New Stray Dog Ordinance has Animal Rescuers Howling

4 by 6 IMG_2971Tim mentioned the new stray dog ordinance passed by the City Council in “Leading Off” yesterday. Evidently the ordinance has really got the Animal Shelter Commission and other dog lovers  growling. According to Animal Shelter Commission member Jonnie England,

“This vote came as quite a shock to the members of the Animal Shelter Commission; we knew nothing about the proposal, nor did we know that it would be presented to the Council for a vote. We were never asked for our advice or input. From conversations I’d had with fellow Commissioners, we would have recommended that the Council reject this ordinance.”

Vonceil Jones Hill was the only council person who voted against it saying, “it places an inordinate burden on any person who is trying to show some kindness to a stray.”


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  • J-No

    I really don’t get who can be against this ordinance. When I find a stray dog, which I do about once every other week, all I want to do is find it’s home. I’ve spent over a week trying to find the owners. I think it’s asking for minimal human compassion at the most and for citizens to do the right thing. At the most call to have the dog picked up, wouldn’t it take more effort to try and sell or pawn off the dog on a friend who might feel like taking in one. I don’t get people who wouldn’t knee-jerk just do the right thing. But then, I live in FW and the right thing is a common notion here.

  • publicnewssense

    J-No, if you find strays and can find the homes, you must live in the Park Cities or some other generally law-abiding high-dollar neighborhood without dog-fighters and irresponsible owners. Congratulations to you on finding the homes of those dogs. How about spending a month near Kiest Park and trying to find the homes of those dumped, mangy, starving, diseased and injured dogs that are “set free” in the park. Or hang out in the Trinity River bottoms and see how quickly you find the homes of those roving packs.
    I guess I’m saying, congratulations on your selection of ideal real estate in a city that kills stray and surrendered animals by the tens of thousands annually.

  • Thank you Ms. Hill. Two months ago, walking out to the end of my driveway to pick up the WSJ a small dog was lying down at the curb. As I approached he rolled over, wagged his tail and exposed his emaciated frame and starvation engorged stomach. He had no collar, nor were any notices posted in the neighborhood (other neighbors had noticed him wandering around for days), so I took him to my vet hoping for a chip to return him to his home. Because he was so darn sweet, just a lovey, cuddly, big-brown-eyes spaniel kind of trouble.

    Not only no collar, but non-neutered, unchipped and with heartworms. A dumped dog. My vet (the wonderful Larry Williams at Preston Center Animal Clinic) worked out a deal with me to get him well (and neutered), and I found him a foster home with a neighbor, waiting for word from Operation Kindness (where 2 of my 3 dogs are from) to get him in. The foster family has since adopted him and he is now healthy and happy.

    Would I have been in trouble under this new law? What about the owner who does not bother to regiser, neuter or identify their dogs with chips or collars. My dogs don’t have collars because they play quite ferociously with each other, and I don’t want to risk a broken jaw or leg from getting caught in a collar. But all three are chipped – this is the ID of NOW for animals, forget collars!

    What would have happened to this apparently dumped, ill dog if he had been brought to the city facility. Certainly it would have taken a bed away from another dog, and would have incurred the cost of feedeing and housing for whatever time period possible. And really, who was going to adopt an ill dog, vs. one that had the cost of treatment underwritten by some kind (crazy) donors.

    This is the age of the internet. You can have a blog, or a website, or a facebook page for next to (or) nothing. The city needs to step up to accomodate the issues surrounding the micro-chipped dog age, care via foster families, and internet postings of lost and found dogs as a central source of helping owners and helping animals at the same time.

    This was for Moe. A happy dog now.

  • Jeanne Prejean

    Interesting exchange about the ordinance. But I’m a bit confused about why it came about. It seems that the man, who initiated it, did it because his two tethered dogs were taken by someone else and not returned. According to my understanding, (a) his “tethered dogs” would not be considered stray animals and (b) the man who took the dogs would be guilty of stealing “property.”

    So, this ordinance is now punishing people who rescue animals instead of letting the critters wander around and cause greater problems. Interesting.

  • Eastside

    I rescued 2 big pit bulls running down Skillman & Belmont. These dogs were massive but insanely sweet. They had been well cared for but did not have any tags. It was a Saturday night at 6 pm. No vets open, called 311 and of course no answer. I couldn’t take them home as my dogs would have gone nuts and someone may have been injured. I ended up taking them to the city animal shelter on 30, which was closed. It took me and a police officer friend an hour to find someone who could come out there. I had never been to that facility and there were so many adorable dogs. The pits never barked or jumped, just drooled a lot. We ended up making signs and putting them up all over the neighborhood in whoch we thought the owners might live (Abrams to Greenville Ave). The owners saw the sign and got their dogs back. The shelter told them they only had until 1 pm that day.

    This turned out well but I learned that the city does not make it easy to find out where to take a dog if you cannot keep it, and they don’t really make it easy to come and get it. I completely agree that there should be an updated website with animals that come in daily. Take a picture and post it as they are doing the paperwork on the dog. But I guess that job would get cut in the city’s budget cuts.

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