Q: While walking my three dogs, I found myself defending myself and my dogs from two dogs that roamed the neighborhood. They loaded us; and while I was able to pick up my smallest (Chihuahua Golden mix); I had to throw, kick and throw my other two of these ferocious dogs. My dogs were not injured; however, I ended up with a lot of bruising from hitting, kicking and screaming. What do I do to convince my neighbors that these two dogs are dangerous and should be euthanized? Kim in Arvada, CO.

A: It is illegal in most cities to keep dogs unleashed, people still do it and most do not see the problem of their dog having some freedom, at the cost of terrorizing the neighborhood. In some cases, we have documented packs of large domestic dogs that run together and act like wild dogs, due to their pack instinct. A loose pack of domestic dogs can create real damage in a neighborhood.

I would start by calling your local city shelter and asking if it has a “leash law” and how it reads. If you have such a law in your state or city, it would be wise to inform them about the assault you suffered and the details about it. Be honest with the information as they will investigate and you will need precision in your version of the truth. I also warn you not to use the word “vicious”; as, by your own admission, there was no actual harm other than what you personally induced. Animal control officers are well aware of the results of a vicious dog attack; And while it was terrifying, loud, and unwarranted, his assault did not meet the criteria for “vicious.” There is no reason to distract the Animal Control Officer from the fact that dogs should not be on the loose; a problem you can solve.

Then invest in a nice bottle of pepper spray. It’s a great tool to take with you when you go for a walk, not only for those stray dogs, but also a great tool against an annoying (human) intruder. Pepper spray is legal in most states, but it is wise to call your local police department for that kind of local legal advice.

So you have a Chihuahua / Golden mix; Do we call it “ChiGolden” or “GoldHuahua”? You have taken this design dog concept to a new level. Good luck with your stray dogs.

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