DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas is one step closer to taking action that city leaders say will save residents’ lives and hundreds of cats and dogs each year.
The city council’s Quality of Life Committee approved two major changes Monday that will now move to the full city council. One involves a potential crackdown on dangerous and aggressive dogs and their owners. The other is a big change at Dallas’ animal shelter.
If okayed, Dallas Animal Services will reduce the number of days that dogs and cats that are tagged can be held in the shelter from ten to five days before they are eligible to be put up for adoption.
That would speed-up the adoption process and the city estimates would save the lives of 600 dogs and cats each year, and make more room in the shelter for other animals brought in.
The Director of Dallas Animal Services, Ed Jamison said, “In my business, it’s all about keeping cages open. The more cages open, the more animals we can get in, the longer we can hold onto and try to find positive outcomes.”
Jamison said after five days of being in the shelter, 93 percent of the tagged dogs and cats are not reclaimed by their owners.
Stray dogs and cats that don’t have ID tags will continue to be eligible for adoption after being held for three days.
The council committee also okayed recommendations to make it a crime for a dog owner to allow their pet to bite — both a person and another animal.
The city would also penalize the owners if it happens to them more than once.
Currently, once a dog is identified as dangerous, and its owner surrenders their pet, the case is closed.
The city wants to prevent this by keeping owners from obtaining another dog and allowing it to attack people and other animals again.
It was nearly two years ago, a Dallas resident, Antoinette Brown died after being mauled by a pack of roving dogs.
Dallas Animal Services says the number of bites by loose dogs has dropped from 432 between October 1 and May 1 in fiscal year 2016 to 275 between those same months in fiscal year 2018.
The number of dogs taken in by animal services between those same months jumped from 4,756 in fiscal year 2016 to 8,360 in fiscal year 2018.
The full city council will vote on these proposals at the end of the month.
Animal services is also in the process of opening a satellite shelter at the old Fire Station #44 on Frank Street in District 7.
Council member Kevin Felder says he supports the idea.
No council action is needed for that.