Stray dogs prompt calls to City Hall in Houston

By Lisa Voyles/Chickasaw Journal

HOUSTON – Dogs running loose in Houston and causing damage to property and other animals have prompted complaints to City Hall in Houston.

Charlene Clark said her cat was killed by stray dogs running loose on Jan. 23.

“This town is reeking of dogs,” Clark said. “One killed our big, white cat that was previously owned by (the late) Forrest Wofford.”

Clark said the dogs attacked her cat in her yard and caused injuries which led to its death.

Mayor Stacey Parker said city employees are trying to police loose animals in town, in addition to other regular duties.

“Us trying to catch dogs in town is like a State Trooper trying to catch speeders,” Parker said. “Some are caught and some are not, but they’re always out there.”

Parker said the city had contracted with an outside individual to patrol the city and pick up loose animals, but he quit after a short time on the job. City employees are now trying fill in the gap.

“We do have people trying to get it done, but we don’t always have enough people to get it done,” Parker said. “We had a dog catcher and he was catching dogs. He made a big dent in the problem at the time.”

The city ordinance regulating stray or loose animals applies to all animals, not only dogs.

“The term ‘animal’ whenever used in this ordinance shall be held to apply to both male and female animals and without regard to age and size.” – Section 1, Ordinance No. 2011-12

The ordinance states that the owner, possessor, or custodian of any animal is responsible for providing humane treatment and veterinary treatment for the animal and also for keeping the animal on the owner’s property by housing it within a fence, pen, house, building or enclosure from which it cannot escape, or on a leash in public. – Section 2, Ordinance No. 2011-12

Parker said he does not know the will or intent of the Board of Aldermen regarding further actions by the City in collecting stray animals.

The Houston Board of Aldermen will meet Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m. for a regular business meeting.