Hundreds of Thousands of Dallas Pets Are Living in the City Illegally

DogDazeCameronLewis.jpg
Cameron K. Lewis
How many dogs and cats are there in Dallas? It's a hard, maybe impossible figure to nail down with any certainty, but extrapolating from the Humane Society's U.S. pet-ownership statistics, the number is just north of 600,000. The American Veterinary Medical Association's pet-ownership calculator gives a slightly smaller but comparable figure of 583,000. That's not counting the hundreds of thousands of stray dogs and cats the city estimates are prowling around.

The number of dogs and cats that are actually registered with the city, as required by law: about 53,000. The compliance rate is in the single digits.

"We know that there are a lot of unregistered animals out there," code compliance director Jimmy Martin told the City Council's Quality of Life Committee this morning, unveiling several proposed changes to the city's pet laws.

Animal control officers will move away from issuing criminal citations for animal violations, which require a suspect to be present to receive a ticket, in favor of civil citations, which allow for more aggressive enforcement. They also plan to ditch annual registration in favor of three-year registration, the same window rabies shots are good for.

With those measures in place, Martin said the goal is to increase the number of registered dogs and cats to a whopping 59,604.

That's not quite good enough for Councilman Dwaine Caraway, the city's most outspoken critic of stray dogs.

"Can we cut their water off?" Caraway, referring to the owners, wondered aloud. He also suggested finding a list of pet owners with unregistered animals and performing a citywide "warrant roundup"-style sweep. "We need some type of signal they need to bring the animal into compliance."

Dallas Animal Services director Catherine McManus sidestepped Caraway's proposals and instead endorsed a "multifaceted approach" focusing on public education. Many people think a rabies tag is all their pet needs and are unaware of the city's registration requirement.

Councilman Lee Kleinman offered the obvious suggestion: have people register their pets when they get them vaccinated.

The question raised by Councilman Rick Callahan is whether pet owners just hit with a sizable vet bill will be willing and able to pay a three-year registration fee of $21 for fixed dogs and cats and $90 for those still intact.

"I know several people that have three, four, five dogs and [multiple] cats," he said. Those people are likely to balk at a $500 registration bill.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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48 comments
lankyw
lankyw

If you care for your pet, and take them to a Vet. in Dallas. You know this? Get you pet fixed and pay the city there $7.00 for unFixed pets and $30.00 for unfixed pets. They need the money for getting the 30K strays off  the streets in the Dallas area. Yes I do pay my $21.00 for my 3 cats every year.

j_angel180
j_angel180

Caraway Laws plastic bags dogs and cats who's running City Hall any ways? What's next? How about improving South Dallas? Didn't vote for him and I won't.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Speakin of pets. I don't get this catog shopping; sounds like what's in the litterbox.

doublecheese
doublecheese

Who are these suckers who actually have registered a pet?  I don't think I've ever talked to anyone who's done that.  

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

Arlington has very visible animal control. I came home one day to find an officer trying to catch my three escaped ducks, which had "trapped an elderly neighbor in her car".

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

Handle the issue of strays like Vermont does - shoot 'em.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

all those mutts look guilty of something.

wilme2
wilme2

"I know several people that have three, four, five dogs and [multiple] cats," he said. "Those people are likely to balk at a $500 registration bill."  


Well if they have that many INTACT animals, then they are breeding (intentionally or otherwise) and ought to consider that a cost of doing business...

whocareswhatithink
whocareswhatithink

Yes, allowing it to happen at the vets office, for $15 for 3 years makes sense, even at 5 animals, that way they get the money, so it can be cheaper.


But go ahead Caraway and cut off peoples water, you wont be elected again. So I welcome the stupid decision.


And we should prob tax all the illegals living here as well and cut off their water....you listening Farmers Branch?

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

What is the connection between Pets without licenses and stray animals?  It is not clear tightening down on licenses would decrease strays.

roo_ster
roo_ster

"We need some type of signal they need to bring the animal into compliance."

