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.
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.
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