A new community group hopes southern Dallas residents fed up with the problem of loose dogs can be a large part of the solution.
The Southern Dallas Animal Initiative wants to drastically reduce the number of loose and stray dogs in southern Dallas by empowering and educating residents to deal with the problem themselves.
"People, for the first time, are really going to have the opportunity to understand what to do when faced with a stray dog, how to address this issue," said Michael Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College.
The SDAI will initially focus its efforts on four southern Dallas zip codes: 75216, 75217, 75227 and 75241. With the help of community rescue groups, Dallas Animal Services and the SPCA, residents will have the opportunity to learn how to trap loose dogs in the safest way possible.
"This is not a band of mercenaries going out trying to deal with the problem themselves," Sorrell said. "This is a far more thoughtful approach to this than running around with traps."
The group also hopes to connect residents with low-cost spay and neuter services and promote micro-chipping and responsible dog ownership.
Organizers held their first meeting Wednesday. They hope to hold a community town hall soon.
"We want to be a resource to individuals to know that when they pick up the phone, when they make a phone call, when they email someone, that they're going to be responded to and that their situation and life quality are going to improve," Sorrell said.
The group is tailor-made for Ryan Munchrath. In the last two years he's rescued more than 35 dogs, often housing them in his own Oak Cliff home.
"I stopped driving by and started stopping and started offering food to these animals any way I could," he said. "To love an animal and then see the ones in this neighborhood treated the way they are, it was a turning point and I can't stand for it anymore."