=======

You'd think he would speak more gently of his constituents.

pak152
pak152

what purpose does pet registration serve?

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

We can just call them "undocumented", and pay their vet and food bills.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

Is Myrna registered?  If not Pull her IP and you'll know where to find her

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

Dwayne Carraway wants to shut off poor people's water because they don't pay a fee for owning a pet.


Make sure everyone in his district knows that.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@holmantx

They're bums for crying out loud, they gotta be guilty of something.

dfwanimalrescue
dfwanimalrescue

@MikeWestEast DAS outreach efforts have determined that as many of 80% of those "strays' are actually owned animals allowed to roam.  Getting them licensed means we can identify them - and their owners, and issue citations accordingly.

lankyw
lankyw

@pak152  Stray animal control. and any thing to to with animals.

dfwanimalrescue
dfwanimalrescue

@pak152The purpose of registration is so that a dog or cat that bites someone can be identified and the owner contacted quickly.  If it can be determined the animal is vaccinated and licensed, the person bitten does not have to undergo the painful and expensive post-exposure prophylaxis.

dingo
dingo

@TheRuddSki  

Requiring animals to register inhibits their right to vote.

animas
animas

@ScottsMerkin  Please !    Myrna's cats are Ivy League Rhodes scholars.  One even plays the harpsichord.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin

Are you referring to her, or her illegal cats?

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Everlastingphelps

Dwayne Caraway is no Eric Holder when it comes to policies adversely affecting 'his people', that's for sure.

animas
animas

@everlastingphelps  He may want to re-think the plastic (doggy diaper) bag ban in view of this information. (LOL)

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin

Not ducks, apparently - never got hassled. Not even my attack-ducks.

Ducks make great guards BTW, anyone enters your back yard, you'll know it.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@dfwanimalrescue @MikeWestEast What are the results of cited owners actually paying?  It would seem something the owner could just blow off.  Does the pet get killed if owner does not pay?

pak152
pak152

@dfwanimalrescue I guess I should have used this emoticon ;-) after what i posted. I'm fully aware of the reasons, but
'
The purpose of registration is so that a dog or cat that bites someone can be identified and the owner contacted quickly." I suspect that the vast majority of dogs and none of the cats are wearing collars with the registration and vaccination tags. And if that is the case how can the owner be contacted?

pak152
pak152

@roo_ster ah another useless tax just like Carraway's bag tax.

want to ensure registration? drop the tax down to $1

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@dingo

So we can assume Obama would be against it, while the majority of American humans would support it, and if congress passed a law, it would be non-enforced?

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@animas  You remembered.  That's charming.  Miss U, my Burmese, is a devoted fan of the great François Couperin.  Unfortunately her ped has exposed her to all kinds of mental distresses that frequently result in frenetic manic attacks and then, catatonic depressive states.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@TheRuddSki  i phrased it exactly how I wanted it no word left out on accident :P

JMFitzmaurice
JMFitzmaurice

@TheRuddSki  Thrilled to know I'm not the only one in the area with ducks. Our 5 produce a staggering number of eggs, and yes warn us of everything.

pak152
pak152

@ScottsMerkin @MikeWestEast@pak152@roo_sterconsidering the large number of itty-bitty dogs (chihuahuas) in my neighborhood I seriously doubt that any of them are registered and none are wearing collars. may have to follow the governor's example when I go walkies

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@ScottsMerkin @pak152@roo_ster Who is going to "catch" them?  I have lived in this city since 1995 and have NEVER seen an animal control officer.  Not even a truck, car or van.  If they patrol, it must be somewhere else.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@pak152 @roo_ster  no, even more simple, make it free and then if you are caught without your pet registered then you pay a fine.  Dont pay the fine, have your pet removed from your home

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@MaxNoDifference  Quite excellent.  U is as common as Smith in Myanmar.  [Pronounced "ooo"]

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