DALLAS – Community members from across southern Dallas are expected to gather for a town hall meeting on loose and stray dogs.
The meeting is a joint effort by council members Casey Thomas, Tiffinni Young, Carolyn King-Arnold and Deputy Mayor Pro-Tem Erik Wilson.
Neighbors say the sight of loose dogs roaming the street is a daily occurrence on Morrell Avenue in Oak Cliff.
”They chases people all the time up and down this street,” said Rudy Spears.
Neighbors in and around the area say they're fed up with loose and stray animals roaming the streets.
“It’s real frustrating,” said Sonny Epperson.
Loose and stray animals in southern Dallas has long been a frustrating reality. Neighbors like Epperson and Spears say they don't believe the city's doing enough to curb the issue.
”We have called repeatedly and it just seems like they are doing nothing about it," Spears explained.
A recent report by a group hired to study Dallas’ loose dog problem estimates about 8,700 loose dogs across Southern Dallas.
Senior Officer Anastasia Ramsey handles animal control complaints and investigations for Dallas Animal Services.
She says responsible pet ownership and community education is among the biggest challenges she sees.
”Getting people to understand why they need to do what’s right by their animals, what’s right by their neighbors, and follow the law," Ramsey said.
Ramsey was busy Monday afternoon following up on several service calls. She primarily works complaints and investigations across the Oak Cliff area. One stop included an animal cruelty follow-up on Barstow Boulevard.
“I’m going to have to write him a citation,” she said after inspecting a property. “He’s probably not going to be incredibly happy about that.”
The Dallas city manager is considering a few recommendations to help address the loose dog problem. Options include providing more than 43,000 low cost spay and neuter surgeries over the next three years, and increasing field intake and enforcement.
"There’s definitely staffing issues," Ramsey said. "And if I don’t make contact then because they are not at home, it’s hard to find someone who can go back out in the evening.”
Epperson and Spears say when it comes to loose and stray animals, they want to see more enforcement and action.
The joint town hall meeting is scheduled for 6:30p.m., Monday at the Park South YMCA located at 2500 Romine Avenue.
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