Lubbock's Animal Issues - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/16/08

Lubbock's Animal Issues

One Pit Bull is in custody, two others are still roaming the streets of Lubbock and one Basset Hound is recovering after being attacked by those Pit Bulls.

It all happened Wednesday morning at 26th and Avenue P. Apparently the hound was roaming the street when the Pit Bulls escaped their home and attacked the Basset. The owners of the Pit Bulls are out of town. No word yet if the owner of the Basset plans on asking for dangerous dog hearings against the Pit Bulls.

This attack is just one of several Lubbock has seen this month. From strays to dog attacks, Lubbock Animal Services is handling hundreds of calls per month. In just the first 16 days of 2008, they have received nearly 900 calls.

"Just in the last couple of weeks Animal Services has been extremely busy," said Kevin Overstreet, director of Lubbock Animal Services.

Eleven of those calls were about animal bites. But the majority of calls, 305, were about dogs at large or dogs running the streets unattended. That prompted us to ask, "does Lubbock have a stray animal problem?"

To find out, we wanted to know how Lubbock stacks up against our two other similar sized west Texas cities - Amarillo and Midland.

Amarillo saw an average of 2,500 calls per month in 2007 with 2,100 strays being picked up per month. Down in Midland the numbers aren't much different. They averaged 2,800 calls per month with between 900 and 950 animal strays picked up per month.

Again, Lubbock has had 305 calls about strays so even if we double that number in the next two weeks we'll still have fewer strays than both Amarillo and Midland.

Lubbock Animal Services has a message for all pet owners.

"We want people to take responsibility for their pets and to make sure they have a secure environment where they're not able to get out and attack other people's pets or attack other people," said Overstreet.

Even if your dog simply gets out of your yard and later gets picked up by Animal Services, there is a fine to get that dog out of custody. It's just about $100 depending on how long they're in custody.

Animals that are tagged and not picked up by their owners within ten days either go into the adoption program or are euthanized. But if you're pet isn't tagged that ten days is knocked down to three.

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