DALLAS – Residents with outstanding warrants involving animal ordinance violations are being urged to settle those cases before this weekend. The Dallas Marshal’s Office is preparing to help Dallas Animal Services in a warrant round-up beginning Saturday, Jan 20.
”We have more than 10,000 active warrants for animal-related cases,” said Interim City Marshal Paul Hansen.
Deputies are urging people to satisfy their cases with the courts now or risk being arrested at their homes or jobs.
"We’re talking about animals at large. We’re talking about tethered animals. We’re talking about animals that aren’t surrendered for quarantine," Hansen explained.
South Dallas residents, like Vanessa Willis, said they support the warrant round-up. Willis was traveling near Malcolm X Boulevard on Wednesday as a white and black spotted pit bull mix was roaming the street unleashed.
“Everybody don’t like dogs,” Willis said as she watched the dogs prancing the sidewalk. "Makes me real nervous,” Willis said sharply.
The dog was, yet, another loose animal in an area, where this type of animal at large violation happens far too often. Willis knows about run-ins with loose dogs first-hand.
“These two dogs, a black one and a white one, and then a brown one. They come and ran towards me, and if I hadn’t been swinging my purse, and if this young guy hadn’t been sitting on the porch waiting for his mom to go to work, they would have attacked me," Willis explained.
This weekend’s warrant round-up can have a major impact for Dallas Animal Services, which continues impounding about 1,400 dogs each month. Its workers said they have been trying to educate the community about ordinances and resources.
“A warrant roundup isn’t something we typically do in Animal Services. It’s very interesting to see how this works out," Field Operations Manager Edward Suarez said.
That pit bull mix was seen roaming the streets, just blocks from where a pack of dogs mauled a woman back in 2016. A memorial still sits in the field where the tragedy happened.
Willis said she hopes those who have active warrants take responsibility.
"It’s all about safety,” Willis said.
Investigators said there are several ways for a defendant to take care of fines and avoid jail time.
Individuals may pay in person at the Court and Detention Services Municipal Building located at 2014 Main Street. Those attempting to make full payments on citation may visit the Dallas Marshall’s Office at 1600 Chestnut St.