DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Big changes could soon be on the way in the city of Dallas that could save the lives of residents and hundreds of dogs and cats each year.
City administrators will brief council members Monday morning on two major proposals: a change at its animal shelter that could put certain dogs and cats up for adoption earlier and a potential crackdown on dangerous dogs and their owners.
The proposals regarding dangerous and aggressive dogs come two years after a Dallas woman, Antoinette Brown, was mauled to death by a pack of stray dogs.
Two months ago, another woman, Veronica Yarbough, was rushed to the hospital after dogs mauled her.
Pam Evans lives just down the street from Yarbough and within two miles of where Brown was attacked.
She has her own nightmare involving loose dogs that happened before Brown died. “They killed my dog and my neighbor’s dog.”
Evans is still sad two years later.
She says three roving pit bulls attacked her puppy while it was sitting in her backyard. “Kept hitting the fence until they broke in and just murdered my dog.”
Evans regularly watches her grandchildren, and she and her daughter Elvisha Henry say while there are fewer stray dogs roaming the streets now, they still worry.
Henry says, “It’s a consistent concern. I don’t know how many conversations I’ve had with my mom going don’t leave especially my four year old out in the yard by herself.”
Among the proposals administrators are recommending are criminal penalties for allowing a dog to bite, additional penalties for second attacks, muzzling dogs when leaving the property, and limiting dog ownership for repeat offenders.
Henry says, “This is what we need, and especially after you had so many incidents, let’s not have another life lost, especially a child or an adult period. Those things they proposed would be amazing to have in place.”
Another major proposal Dallas Animal Services is considering could save hundreds of dogs and cats each year.
Administrators want to reduce the number of days the shelter will hold stray dogs and cats with ID tags from ten to five.
The city found that after five days, 93 percent of those animals are not claimed by their owners, and so this idea would make them available for adoption earlier.
One other proposal Dallas Animal Services is considering is opening a satellite location at the old Fire Station #44 on Frank Street in City Council District #7.
Council member Kevin Felder says he supports the idea.
The city’s Animal Advisory Committee has approved all of these proposals.
The full city council may vote on the plans June 27.