Why we trap live dogs
A trap or an animal rescue cage is often the first step to helping the stray dogs roaming our neighborhood be captured, rehabilitated, and adopted into good homes. Live trapping is a great way to safely and humanely capture hard to catch, shy, fearful, or unsocial dogs. Chasing dogs can make them MORE unsocial and unapproachable, this is a great way to keep the human interaction a positive one. A controlled capture also allows safe transport of a fearful dog to a controlled environment where the dog can be assessed, vetted, and helped. Our goal is to help the dogs and keep the animals and the people safe; traps facilitate this goal.
What to expect if you see a cage or a live trap in your Oak Cliff neighborhood
What does a live trap look like? It looks like a large cage with triggered plate that activates the door. We often partner with a neighbor who is available and willing to monitor the trap 24 hours a day, but the trap is a Dallas Animal Services trap and only authorized persons from the City and Gypsy Dog Ops are allowed to touch it – it’s the law. Even the homeowner of the property the dog trap is placed on (who agreed to the placement of the trap) can not open or touch the trap.
I have stray dogs roaming by my house – can I call and order a city live trap?
Generally, the city will not drop live traps in neighborhoods. There are many reasons why trapping humanely in an urban environment is difficult for the city. Over time Gypsy Dog Ops established a relationship with DAS and with our district’s city councilman and that relationship allows us the privilege to work with the city to manage a trap when needed. Our goal is to help control the loose dog and pack issues before the pack grows to large dangerous numbers. This collaboration was a long time in the making and relies on our neighborhood’s collective cooperation.
Because live trapping is not on the normal menu of DAS services, it will not be unusually for a 311 operator to be confused by a report of a dog in a live city trap at a residence. Be patient and explain that it is a DAS trap when you call 311 to report an animal in the trap. Also understand that the 311 operator will give you a 24-36 hour window for DAS to respond. That is a standard response and NOT cause for concern when followed by step two of how to report a dog in a Oak Cliff dog trap.
Step 1: Call 311 and get a service number.
Step 2: Let us know – Text the support number (and call too if you like. Text is important, both a text and a call is even better – especially late at night!) and let us know there is a dog or cat in the trap. Include the service request number from the 311 call and a description of the animal.
Step 3: If you know the home owners, call the homeowner and let them know.
Step 4: Stay away from the trap. Cars and people near the trap often make the dogs more distressed. Your presence will not be calming. Give the system time to work.
Animal Safety: The dog or cat will most likely be distressed while they are in the trap but they are not in danger. They will be safe in the trap. We will not trap in extreme conditions – extreme high or low temperatures etc. The animals will be safe and can go for several hours without food and water in the trap. Do not panic and let the animal out. Our intention is to get the animal out of the trap as fast as possible. The goal is to get the dog or cat our of the trap within an hour. They are much safer in the trap than crossing Jefferson or Davis.
If you have a loose or stray dog issue, make sure you report the loose dogs to 311 and feel free to contact us if it is not resolved.
We are not currently interested in catching cats, but we do want to catch the loose dogs to help protect the cats. There is a Trap Neuter Release (TNR) program available through Feral Friends is you are interested in helping stray, feral, colonies of cats and “porch” kitties. Any cat we trap will be let out of the trap and released in place.
What if MY dog or cat ends up in the trap:
After we catch a dog in a city trap, the dog will be immediately scanned for a microchip. We will post the dog through the DAS via Petharbor. We may turn the dog into the shelter for the required three day hold or we may privately hold the dog during the three day hold period. Either way, the shelter is notified and the dog is posted through their lost and found system. Additionally, we post on Fido Oak Cliff. If your dog is missing, please follow our suggestions for how to look for your lost dog. We also recommend microchipping your pets. This is best way to ensure your pet is returned if it is lost.
What happens to the dog next? Once we make our good faith effort to find the dog’s owners, if the owners can not be found, we will work to get the dog into a rescue or potentially put the dog into our program. Sometimes the dogs take their first steps towards their new life through the doors of DAS, but this is a first stage for us. The city has the structure and the programs to help a dog on intake, but next steps are generally up to us as a community. This is where everyone can help. These dogs often have medical issues, behavioral issues, and need a little extra time and money to become loving house dogs. They need the neighborhood to help advocate for them to get them into a rescue, the need social media shares to help get them exposure to their potential forever homes, they need volunteers to foster them, they need donations to help pay for their care. Once the dogs are fixed up, they are the most amazing, loving, loyal dogs you will ever see. It will take all of us doing what we can to help change their lives and their outcomes. Together we can make a difference for them.
What should I do when I see a trap?
Please help us help neighborhood dogs and follow these guidelines for neighbors who have a dog rescue trap on their block.
