More pound pups and broken fences: is there a connection?

Fargo More dogs are behind bars these days—at least in Fargo, according to the local pound and shelter. Meanwhile, many homes are still lacking fences after last month's storm. We asked homeowners if it's harder to keep their pets in check with a downed fence.

Beautiful weather can mean bigger numbers of dogs on the loose.

Heather Clyde, Homeward Animal Shelter’s operations director, says this time of year always sees more dogs and even cats on the run.
"I go to the pound every morning to determine what animals are going to need to go to rescue,” Clyde said, “and this year it just seems like there's a lot more dogs ending up in the local pounds because they've been running at large."

Clyde says one of the biggest reasons for this tends to be dogs off-leash—but she's not sure why the number of pets in the pound is higher, even for the time of year. Though we have noticed a lot of fences down from the late-June storm.

"My own fence went down and I had a temporary fence up,” Clyde said, “but I also put my dog on a tie-out; so if people aren't doing that and aren't taking precautions to make sure their dog’s not taking off through the temporary fence…then yeah they're definitely going to get loose and they're going to be checking out the neighborhood."

We found many downed fences along 9th Street in West Fargo.

Todd Simonson’s home had one of them.

"There's probably at least a dozen yards that have fence that are down," he said.

Simonson keeps his Lhasa-Poo tied up.

"We have to be very careful 'cuz he would...take off and run right across 9th and of course 9th is very busy, so we'd be very worried about him being hit by a car," Simonson said.

Meanwhile his neighbor, Mary Lanigan, says her Lhasa, Snickers, is too afraid to come near the fence anyway.

"Just the sound of the cars and stuff, luckily kind of scares him,” Lanigan said, “but I still think it's a good idea to sit out with your pet when he's out."

One Fargo fencing company tells us they fielded ‘hundreds’ of calls after the late-June storm.

"Unfortunately a lot of the people that are doing the fixing of the fence are really busy so we're on the list, but haven't been tended to yet," Lanigan said.

"This fence covers everybody's yard all along 9th here,” Simonson said, “so I would definitely say there's a possibility that dogs could get loose."

But while the Fargo pound also tells us it’s seeing more pets come in, the West Fargo pound says it's not seeing higher numbers this month.

And Heather Clyde, with Homeward Animal Shelter, says the biggest reason for pets ending up in the pound is owners walking them off-leash.

"Thinking they have enough control over their dog that they don't need a leash, which in town it is illegal to do so,” she said. “All animals are required to be on leash if they are off their own property."

Clyde says she's also seeing a lot of cats in the pound as well, and reminds us the leash law also applies to our feline friends.

And whether you're fence is broken or intact, Clyde says some dogs are just escape artists, and look for any opportunity to sneak out the door. She suggests putting a baby gate by the door to slow your pup up a bit from rushing out.