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Home News-Telegram News Safety: Officials warn of aggressive stray dogs on north side of city

Safety: Officials warn of aggressive stray dogs on north side of city

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Sulphur Springs officials urge community members to be on the lookout for and exhibit caution around two aggressive dogs, at least part pit bull, which animal control officers have been unsuccessful in catching over the last few weeks.

Sulphur Springs Police Department has received several reports of at least two vicious dogs, thought to be part pit bulldog and possibly part shar pei, which have killed several small pets and attacked several larger animals at people’s homes in Sulphur Springs.

“What we’re having is people can’t go out to their cars or mailboxes because the dogs are in their yards and will growl or act aggressively,” Sulphur Springs City Manager Marc Maxwell said Wednesday.

The dogs are said to be covering a large area from Airport Road at Loop 301 to the hospital up to Connally Street, essentially the northern half of the city.

Sulphur Springs Police Department’s Animal Control officers have received and responded to multiple calls over the last couple of weeks, either not being able to catch the dogs or finding the dogs had already moved to another location when they arrived.

Animal control officers generally try to catch stray dogs with their hook, secure them, check their health and see them adopted. However, they have been unsuccessful in catching these animals with the hook and noted the canines appear to be wild, aggressive even. Thus, the officers carry their shotguns these calls as a precaution against being attacked, Maxwell said.

“In the past, we’ve had a pack of wild shar  peis. That was a few years ago. They’ve gone now a while. These have pitt bull and look like they may have some shar pei, possibly a remnant of those. They are dangerous. If someone sees them, we urge them to call 911; let us send someone. If the officers can’t catch them, they will shoot them,” Maxwell said.

He said the animal control officers have received a lot of attention this week. A citizen posted on a Facebook page a warning for people to watch out for the animal control officer with a shotgun walking around shooting dogs.

Maxwell said the officers will be carrying their guns as a precaution for their personal protection and that of the general public. If necessary, the animals will be shot to remove them and the threat they present to the community. He said tranquilizers take a little while to take affect. If a dire situation arises, for instance one or both of the dogs is found attacking or biting someone, the officers wouldn’t have time to wait to get the tranquilizer in the animal then for it to take affect. They will take action immediately if the dogs pose a threat.

As for the claim the animal control officer was wearing attire so that he was not easily recognizable as a law enforcement officer, Maxwell said one of the animal control officers did at least one day this week pull coveralls on while out in the extreme cold temperatures trying to chase the dogs down. They do still wear the appropriate attire and generally arrive in marked vehicles.

Maxwell said he’s more concerned about getting the dogs off the street than he is whether or not the officer’s full assigned attire is visible.




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