Loose Dogs Maul Family Pet Near Kessler Park

Animal rights advocate jumps in to help

The issue of stray dogs in Dallas isn't going away. The city has been dealing with it for decades.

In May, Antoinette Brown was mauled to death, which eventually led to big changes to Dallas Animal Services. Last month, DAS announced it intends to pick up nearly 7,000 more dogs than it currently does.

Some animal rights advocates doubt it can be done and emphasize capturing stray dogs isn't the only solution.

"The punishment has to be on the irresponsible dog owners," said Jeremy Boss, an advocate for stray dogs. "Sweeping doesn't solve a problem. The only way to do that is to go after the owner of these animals."

Two weeks ago, Boss witnessed a pack of loose dogs maul a family pet near Kessler Park. He called 911 and 311, and also attempted to deescalate the situation.

"I called 911 and said, 'There's a pack of dogs. They're running loose in Kessler Park. I need somebody here now.' I didn't know if a kid was on the porch, an elderly lady. I was terrified," said Boss. "All three dogs were on top of the cat."

"I grabbed the husky and picked it up. The pitbull started charging at me, so I had to back up and I started swinging," Boss added.

Boss said it took DAS an hour to respond.

"They showed up with one DAS officer for a pack of dogs. I don't understand that," said Boss. "You don't send one person when you have a pack of dogs."

In September, Dallas City Manager A.C. Gonzalez assigned Dallas Police Deputy Chief Robert Sherwin to oversee DAS.

Sherwin plans on hiring 10 additional animal control officers. There are currently 15 officers per shift and 40 total in the department.

"We're aggressively picking up loose animals in southern Dallas, but at the same time we're engaging our transfer partner and rescue groups to take more of these animals out and get them adopted to homes," said Sherwin. "We have to make sure people shouldn't have to walk around their neighborhood with a golf club in their hands."

Sherwin said DAS will implement a response system similar to one Dallas Police is using.

"Remember our animal services officers are not police officers. They still have to abide to the traffic laws. We want them to get there safely, but quickly," said Sherwin. "We're prioritizing calls and still learning how to do that."

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