Unleashed Dog Bites Surge in Dallas

Unleashed dog on the street | Image by frimufilms/Freepik

Bites from loose canines have surged in the city in the past year.

Dallas has recorded 37% more loose dog bites this quarter compared to the same period a year ago, according to Dallas Animal Services (DAS) director MeLissa Webber, who spoke with Dallas City Council members on February 20, reported Fox 4 KDFW.

Earlier this month, The Dallas Express reported on a video showing an eight-month-pregnant woman being attacked by an unleashed dog. The victim, Reyna Gutierrez, was with her two children at the time of the attack. She was taken to the hospital after suffering bites to both her hands and arms.

DX previously reported that the ambitious “Spay Neuter Surge” program was terminated after a six-year run. It was started with private funds after a woman in the city was mauled to death by a pack of dogs in 2016. The program was responsible for neutering, vaccinating, and microchipping 68,000 dogs.

DAS was allocated a $250,000 budget increase this year to pay for spaying and neutering animals, enough to cover roughly 2,000 pets, according to Fox 4.

Webber said the recent increase in dog bites is not a result of unowned stray dogs. Of the 205 recorded bites, Webber said only 58 did not have owners. The remaining 147 did have owners, but the dogs were loose at the time of the attacks.

Webber said the solution “is to get folks to keep their dogs confined,” per Fox 4.

The City of Dallas website says that dog owners commit a Class C misdemeanor when they fail to secure their dog, and it injures another person or animal unprovoked at locations other than the owner’s property.

If you or someone you know is bitten or scratched by an animal, you can report the incident by calling 311 or using the Dallas 311 mobile app.

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