Del Mar: Strays are cute, but use caution

Black dog nicknamed Fred is captured, will likely be adopted

After several months of seeing the same stray dog begging for food and affection around the Harvin Center, many students were left wondering about Del Mar College’s official stance on stray animals.

“There’s no written, official policy on strays,” said Lauren White, DMC’s chief of security.

While there is nothing written about stray animals, White still advises against taking care of them.

“We discourage people from feeding them, because of the fact that we don’t know what’s going on with that particular dog. If that dog is aggressive or not aggressive, or whatever,” White said.

White added that a pack of stray dogs recently killed a cat at West Campus.

“The other day on West Campus … we had three dogs come on campus and they attacked and killed a cat, on campus. So what if it had been … a person?” White said.

Both campuses have also long been home to several stray cats. Collegiate and Del Mar students can often be seen opening a can of cat food to leave for them.

However, feeding the animals around campus has a wide variety of effects that students often don’t realize.

“When people start feeding them, all it does is draw in a lot of cats, and it causes health issues. It causes other health issues and concerns for us,” White said. “So the long and the short of it is, we like the warm and fuzzy part, but we don’t want the other side of it.”

Still, many students, such as liberal arts major Rachel Price, couldn’t resist feeding the dog and hoped the college would embrace its new visitor.

“They could have done something. They could have been giving him food and actually taken him in as the campus dog. Somebody could have taken care of him,” Price said.

Price who was present the morning Fred was taken away by local animal activists and had a chance to say goodbye.

Staci Donnelly and Jacki Jackson, who work for Guardian Gals Animal Rescue, spent two days trying to trap the dog outside the Harvin Center and were finally successful around sunrise on Feb. 28.

“This is why I do I get called out to do this, because they call me the dog whisperer,” Donnelly said.

The pair trapped the dog, who they estimated at about a year old, after hearing reports in the community about his presence.

“He’s at danger the construction sight, the vehicles, students with wrong intentions … it happens,” Donnelly said.

After his capture, Donnelly and Jackson took the dog to a local vet to get checked out and get his shots. He then was taken to Guardian Gals Animal Rescue on at 5866 S. Staples St. The facility has a five-star rating on Facebook and specializes in finding loving homes for strays.

Fred will eventually be taken north to be put up for adoption, where Donnelly hopes he will find a good home.

“To know that he is going to actually go to a home and is going to be loved, and be able to cuddle with his family is awesome,” Donnelly said.

Fred’s Del Mar connection won’t be forgotten, though. Donnelly and Jackson decided to rename him Viking.

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