A northern Canadian village that has been overrun by stray dogs has offered a C$50 ($41) bounty on each one in an effort to cure the problem.
But residents are now having to keep an extra close watch on the family pooch after some attempts to steal pets for the cash reward, a village official said on Wednesday.
Officials in Rae-Edzo, twin communities of about 2,300 people in the Northwest Territories, are trying stop a scourge of dog attacks on children and the elderly by giving residents cash incentives to bring the stays in alive, Cecile Desjardins, the town's acting senior administrator, said.
But it's had unintended consequences.
"We had one incident -- we have dog kennels just out of town here, and a kid went over there and untied three of the owner's dogs and dragged them over to the garage where we have the dog pound and tried to cash in," Desjardins said.
"The owner went to feed his dogs and realized three of them were missing. They got them in time."
Another youth untied a dog from the front porch of a house and was about to take it to the pound when the owner ran out yelling and managed to retrieve the pet, she said.
Officials estimate there are more than 50 stray dogs in as many as seven packs. They have bitten dozens of residents, most of whom have required a rabies shots.
Many residents are frightened to walk around town, Desjardins said.
The bounty was recently raised from C$30 for each stray brought in, after town workers found the canines were often too cagey to catch.
"The funny thing is, those darn dogs, they know the company vehicles, and when they see them they run the other way. So that's why the community people have been hauling the dogs in as they see them," she said.
Thirteen dogs were euthanized in June. Source