Tammy Mutasa, Garland/Mesquite Reporter
Garland aims for proactive methods to handle aggressive dogs.
The city of Garland says it's averaging more than one dog bite per day but has a plan to deal with problem pets.
The city had 291 reports of dog bites in 2011, up from 370 in 2010.
"We have our fair share of vicious dogs, and we try to deal with them in a proactive manner as much as we can to protect our citizens,” said Jason Chessher, of the city.
A Garland ordinance states that dogs with a history of biting or that show extremely aggressive behavior can be deemed dangerous and moved out of the city. The animals are typically sent to an unincorporated area, the city said.
"If we have a dog that's out there that's showing really aggressive behavior but hasn't been involved in a bite, we don't have to necessarily wait for that dog to be involved in a bite,“ Chessher said. “We can be proactive and remove these dangerous dogs from the city."
Last year, 36 dogs were designated dangerous and forced out of the city.
Right now, an aggressive pit bull at the animal shelter is on its way out of the city after attacking people and their dogs while on the loose.
"It's very scary to see vicious dogs running loose around here,” said Wayne Wilmany, a Garland resident who was attacked by a Rottweiler in his neighborhood years ago.
Wilmany said he's still afraid to walk through parts of his neighborhood alone.
"I wouldn't walk in the back alleys because of the dangerous dogs that could get loose and hurt you, and they scare me,” he said.
Animal Services can recommend that aggressive dogs be neutered or go to obedience training.
The city has fencing requirements for owners of pit bulls, but animal service officers will tell owners of other dangerous dogs when their fences need upgrading.