No audit on troubled Dallas Animal Services in more than a decade

Transparency issued at Dallas Animal Services

DALLAS — - Dallas city auditor Craig Kenton confirmed to News 8 on Thursday that his department is conducting the first audit on Dallas Animal Services in at least a decade.

Kenton says the audit of the troubled agency comes after risk assessment metrics indicated an audit should be conducted.

It comes amid a shake up of the agency this week by Dallas city manager A.C. Gonzalez, who appointed two Dallas Police commanders on Monday to take over for former director Jody Jones.

For Charlie Howell, the shakeup comes at the right time.

"I'm hoping the regime change will bring me some closure," Howell said Thursday.

Howell and his Shepherd mix "Boudreaux" were walking in their Winnetka Heights neighborhood in Oak Cliff in August of 2015 when they were attacked by loose pit bull.

Howell says "Boudreaux" escaped injury but he sustained bites to his face, groin, fingers and near his rib cage.

Injuries on his face required stitches, but he says the added insult came months later from Dallas Animal Services.

Howell says he wanted to know more about the dog who attacked him, specifically the owner. He filed an open records request with DAS in January. He paid $155 for documents and by April had no response. Howell filed a formal complaint to the state attorney general.

Howell says DAS only responded to his open records request after he hired a lawyer who then filed a deposition.

Allen Gwinn says none of the difficulties surprise him.

"No, it's not okay but it's how they do business," Gwinn said.

Gwinn, a decades long politcal watchdog and the man behind the website says he is in the process of attempting to independently audit Dallas Animal Services but his requests for revenue and expenditure data have gone answered for nearly two months.

"When a city behaves this way its symptomatic of an organization that doesn't really want to know the answer to a problem," Gwinn said. 

The city says it is addressing the widespread problems at DAS, specifically the scathing independent report from the Boston Consulting Group last month.

That report highlighted 8,700 loose dogs in southern Dallas with no clear vision from Dallas Animal Services on how to address the problem.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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