Feral dogs kill James Island man’s cat
Richard Schramm, a retired Army veteran, grabbed his gun at about 2 a.m. Friday when he heard barking dogs and a whining cat outside his James Island home.
Looking out into his front yard, he clearly saw two dogs and thinks he spied a third. The canines took off running when he opened the front door and stepped out onto the porch.
In the yard, his beloved 14-year-old cat, Bubba, lay dead.
“She was very loving. It’s like losing a family member,” he said.
He called the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office and then rode around the neighborhood in his car trying to find the dogs. He thinks he saw one of them on another street.
Despite her age, Bubba was in good health, he said.
“The strange part about it was the cat had no blood on her. No rips or any blood,” he said.
He told a sheriff’s deputy the dogs appeared to be light-brown labradors.
The incident was the latest development in a community that has been plagued with a pack of wild dogs killing cats in neighborhoods north and south of Fort Johnson Road. The dogs already are blamed for more than a half-dozen cat deaths.
Schramm, who lives on Honeysuckle Road in the Farmington subdivision, said Bubba usually slept in the garage, which had a pet door in case she needed to go outside. He suggested catching the wild dogs by outfitting one of them with a GPS tracking device, releasing it and following it to the pack.
After responding to the incident at Schramm’s house, the deputy reported that he patrolled the area for the canines and observed them running near Jeffrey Drive. He then lost sight of them in the brush.
In another incident, island resident Denny Dunn of Oxbow Drive reported that he grabbed his shotgun to scare off a pack of feral dogs threatening his miniature palomino, Honey.
The wild dogs apparently lay low during the day and roam at night. Residents have reported seeing dogs in packs of up to 20 animals, which was the case last week during Dunn’s ordeal.
Some witnesses have described them as medium-size, black or light brown, and a mix of terriers and pit bulls.
At about 9:15 a.m. Friday, a Charleston County animal control officer retrieved a dog captured in a trap set off of Ben Road on James Island, Sheriff’s Maj. Jim Brady said.
The dog appears to be part of the feral pack of dogs roaming on the island that are believed to be responsible for several cat deaths over the last few months, he said.
The tan male dog appears to be about 5 to 6 months old and matches the description of dogs that have been reported in the pack, Brady said.
The dog will be transported to the Charleston Animal Society, where it will be evaluated, Brady said.
Also, deputies responded to a 1372 Fields Circle to investigate reports of cats being killed by the dogs, Brady said.
Deputies and animal control officers have stepped up patrols in the area. They also are working with Charleston police animal control officers to address the issue of the feral dogs because both jurisdictions have had cases involving the pack of dogs and cat deaths attributed to the dogs, Brady said.
Residents spotting roaming dogs or having any contact or incidents with any dogs are urged to contact the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office at 202-1700 immediately.
Residents are advised not to try to corral or capture the dogs themselves.
They should also keep all trash cans covered to reduce scavenging by the dogs, Brady said.