District 7 Councilmember Taking Action on Irresponsible Dog Owners

Published on May 08, 2024

Council District 7 Ana E. Sandoval     

SAN ANTONIO (May 8, 2024) — Today, Councilmember Marina Alderete Gavito was joined by Raymond Najera and the family of Max De Los Santos to share three new policy proposals to hold irresponsible dog owners accountable for their negligence.

“The majority of dog-related issues can be traced back to irresponsible dog owners, so we need to hold them accountable before tragedy repeats itself,” the Councilmember said. “We must act now to reduce the chances of further attacks.”

The District 7 office introduced three policy proposals through a Council Consideration Request this week that are designed to create a safer future for San Antonio:

Tougher Penalties for Repeat Offenders of Negligence

“When irresponsible owners do not keep their dogs contained, attacks occur. To hold those owners accountable, the proposal calls for an increase in minimum fines when dogs repeatedly roam off-property. Sometimes dogs will get out on accident,” the Councilmember said. “However, the second time Animal Care Services (ACS) has to pick up a loose dog, the proposal includes an increased minimum fine of $500, and for each offense after that, a $750 minimum fine.”

Mandatory Spay and Neuter for All Loose Dogs

“When dogs are not spayed and neutered in our community, it leads to a snowball effect causing more stray animals, overcrowding in animal shelters, and higher odds of attacks,” the Councilmember said. “The proposal calls for any loose dog taken to ACS needs to be spayed and neutered before being returned to their owner, at the expense of the owner.”

Protection for Residents Who Report Dangerous Dogs

“To protect residents who report dangerous dogs, the implementation of a ‘pseudonym program’ is proposed, which will ensure that residents can anonymously report a dangerous dog,” the Councilmember said. “Many residents do not report dangerous dogs out of fear of retaliation from their neighbors that own the dog. Your safety is my priority – and no one should be in fear when doing the right thing.

“In conclusion, the intent of these proposed policy changes is to address the long-standing and widespread public safety issue of vicious, loose, and roaming dogs in San Antonio. These policies can move the needle in reducing dog attacks and ultimately create a safer community for residents and animals alike.”