Havana strays cause varying concerns for citizens

Recently, citizens have expressed their concerns for the appearances of stray dogs in the area. 

Unsure of how to perceive the homeless pets, some pass them off as dangerous or annoying.

Brenden Monda, returning from the military, made Havana her home, settling on farm land previously acquired by his family.

About three weeks in, Monda’s ring camera began picking up the appearances of two stray dogs. 

“There was no pattern to their movements,” said Monda. “Sometimes they wouldn’t appear for several days,” he added.

The veteran owns two goats, which are twice fenced in. The fence spreads across the property to separate the common areas.

The pair of strays barked for 30 minutes one night, Monda complained.

Realizing their presence increased, so did Monda’s concerns for his goats. Then, on March 2nd, one of the goats was attacked by at least one of the dogs. After unsuccessful attempts seeking help from the Gadsden County Animal Control, Monda sought help via Facebook posts requesting assistance. 

Gadsden County Public Information Officer Lesley Steele offered support via email response.

Steele advises residents of Havana to contact the Havana Police Department where she said Chief Tracy Smith will provide assistance. Steele further adds, residents who reside in unincorporated areas can contact Gadsden County Animal Control at (850) 878-8658. 

Some citizens wanted to help the stray animals.

Havana resident Lauren Weekly Tiller and a few of her neighbors had encounters with a stray black mouth cur, believing the animal was dropped off in the neighborhood.

Tiller said cur was visibly frightened and extremely underweight. 

“We were feeding him trying to gain his trust,” said Tiller.” 

While  Tiller was assisting a neighbor with the abandoned pet, a member from the Gadsden County Animal Control unit was searching for the stray animal in response to a call.

According to Tiller, the official asked her help in capturing the dog. She then was advised she could be fined for feeding a stray dog.

“I lost it,” Tiller said, “ bring on the ticket.” 

Frustrated, the owner of 15 animals spread across 15 acres, focusing more on the safety of the dog rather than the price of a ticket. Over the span of two weeks, Tiller, with the support of neighbors, was able to retrieve the dog, and as of now is her 16th animal. 

“The county saved nearly 400 pets last year,” said PIO Lesley Steele. 

Steele also noted a resident cannot receive a fine for feeding a stray dog, adding, “there is no law to support this.”

Kiwanis White

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