Series of pit bull attacks frighten neighbors in NW Harris County

Residents say pit bull attacks have happened periodically since November

Author: Robert Arnold, Investigative Reporter, rarnold@kprc.com
Published On: Feb 21 2013 06:50:40 PM CST
DOG ATTACK
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas -

Residents of a Northwest Harris County neighborhood off Kieth Harrow are concerned about a series of pit bull attacks they said have been happening periodically since November.

"They've removed pickets off fences trying to get other pets in people's backyards," said Gaylene Wier.

Wier said she has called Harris County Animal Control officers several times, but by the time anyone arrives, the dogs have disappeared.

"It's getting out of hand," said Wier. "The dogs were running down my street chasing after two little kids going home from school off the school bus."

On Wednesday, a resident captured on video the two dogs mauling a stray dog before again disappearing. The woman on the video could be heard sobbing and saying, "I just don't know what to do."

Weir said she called Animal Control before the attack on the stray dog to report the loose pit bulls, but an officer never arrived in the neighborhood.

"My boys come home after school," said Cruz Gallegos. "We hang out here, throw the ball around and we can't do that anymore. We're just not safe. Very viscous fight, just scary."

Resident Byron Wolfe said last Christmas, the same two dogs mauled a cat to death in front of his 12-year-old daughter.

"It took her a while to get a good night's sleep because she would wake up screaming," said Wolfe.

Residents said they've called Animal Control officers several times, but the dogs are gone by the time an officer arrives. Several residents told Local 2 Investigates they believe dogs are escaping from the backyard of a near-by home.

Residents said after Wednesday's mauling of the stray dog, the owners were seen searching the neighborhood for their two pit bulls.

Local 2 tried to speak with the owners, but there was no answer. Local 2 did observe several new fence pickets and a new padlock on the fence surrounding the home's backyard.

Animal Control officials said unless an officer sees the dogs running loose, they have no legal authority to go into someone's home to seize the animals.

However, after Local 2 called Animal Control and passed along the video of Wednesday's attack, an officer did speak with the owners of the home where residents suspect the dogs live.

Animal Control officials told Local 2 the officer cited the owners for not having up-to-date rabies vaccinations for their dogs or proper licenses.

Neighbors said if they see these animals loose again, they will petition a Justice of the Peace to have the dogs declared a danger to the neighborhood. If that happens, then the county can seize the animals.

The stray dog seen being mauled in the video survived the attack. Several residents have been trying to catch the dog to take it to a veterinarian, but every time they try the dog runs away into a vacant, overgrown field.