Residents fear dog attacks in south Houston neighborhood

Neighbors worry about whether city is doing enough to stop attacks

HOUSTON - Residents in one city of South Houston neighborhood are afraid of being attacked by dogs and worry about whether the city is doing enough to stop it from happening.

Every time Jacob Salazar's family steps out the door, he worries they will be attacked by one of his neighbor's dogs.

"We can't even let our kids play out in the front yard," said Salazar. "We can't even walk the streets without being growled at, barked at and even chased by dogs."

Salazar said three pit bulls at one neighbor's home constantly break through a chain fence and maul easy targets. He said the dogs killed a neighbor's Chihuahua, and just days earlier, Salazar's mother snapped photos of two of the pit bulls right after they attacked a boxer.

Neighbors say it happens so often, they are arming themselves.

"I carry a little pistol to the mailbox [and] to put my trash out," said Sharon Cardenas.

All of these attacks are happening a few hundred feet from an elementary school.

"Who is to say next time it won't be a child?" asked Salazar.

Cesar Cabrera, supervisor for the city's humane department, said the same pit bulls have attacked other dogs at least three times in the last six months. So, he said he took extreme measures.

"Once we realized it was going to be an ongoing situation, we went ahead and made the decision to remove all animals," Cabrera said.

Cabrera said the pit bull owner is banned indefinitely from keeping dogs at their home. However, just minutes after Local 2 interviewed Cabrera and he drove away, we spotted one of the pit bulls back in his front yard, roaming around with no leash, free to attack again.

"More needs to be done about it," said Salazar.

"It scares me to death," said Cardenas. "I wish the city would do something about it."

Cabrera said he works with one other full time employee and one part time employee, and they all try to stay on top of problematic dogs in the city.

However, Cabrera admitted they are stretched thin at times. Cabrera said he is asking the city to add another employee to his department.

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