Dallas has a dog problem. Packs of aggressive and starving canines roam the city's poorest neighborhoods, scaring residents and making revitalization difficult, reports the Dallas Morning News, which has been following the issue for months. Residents tell of parks where children can't play and streets where pets can't be walked because of loose, vicious dogs. They talk about parents taking their kids to the school bus while carrying large sticks to fend off pit bulls. The mayor says he's having trouble bringing business investment to poor areas because of the animals. "Dogs are just feral, part of the landscape, and you have to live with them," one resident tells the newspaper.
The Morning News reports Dallas Animal Services, which euthanizes nearly 900 animals a month, is trying a "softer approach" after years of rounding up loose dogs by the dozens to be killed. Most of the dogs have owners, and the department is working to teach people in poor communities about proper pet ownership and pointing them to nonprofits for doghouses, neutering, and more. But opponents see this as enabling bad pet owners and want the department to hand out more tickets while they're educating. For more, including how citizens are rescuing starving dogs from the city's drainage ditches and forests, read the full story. (Read more animal cruelty stories.)