It is finally here everyone, it is time for serious action. The Mayor’s Grow South initiative is bringing a lot of attention to the city’s animal issues. It is time to leverage your voices and your concerns to help solve the animal issues plaguing our neighborhood. The first step is easy, you can do it from your couch in your pajamas!
Please take 5 minutes and contact our City Leaders about animal issues. It is breeding and budget season, so time is of the essence.
We have posted an update from our Oak Cliff Animal Initiative Town Hall Meeting. If you have time, please read the entire post. If you only have 5 minutes now, go to the bottom of the link to the summary section and there is a section you can copy and paste to get the city officials’ email addresses.
In your email please say something about how your safety and quality of life is being affected by animal issues – especially loose dogs. Please convey that you expect City Leaders to address animal issues. Additionally, it would be great let them know that you support Gypsy Dog Ops and the Oak Cliff Animal Initiative and you hope that the city will address the information outlined in these posts/links (insert all three of the links below)
Below is a list of sample emails written over the past few days by your caring, concerned neighbors. The names have been redacted, but if you agree with the content, feel free to borrow some of their language or copy anything from any of the Gypsy Dog Ops posts and use it in your email.
Please share this with anyone you think will help and thank you for joining the movement to advocate for the safety and quality of life needs of our neighborhood and our city.
REAL EMAILS WRITTEN BY YOUR NEIGHBORS:
To all of our friends in City Hall and local government,
Thank you for taking the time to listen to the animal issues affecting our corner of Dallas. Feral dogs are a particular concern, and we’d like to know city services can figure out a way to responsibly and humanely deal with them. (Trust me, it is a truly disturbing experience to be startled awake to the sounds of your neighbor’s cat being mauled by wild dogs in the driveway).
Advocates in our neighborhood have initiated a series of meetings with Councilman Griggs on this subject and other animal issues. His involvement has already helped by giving them the tools they need to navigate the system. Please give this grassroots effort the serious concern it deserves in order to properly allocate resources and adjust policies. We fully support the work of the Oak Cliff Animal Initiative and Gypsy Dog Ops as they work to solve these problems together:
I am writing this email to let you know that I live in Oak Cliff and support the Oak Cliff Animal Initiative. First let me say that I have NEVER written a city official ever. I live in Oak Cliff and support what Gypsy Dog Ops is advocating in the neighborhood. In fact I adopted a beautiful loving dog Gypsy Dog Ops rescue and am considering becoming a foster. My family is committed to doing our part and hope our city leaders will address the information on the site below. The town hall was the first step and we look forward to making more progress.
The animal issues that plague our Oak Cliff neighborhood would be considered extraordinary circumstances in most other Dallas neighborhoods, but we have come to know these conditions as ordinary. These extreme issues are part of our daily lives and they are affecting our safety and quality of life as well as the quality of life of the dogs and cats.
I very much appreciate Scott Griggs support for the March 29th Oak Cliff Animal Initiative Town Hall meeting at Kidd Springs Park recreation center. Maybe this signals the start for meaningful partnership between our Oak Cliff neighborhoods and the City of Dallas.
The Dallas economic status has and continues to improve. Please increase the Dallas Animal Services (DAS) budget to prior-2008 levels, the level prior to the economic downtown. Please target DAS funding for training to update animal control methods and for the use of more up-to-date behaviorally sound methods for animal capture. Please also put into place the means and methods for DAS to partner with neighborhoods to address the feral and loose dog populations. We live here. It may be that we actually have some good recommendations on a better way to approach the Oak Cliff feral and loose dog problems.
I have lived in Oak Cliff – Winnetka Heights for 19 years. This has been a continuing problem for all of those years. Certainly, no time like the present to address this issue.
There was recently a report and a posting about a fawn-colored pittbull that had attacked a small dog being walked by its owner. The small dog is at the vet and has suffered major trauma such as puncture wounds, brain swelling, and seizures.
I had reported this same dog, several months ago, for attacking one of my dogs. That dog was sitting on the porch of the house, came down to us on the sidewalk, and bit my dog on the face. My dog is bigger and I stepped in and yelled at it. I also filed a 311 report right after it. I am surprised to find out this dog is still there, the owner has done nothing, and this has happened again. Neighbors have also reported being chased, attacked, and barked at by this dog that is never contained. Where is our protection? Why does this person get to continue to behave like this and leaving work now their dog out. Why is this dog still there?
I am an animal advocate and firmly believe that specific breeds are not a problem. Rather, it is how they are treated, socialized, and raised. This person has failed his animal and we have to suffer the consequences.
What will it take before action can be taken on this person and this dog? Does a person need to be harmed…or worse? Unfortunately, this is all to common out here in Oak Cliff. And while we try to make changes and do things internally, we still need help from local governments, the city, and DAS to enforce laws. Please help us and our pets be safe!
Dear city advocates,
My name is xxx and I am a resident of Oak Cliff. I am proud to be part of such a vibrant, passionate, and empathetic community. I value the support and attention the city of Dallas is projecting in developing this side of the Trinity and all that is has to offer.
Unfortunately, this neighborhood is also the target for many dropped and abused animals, as well as a breeding ground for feral animals. The latest e-notice through my neighborhood association had the photo of the above puppy attached…I am hoping that this pup finds a home before human neglect and irresponsibility result in another statistic.
The impact of strays and packs is potentially dangerous to children, the elderly, and other pets. It is also heart-breaking to witness and inhumane for these abandoned animals. Soon enough, this escalating issue could impact consumer perception of the value of West Dallas and Oak Cliff, two key areas targeted to boost growth and revenue for the city.
I support the proposed actions that Gypsy Dog Ops and the Oak Cliff Animal Initiative have presented to the city. I join other concerned neighbors in asking the city to support our community by addressing the animal issues that continue to mount. We need community awareness, budgets comparable to other cities the size of Dallas, and field service training to help resolve these challenges and, ultimately, make Oak Cliff a more appealing, more serviceable community. Please help.
For quick reference, I have pasted proposed suggestions from the recent Saturday afternoon forum with Scott Griggs below:
- Please advocate for a DAS budget to be in line with similarly sized cities. Dallas is the 9th largest city in the US. North Texas is one of the fastest growing areas in the country. Dallas’ Animal Services budget is currently not growing at a pace that keeps up with the needs and basic safety expectations of the citizens.
- Please advocate for DAS field services to adopt modern best practices for their field services training and policies.
- Please advocate additional budget specifically allocated for an initiative to improvement best practices and training. Budget will be needed to write new policy and procedures and to roll out the new policy and procedures.
- Advocate for the creation of a staff position for an “Animal Services Neighborhood Liaison”
- Advocate for the City of Dallas and Dallas Animal Services to understand the value of a collaborative volunteer workforce. Following the Police Department model where 80% of time is dedicated to intervention and prevention and the last 20% of time is dedicated to enforcement requires budget for community level involvement, education, and organization.
- Advocate for DAS and DCAP to move from a culture where lowering euthanasia rates is the top measure of success to a more balanced approach where safety and quality of life and working towards a city wide spay and neuter culture are measured indicators of success. Lower euthanasia rates are a result of that long term plan, but not the top priority.
- Advocate for your Neighborhood Association to include animal issues in quality of life and safety discussions
- Advocate for your Crime Watch Committees to include animal issues in quality of life and safety discussion.
- Advocate for your National Night Out to include animal safety information and spay, neuter, and low cost vaccination resource information
- Advocate at a State level for abuse and neglect laws that do not require an animal to continue to suffer in order to make a case for prosecution.
- Urge your community to get involved at any level – every skillset and personality is needed to solve this problem.