What's been done so far to overhaul Dallas Animal Services

After a grandmother and veteran was mauled to death in Dallas by loose dogs, the mayor committed to getting a handle on the city's loose dog problem.

Deputy Chief Robert Sherwin told city leaders that things are improving at Dallas Animal Services but says resources are also strained despite an extra $2.7 million from the city.

Nancy Lewis is one of Dallas's many dog bite victims.

“It has been life altering. I have scars that will never go away,” she said.

Lewis believes the city failed her when they responded to her attack.

“And I still don't see the city of Dallas is trying to help the victim,” she said.

At the time, Lewis was even given wrong information.

“They told me all dogs in Texas are allowed one bite,” the dog attack victim said. “It is not true. I could have filed a report right then and there. But no one explained that is my right."

Lewis later learned that her bite was the fourth incident the dogs were involved in.

On Thursday, the new temporary head of DAS told the Animal Advisory Commission that they have hired six new animal service officers and are working to fill one vacancy, have picked up 300 more dogs in November compared with a year ago and are working to spay and neuter 46,000 dogs a year.

"Incredible what employees have done because we asked them to,” said Sherwin. “If any of you have been in shelter lately, you've seen the culture change.”

The city is also working to overhaul its response to dog attack victims like Nancy Lewis, with more active outreach and documentation of dangerous dogs.

In August, the consulting group found DAS was organizing bite reports in a stuffed cardboard box.

Digital copies of records do exist. But when FOX 4 requested them, we were billed more than $6,000 because DAS says it doesn't have access to the digital reports made by the consulting group.

When asked why the data wasn't shared and how DAS is filing bite reports now, Sherwin did not give a reply.

Lewis hopes the city will follow through.

“This has got to change because we can't have these dogs placed back into homes so they do it again,” she said.

CONTINUING COVERAGE

Judge: Two horses, dog seized in SPCA cruelty case will not be returned to owner

SPCA seizes animals from Dallas home after dead dog found

DPD to partner with SPCA for animal cruelty cases

Two Dallas police veterans put in charge of Dallas Animal Services

FOX 4 Investigation: Animal cruelty cases falls through the cracks at DPD

FOX 4 Investigation: Broken system fails abused animals in Dallas

 

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