City of Dallas is considering new ordinance to immediately kill free-roaming dogs and cats after fatal dog attack in May

This disturbing story comes out of Dallas City, Texas following the death of 52-year-old Antoinette Brown, who was attacked by a pack of dogs on May 2 in South Dallas and died of her injuries a week later.

Esteban Rodriguez with Dallas Animal Services said in an interview with WFAA News that people need to be more responsible and not allow their dogs to run loose. Animal Services conducted a door-to-door search for the dogs responsible in the mauling, and several dogs have been taken in. Now the city is addressing the problem in a different manner, and their new “plan” will endanger community cats, should Dallas City Council pass the proposed ordinance.

Dallas map showing dog bites statistics
Dallas map showing dog bite statistics
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

A map is now available showing which areas in Dallas after consulting open records. Areas identified after a four-year research period as having the most dog attacks are Oak Cliff, followed by East Dallas and South Dallas. People are now afraid to walk their dogs due to the fear of being attacked. Many of these dogs travel in packs, while others are allowed to roam at large by their careless owners. Traps are being set in the more dangerous neighborhoods in an effort to catch the dogs and get them off the street.

Now for the solution, proposed by Dallas Animal Services and the city manager’s office. To address the dangerous dogs and pick up more loose animals, including community cats, a proposal was presented to Dallas City Council’s Quality of Live and Environment Committee last week to eliminate the three-day holding period and kill community cats, underage animals and/or strays impounded from areas with a high incidence of injuries by animals.

Fran Caconnier of the Oak Cliff Animal Initiative says if city council isn’t paying attention the plan could get through, creating a bigger problem than they have now. Caconnier stated:

“No one is going to pick up a dog and take it to the shelter knowing it could be euthanized immediately, without even having an iota of a chance of finding its person or finding a new home.”

Politics may come into play as some residents want the dangerous dogs removed, while others are afraid that should their dog escape their yard, it would be seized and killed immediately. No one is sure whether it’s actually legal to kill dogs seized in some parts of the city and not other parts. Councilwoman Tiffinni Young has been given the task of researching this strategy and presenting it to city council at their August meeting.

Director of Dallas Animals Services Jody Jones referred calls to the city’s public information officer. Last month, the Dallas Morning News called for her to be replaced as the city is struggling with what to do about the issue.

According to the City of Dallas Code of Ordinance, SEC. 7-2.8.   Killing or euthanasia of animals

(a)   The director or chief of police is authorized to kill by appropriate and available means an animal that poses an imminent danger to a person or another animal and a real or apparent necessity exists for destruction of the animal.

I may be wrong here, but I don’t think I am. How did the idea of trapping community cats and immediately killing them because someone who probably doesn’t even understand the cat psychology of a terrified cat says they’re a danger to the public? Cats escape from their home on occasion. It’s unlikely a cat is going to chase a person down a city sidewalk and inflict fatal injuries. Shouldn’t a cat owner be given three days, as the law states, to find their cat? A cat shouldn’t be killed as soon as it’s turned over to the shelter when it may have an owner searching for that cat. Neither should a frightened dog who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and is picked up by Animal Control.

How do the readers here feel about this proposal? Please sound off in the comments.

Elisa

Source 1 Please scroll down the source link article. There are five additional articles that will bring you up to date on this situation.

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17 thoughts on “City of Dallas is considering new ordinance to immediately kill free-roaming dogs and cats after fatal dog attack in May”

  1. The proposal is far to wide and indiscriminate. It can’t become a law. It seems to be a knee-jerk reaction to dog attacks causing injury. To then include stray and feral cats into the same category is madness.

    It is essentially a coarse, inhumane idea that I believe will die because in general people behave humanely towards animals. Yes, there is a minority who are sh*ts when it comes to animal welfare but the residents won’t allow this proposal to get off the ground.

    There is certainly a problem with dogs though. It needs to be dealt with and the guilty party is not the dog but the human. it’s irresponsible dog ownership which is the cause. Punish people; don’t kill dogs and and cats willy-nilly.

    Reply
    • If it were to be passed it would end up applying more to cats than dogs. Most shelters use the bulk of their resources to house and care for dogs.

      Reply
      • And there are at least 10x the number of good dog rescues as there are good cat rescues. Cats get the bad end anyway you look at it.

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    • I don’t think it can be passed in one part of the city and not another part. And it would increase the percentage of dogs dumped.

      Reply
  2. It would also be good for residents to attend a few council meetings and discuss this situation. Please read the articles that are listed under the source 1 article. They tell a story, but I STILL don’t understand how cats even got thrown into the mix here.

    Animals accidentally escape the home, climb under and over fences, are stolen and then get away from the thief, get out during a burglary just to name a few.

