DALLAS -- Months after a woman was mauled to death by loose dogs, Dallas Animal Services is now in the midst of changes.
The city council devoted more money in the budget and new leadership headed by Dallas Police Department personnel are among the big changes to get loose dogs of the street while saving them from being euthanized.
At a presentation before the Quality of Life & Environment Committee on Monday, DAS said their goal is to pick up 6,900 stray dogs in the coming year while releasing more than 7,200 either to adoption or some other non-kill destination after being spay/neutered, microchipped and vaccinated.
Antoinette Brown was killed in May by loose dogs, leading to the devotion of more money and resources towards the oft-overwhelmed department.
Dallas Police Deputy Chief Robert Sherwin is the new leader at DAS and said the department is trying to build stronger, more defined relationships with animal rescue groups able to take loose dogs into their shelters.
“We do have some large transfer partners like operations kindness and the SPCA. These groups can take a lot of animals,” said Sherwin. “What we are trying to do is build Memorandums of Understanding with hard numbers about (how many animals) these groups can actually take. Part of this is in the negotiation with each one.”
Both Sherwin and Major Barbara Hobbs have been given control of DAS, coming over from the unit within DPD responsible for investigating homicides, sexual assaults, and other violent crimes against people.
The idea of redirecting such police resources towards DAS did not sit well with District 14 Councilman Philip Kingston, who believes it is a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
“This is indicative and emblematic of the terrible management we are getting out of the current administration,” said Kingston at Monday’s committee meeting. “I think (Sherwin) should be back solving murders. (Loose dogs) is an important issue, but it is not more important than bringing justice to people who have been killed.”