South Dallas Residents Sound Off at First in a Series of Town Hall Meetings About Loose and Stray Dogs

On Monday night, a loose dog roamed in the parking lot of Dallas' Park South YMCA, the site of a town hall meeting to sound off about the city's loose and stray dog problem.

"It's not so much about how my neighbors dogs are getting out," explained Claudia Fowler, who lives in the Joppa Community. "People take and drop dogs off in my neighborhood!"

There are an estimated 8,700 loose or stray dogs in South Dallas. A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group shows 85 percent of the dogs in South Dallas are not spayed or neutered, so the population continues to grow.

"The puppy looks cute," said Cydney Walker, who asked about public education for dog owners. "Once the puppy starts growing up, it becomes a problem."

"This is not a dog problem," said Peter Brodsky of the Dallas Animal Commission. "It's a people problem."

The problem was thrust into the spotlight with the dog mauling death of Antoinette Brown, whose family has threatened a lawsuit against the city. Last month Brown's daughter, Matisha Ward, filed a suit against Dallas City Councilwoman Tiffinni Young for allegedly helping an attorney friend, Christopher Chestnut, solicit business from Brown's family for a wrongful death suit.

Monday night, Young had "no comment" about the pending suit. She hosted Monday night's town hall meeting.

"We need the dogs picked up immediately," said Patricia Williams, of South Dallas. "Before there becomes another tragedy."

This was the first in a series of town hall meetings. The next one is this Wednesday night at Paul Quinn College.

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