    I agree, make the repeat offenders pay. Some people need a good pounding in the head to understand their dog may appear dangerous to someone who doesn’t know that dog. The lady who was killed was attacked by a pack of dogs. Many large breed dogs will chase someone running thinking its playtime.

    Reply
  3. I.too live in a rural area and am more disturbed about the dogs that are dumped, turned out or breed in the area. I think that acting quickly, without looking into the problem is no solution. Lets find a solution to the problem, not add to it be acting too fast. All my animals are chipped, and before there were chips, they were tatooed. Housepets who suddenly find themselves away from home are bound to ge frightened and aggressive if approached in the wrong way. wild dog packs need to be taken in and checked for identification. If we loose a pet, put up fliers, talk to neighbors and the cop on the beat. If there is good reason for a pet to be frightened, let’s try to calm it and find out if it has an owner. We have too many laws. Before we make more laws, lets make those already on the books work.

    Reply
    • It’s well known that although we have a well written animal control ordinance that the AC officer seldom picks up stray/loose dogs and that judges often dismiss fines because of financial hardship. Laws that are not enforced are as worthless as none at all.
      I can think of no better way to encourage the dregs out here to chip their pets than the threat of having them disposed of if picked up.
      As a rule those with no collars, chip are not vaccinated or spay/neuter. While it’s not the animals fault it’s time to make it HURT to be irresponsible.
      Give them three days to pay to have fido/fluffy altered and chipped and pay a fine or put a hold on them until they do. Boarding included in fine.
      I have had my insane relatives and their foul animal habits in full view for 25 years. There are some people who need to be barred from having any pets.

      Reply
  4. Microchips and current data and a mandate to contact the owners would make most pets safe.
    Living I a rural area and having a butt load of idiot neighbors who think their free range dogs are harmless makes me happy to see attention being directed at a real problem. People here take walks with .22s, baseball bats and golf clubs or some heavy duty pepper spray. I recommend a walking stick with a hammer head welded on the top and pepper spray.
    We have had numerous pack mauling’s and a few deaths in Albuquerque. There are leash laws everywhere. Dogs should be IMPOUNDED and LARGE FINES that a JUDGE cannot MODIFY OR DISMISS in place.
    As annoying as stray cats can be I have yet to hear of a pack of feral cats attacking and pulling a living human being apart.
    A dog/cat that has a chip/ current rabies ID which is specific to that dog and can be traced or a collar with owner ID should move that animal to a waiting time.

    Reply
  5. Pets are property. To seize and destroy someone’s personal property without due process is a federal civil rights violation

    Reply
    • You are absolutely correct there. It’s also absurd to include pets that may get out one by accident. Quite another when the dog has been picked up for being astray a half dozen times.
      Again if our county enforced their own ordinances we wouldn’t have an animal problem.

      Reply
    • If you leave your “property” on public land or private land of others, it is no longer your “property”. You have discarded it and shown the world that you didn’t want it and don’t care what happens to it. Now someone else has to clean up your garbage.

      Reply
      • No, no. What you have written is totally at odds with the law. Obviously you disregard the law don’t you Woody?

        Domestic cats are allowed under almost current laws in the USA to wander outside. It is legal. And cats cannot be liable for trespass nor can their owners be vicariously liable except under certain specific, proscribed circumstances which are rare.

        Reply
      • There are a lot of people who discard their dogs, and many do it on their own property. I’m following a case right now where two friendly dogs were adopted through a rescue. The family underwent a vet check as well as a home check. The dogs were put outside for six months with no socialization and turned vicious. They’re back at the shelter and the rescue who saved them the first time can’t even get near them. One of the dogs lunged at her and the rescue says this is the most vicious dog they’ve ever seen. It will likely be killed Monday. Imagine this dog running around loose and ready to attack.

        There are a lot of people who instead of taking their dog to the shelter will set the dog free and hope someone will take it in. There are so many people who throw their once beloved companions into a shelter it’s unlikely they’ll want a stray. I’ve been at the shelter and watched people lined up out the door turning in “strays” who are really the family pet. My local shelter has accepted more than 1000 since June 1.

        Like Tracy said, a lot of these owners just leave someone else to clean up their garbage. It’s illegal to abandon an animal in most areas, but people do it anyway.

        Reply
        • And I don’t mean their animals are garbage. I mean the owner’s attitudes are garbage.They’re sociopaths who think of no one but themselves and not the poor pet depending on them for everything.

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      • Would the same be true of your beloved birdies who feed daily in your yard? Do you consider them pets, vagrants, or vermin?
        How many do you, actually, house inside your home and how many do you just feed outside, Jim?

        Reply

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