Dogs that are allowed to run rampant in Dos Palos remain a concern for both residents and law enforcement, especially with young children walking about town.

Dos Palos Police Chief Rich McEachin—a self-proclaimed dog lover– called loose dogs an ongoing problem that his department is forced to deal with.

“There is the occasional stray dog that seems to come from nowhere, but the majority of them belong to people in or around town,” said McEachin.  “For whatever reason, people do not ensure that their dogs are secure in a fenced-in area, and dogs love to run free when given the opportunity.”

McEachin also pointed out that while many dogs are not aggressive towards people or other animals, some are.

The police department is responsible for animal control, which includes enforcing laws related to dogs being loose, dogs attacking or intimidating people or other animals, and dogs being unlicensed or unvaccinated.

The chief added that dog owners who don’t have a fenced-in area for their dog can turn to a “dog run,” as an alternative to fencing.

“(A dog run) keeps the dog contained, but it also allows the dog to roam within that certain area to get exercise.  The important thing is to keep the dog contained in an area that always has adequate shade with access to food and water,” he added.

Dogs that are impounded by the city’s animal control officers are taken to the Merced County Animal Control facility near the old Castle Air Force Base in Atwater.  If residents believe their dog has been picked up, they can contact the center.

But Chief McEachin is adamant that local dog owners need to show more responsibility.

“Please be a good and responsible dog owner, and keep your dog contained in your yard or your house,” he said.

For information about licensing dogs and vaccinations, call the police department at 209-392-2177.

David Borboa