Family mad that dog catcher picked up pet

Published On: Jan 17 2013 09:54:33 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 17 2013 10:38:10 PM CST
dogs at barc
HOUSTON -

Dog catchers hear a lot of complaints about stray dogs, so they go into the neighborhoods and pick up animals on the loose.  But one family in southeast Houston said they shouldn't include family pets.

Carl White and Robin Galan are aware of the city's stray dog problem and they agree those dogs can be dangerous and vicious.

But on Wednesday, they said animal control tried to pick up family pets, including their 15-year-old Chihuahua, Bambi.

"We had one dog that I let out to go to the restroom," said Galan.

"We said we'd take care of them and put them up and she proceeds to write $800 worth of tickets to me. They are not bad dogs," said White.

In the city of Houston, residents are required to keep your dog on a leash. City Council Member James Rodriguez said it's as simple as that.

"If my dog is outside and he's running without a leash, yeah they are going to pick up my dog as well. It could be a little dog but it could bite a little kid," said Rodriguez.

Animal Control Officers take the loose dogs to the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care shelter.

A representative said sometimes they pick up family pets and tranquilize them if they lunge at an officer.

"What they don't realize is that they live next door to people who don't want their animals on the street, they don't want to worry about whether they'll get bitten by a dog they don't know," spokesman Christopher Newport said.

Either way, White and Galan think animal control was out of line and plan to present their case to the judge.

"A lot of the yards are not fenced. There are dogs that protect their families and this woman went in on their property when people were not home, tranquilized and took their dogs," said Galan.

Newport said animal control officers picked up 11 dogs from the Garden Villas neighborhood on Wednesday.