and even nip at their pets.

The pack, described as mostly docile and even skittish around people by area animal control officers, have taken residence in Cranebrook Park next door to Coulson Tough Elementary School off The Woodlands Parkway. The 5-acre neighborhood green space with swimming pool and children's water park, a BMX trail, soccer field and pavilion is a popular outing spot for residents young and old living in The Village of Sterling Ridge. Cranebrook is one of almost 20 parks in the neighborhood.

"[The wild dogs] stand back and bark," Dana Essenpreis, a Montgomery County animal control officer, tells KHOU Ch. 11. "And people see that as aggression. But that's kind of a warning."

Officials have tried to capture the dogs, but with no success yet, as the land where the animals live is a heavily wooded area covered with thick underbrush. As well, the wild dogs are so well fed they aren't hungry enough to take bait left in traps.

"Very healthy, beautiful dogs," is how Essenpreis describes them to KHOU. "These are not dogs living off the land."

That healthy lifestyle brings up the likelihood of puppies . . . and more puppies.

Animal control officers say they will continue to try to capture the wild dogs, but wish them luck: They may be barking up the wrong tree.

Watch the full KHOU report:

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