- Don’t park in front of the trap or drive by. We want to avoid anything that would make the dogs hesitant to go near the trap and they tend to avoid cars and traffic.
- Walk your dogs across the street. We have food in the trap and your dog may want to go near it and we wouldn’t want them to get stuck.
- Don’t touch the trap – You could trigger the closure preventing us from catching the dogs. Plus, it’s illegal.
- If you see a dog or a cat in the live trap, please text this number: 214.417. 4142 and let us know. The trap is being monitored all day everyday – but feel free to let us know. You may also call 311 – but make sure to do both. Texting this number will facilitate a faster pick up for the trap. We have a hot line to a DAS supervisor that the 311 operator does not. PLEASE LEAVE THE TRAP AND DOG or CAT ALONE. Dallas Animal Services will come ASAP to help the animal and Gypsy Dog Ops will work the adoption/rescue.
- Don’t feed the dogs when they’re roaming. Gypsy Dog Ops has feeding stations for them, but we also want them to be attracted to the food in the trap.
If you have any questions or are interested in fostering or adopting any of the dogs we are able to rescue, please contact Gypsy Dog Ops at:firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your time and attention. Together, hopefully we can help these strays get healthy and find loving homes!
Trapping Guidelines For our Current Set of Dogs We Are Tracking:
This is for the Oak Cliff neighborhoods, especially: Winnetka Heights / Kings Highways / Sunset Hill / Bishop Arts. We have been tracking two sets of dogs that have now combined to make one pack. Hurray! That is actually good. We’re hoping the more social dog will show the less social dog she doesn’t need to clear the zip code when someone comes around. You all probably know them all by now:
1. Blackish brown dog with “white patch” who runs with (update – she was caught slipped her collar and got away from her foster home. She was re-caught and is now ready for adoption)
2. Medium “brown dog” (caught)
3. They have hooked up with a large brindle looking dog that had an injured/ cut neck from the Kings Highway That dog has been posted on Nextdoor quite a bit. We call that dog “Trapper”. (Update: Trapper has been caught and has been socialized and is a fabulous dog – and he has been adopted)
How can you help?
- Please DO NOT feed them/ We have set up a feeding schedule that will help establish trust with one person and keep them in a designated area. This one person is authorized to set and monitor the city live trap and has a hotline to DAS when the dogs are trapped. Not feeding them will keep them in an area where we currently have a trap or will move the trap. They will get plenty of food and water at the feeding stations. The designated person was in 5 feet of them today for over 20 minutes. They look relatively healthy and are getting enough to eat.
- Please do NOT slow down as you drive by them – it will cause “white patch” to get up and walk out into. They seriously know to stay away from slow moving cars. If you want to know more about why that is – buy me a cup of coffee or meet me at Nova and I’ll explain. Just don’t do it – you will endanger them. Please do not approach them – same thing, it will cause them to walk out into traffic.
- PLEASE tag Fran Gaconnier on facebook / PM / text or call me when you see Knowing where and what time they are seen will help establish a path / schedule. All pack dogs have a preferred route and a general schedule. If we know this info, there are things we can do that will lead them to the general area of the trap. This will be VERY helpful!!
- Start working your rescue contacts – when we catch them, they are going to need They are large breed dogs. One is VERY fearful and unsocial. They are not pretty fluffy little dogs that are easily adopted. The more notice the better. Start asking around now!
- If you see a dog or a cat in the live trap (a trap in our neighborhood), text this number: 214.417. 4142 and let us know. The trap is being monitored all day everyday – but feel free to let us know. You may also call 311 – but make sure to do both. Texting this number will facilitate a faster pick up for the trap. We have a hot line to a DAS supervisor that the 311 operator does not.
Give us a shout if you have any questions or concerns. It will take a village to help these dogs for sure!!!
And remember, good things can come from trapping the dogs. First, the dogs are no longer in danger of being hit by cars, attacked by other loose dogs, getting in fights over lady dogs, breeding and making more unwanted dogs, and they are not chasing bikers, joggers, cats or kids, and most importantly, they are just safe. There are many, many worse things than being compassionate and humanly euthanized – and we have seen that even within this pack. One of the dogs has been hit by a car, one of the dogs has had a large wound around its neck. They are constantly crossing main roads. But keep in mind – when we catch them, our goal is to help them.
We have already picked up three other loose dogs while tracking this pack and all three of those dogs have now been spayed, neutered, vaccinated, microchipped (by Friday) and two have been adopted into fabulous families and the third one is going into a rescue group on Friday. Good things can happen when we trap the dogs – it is the first step towards a new life for these dogs and a big step towards promoting a spay and neuter culture in our city and towards making our neighborhoods a better place to live for both people and animals.
Click the download button to get instruction for the trap on North Edgefield