Anybody who knows Reggie, the Rather's 15-year-old Terrier mix, knows he's rambunctious.
"This is just so unlike him. I've never seen him sleep this much," said Taylor Rather. Reggie hasn't moved much from his favorite spot on the large chair in the living room. These last couple weeks have been hard for the Rathers and Reggie. On Fourth of July night, he bit a family member. Lindsay Rather tells WFAA says the bite was "very minor."
"We didn't really have a choice, he had to be quarantined," Lindsay said. Reggie was quarantined at Dallas Animal Services. But it's the way he returned ten days later that has them angered.
Lindsay says Reggie was covered in ticks. "The second I got within arms reach of him, it was very obvious that he was covered head to toe. It was terrifying," said Lindsay. She shared pictures of her dog with ticks along the dog's neck, ears, and chest. Lindsay rushed the dog to a vet.
The city investigated and found that dogs in 30 of the kennels in a quarantined area had ticks. Reggie had three different kinds and is still being monitored for Lyme Disease.
The following statement was sent to WFAA by a representative with the City of Dallas:
A dog owned by a Dallas family was quarantined between July 5 through July 15 after it was reported to have bitten the owner’s family member. Per State law, dogs involved in a reported bite incident must be quarantined and examined for rabies.
On July 16, the family notified Dallas Animal Services (DAS) of the presence of ticks on their dog. An immediate review of DAS kennels was conducted and it was discovered that 30 of the 500 animal kennels at the shelter, all within the quarantined dog area for bite dogs, had a tick issue between dogs.
Tuesday, all dogs in the quarantine room were given tick protection medicine to resolve the issue. Dallas Animal Services’ primary focus is the care of our animals. Immediate action was taken once the issue was brought to our attention. Moving forward, tick prevention medicine will be administered to all dogs that come into DAS’ care. Additionally, the 30 quarantine kennels are also being treated for tick prevention.
"I know it's a simple way of saying it, but it's just sad," said Lindsay. It just so happens Reggie was a rescue from this very place eight years ago. "It kinda came full circle in a very weird way. That's where we adopted him, and that's where all this horrible stuff happened," said Taylor.
The city says its cleaned up the kennels and now put in a new policy. That every dog that comes in will get tick preventative medicine. The city says it's not sure when the new policy will fully roll-out. For now, all dogs that visibly show ticks are being treated.