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Putnam County neighbors resort to trapping stray dogs themselves

One neighbor says she's worried about her pets will be attacked if something isn't done.

HAWTHORNE, Fla. — Every morning, when Susan Jones goes to let her dogs out, she scans her yard to make sure a stray dog hasn't wandered onto her property. 

"It's a nice woodsy area," said Jones. "It's not highly populated. People think they can just come out here and get rid of something they don't want."

Jones fears the stray dogs might attack her pets. She says any time she calls Putnam County Animal Control, she's told if she can capture the dog and bring it to them, they'll take it.  

It's something she's already had to do once - borrowing a crate, luring the stray in and driving it 30 miles to the shelter in Palatka.

"It was one of the dogs they had adopted out already," said Jones. "It had a chip. They knew where the people were. They are about eight miles from where we are, so it probably didn't get here by itself."

She says that stray was friendly, but with two recent dog attacks in other parts of Putnam County, including one where a postal worker died, that's not something she's willing to do again. 

RELATED: Postal carrier killed in Interlachen by dog attack identified as 61-year-old Pam Rock

"With what happened to the postal lady, I'd be hesitant to approach any strange dog right now," said Jones.

"We do have a good staff at animal control," said Linda Young, who volunteers with South Putnam Animal Network. "They are in a very tough situation."

Young works with a group that helps Putnam County Animal Control with minor veterinary procedures.

She says the shelter is always right at its capacity limits, and the small staff of six or seven people always has its hands full.

She's hoping a new shelter on the horizon will change that.

"There will be other programs," said Young. "You'll have people volunteer to walk the dogs. It'll be in a better location where people will come and adopt the dog."

For now, Jones will just have to keep an eye out to make sure her dogs are safe in her own yard.

"It doesn't do any good to call anybody," said Jones. "It's very frustrating."

The executive director at animal control couldn't comment, but said she'd reach out to Jones to resolve the situation.

RELATED: How UF is using stray animals to find signs of foul play

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