While trying to capture Sinbad, BCAR was asked numerous questions from people calling the BCAR phone line and from people posting suggestions or concerns on Facebook. We wanted to take the opportunity to respond in case other people had these same questions or concerns.
Why didn’t BCAR or the county animal control staff us a dart gun, “net gun”, or a “net rifle” to capture Sinbad?
The Dawson County Animal Control Officer has access to a dart gun, but has to have a veterinarian prescribe the sedative to use. I do not know about the Pickens County Animal Control. Setting the correct dosage is always a risky proposition. However, the biggest challenge is that the sedative takes about 30 minutes to be effective. During this time the dog could be miles away, at which time the sedative kicks in and the dog is vulnerable to other wildlife. If the sedative is not fully dispensed, and the dart falls out while the dog is trying to escape capture, there is a risk that an adult or child could find the dart and injure themselves.
The best bet--and the most humane approach—seems to be to use a “net gun” or a “net rifle”. (I know—I had to Google them!) Although some counties use such equipment, neither the Pickens nor Dawson counties animal control officers have access to either of these. A net gun costs between $500 to $800, and a net rifle costs about $1,800. The net gun uses air canisters and the net rifle uses .30-06 blank cartridges and shoots a 25 foot by 25 foot net up to 50 feet. Do I sense a “Go Fund Me” campaign in the works?