BEND, OR -- Starting Monday, a handful of Bend Utility Department staff will carry a special dog repellent. "We’d had a couple recent encounters with aggressive dogs," says Ken Vaughan, Bend's Safety and Risk Program Manager. "Fortunately nobody was hurt but we wanted to be proactive in trying to prevent something like that from happening."
Vaughan tell KBND News dog encounters are unlikely and typically only occur under specific circumstances. "It’s just going to be Public Works and it’s actually just for a couple of specific areas where we have easements on private property that we need to access, in order to maintain our water and sewer infrastructure." He says, "Those have tended to be the areas where we’ve had issues with aggressive dogs. By and large, day to day operations out in the street or near a park or anything like that; we really haven’t had issues with aggressive dogs in those areas. So, we’re trying to narrow it and make sure that it’s being used appropriately at the right times." He says the spray will only be used when certain conditions are met, including when a homeowner is unable or unwilling to control an aggressive dog and the staff person isn't able to get away.
“Halt!” dog repellent
is made from mineral oil and a cayenne pepper extract. "It’s been endorsed by the American Kennel Club, the Humane Society, a number of other agencies. And, our hope is that we never have to use it. It’s our last resort, not our first option." Vaughan also says the U.S. Postal service has used the same dog repellent for over 50 years.