Sunday, May 28, 2017

Aggressive Dogs Torment Area Citizens

The Standard Times revealed other citizens experienced the tragedy of pets killed by loose dogs in San Angelo.  An aggressive dog pack killed thirty pets around Christoval Road and Glenmore Park in late February/early March.  Our experience is chronicled in three posts on this blog:

Pets Dying on Old Christoval Road -  March 9, 2017
The city placed numerous obstacles in the way of this clear public safety hazard, as evidenced by the number of phone calls to Police Dispatch on the deadly dogs.  The city said it had no traps and for concerned citizens to trap the dogs themselves. 

Dogs Continue Small Pet Hunting Behavior - March 13, 2017
Once trapped Animal Control said citizens needed to bring the trapped dog to the Animal Shelter.  However, the city was willing to pick up killed pets for a $25 fee.

Second Dangerous Dog Trapped - March 15, 2017
City Councilman Lane Carter helped motivate Animal Services to come out in the middle of the night to pick up a second trapped dangerous dog.

Local citizens dealt with 99% of the problem without the support or interest of Animal Services.  It appears other area citizens have a similar story to tell.

I found odd the reply from Bob Salas, Director Neighborhood/Family Services (via e-mail).

He added that animal control doesn't respond to animal-on-animal attacks.
"That is a civil issue," Salas wrote. "If a pet dog is attacked by another dog, the owner can file a complaint with the City prosecutor and case will be heard by the (municipal) Judge."
There is a difference between a public safety concern and legal remedies available to harmed citizens.  An animal that attacks another animal is a potential hazard to children.

In our case there was no pet dog.  There were loose packs of unowned dogs roaming the streets, including Glenmore Park, where many children congregate. 

The City's website states for Animal Control:

... calls involving immediate injury or harm to a person from an animal or an injured animal are the highest priority.

If my pet is attacked and harmed by another animal I have an "injured animal" which the city says is high priority for response.  I don't understand how Bob Salas can parse this into something the city ignores completely.

Mayor Morrison had significant concerns about Animal Services  winnowing down their job.  He read a laundry list of services Animal Control no longer provides (3:00:41) in the January City Council meeting. That very meeting City Manager Daniel Valenzuela said Animal Services would focus on animal control and public safety (3:24:15).  Valenzuela said:

"We look at health and safety for the community...  For any city it's animal control and making sure that no one out there in the community is ever placed in any type of harm from animal population that has gotten out of control."
Less than six weeks later citizens needed their help and it was mostly unavailable.  It's sad to read our story has been replicated by others. 

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